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Sports Columns

On the Trail: Hidden wonders

Gray, damp, windy. Storm brewing. Wild-rose buds bursting into fragrant white blossoms emitting that sweet, unmistakable scent that money can’t buy. I look forward to the two weeks it annually lingers, making our daily rambles all the more pleasant. I should have known what was coming next. So predictable if you keep a journal. Yes, as is customary when the sweet fragrance of multiflora rose fills Sunken Meadow and my front yard, I can expect turtle migration from marsh to field to lay eggs. And, 0

Keeping Score: Epstein’s legacy

Good morning! Come back Theo, the Red Sox need you. Owner John Henry will piggyback you to Secaucus for Monday’s draft. It starts at 6 p.m. and the first 75 picks will be televised. The Red Sox pick seventh and 81st overall, and they need to hit the lottery. Only seven percent of all players who ink pro contracts ever reach the big leagues, which underscores Epstein’s success in his last draft for the Red Sox before he left for the Cubs. That was 2011 0

On the Trail: Beaver dynamics

If you keep plugging at subjects of personal interest like I do, moving from one source to another — focused always on this place called home, its history, deep and shallow — you’re bound to stumble across something that instantly brings a big blurry picture into bright, stunning focus. Well, glory be, I had one of those pull-it-all-together moments Tuesday morning before running the dogs. Sitting in my customary La-Z-Boy by the south window, wearing a wool cap of all things due to unseasonably damp 0

Jaywalking: A cut above

Maybe it was the enjoyment of climbing trees as a youngster that motivated Frontier Regional School high-jumper Kat Miner to soar to such great heights. Miner has been making headlines for the Red Hawks’ girls’ track & field team this season with her leaps. Her first big headline grab came when she broke the school record at Frontier, clearing 5 feet, 61/ 2 inches. Then, just over a week ago, Miner broke another record by eclipsing the previous high-jump record at the District F & 0

Keeping Score: George’s car

Good morning! On February 3, I stepped off a JetBlue flight from Fort Lauderdale, picked up George Bush’s car keys at a Day’s Inn and drove his 2002 Buick Century back to Fort Lauderdale. This is the George Bush whose brother “Bullet” Lou Bush was an All-America running back at UMass; the George Bush who grew up in Turners Falls and was classmates with Yankees’ boss George Steinbrenner at Williams College. George had driven through a blizzard to stay at the Day’s Inn the night 0

On The Trail: Worthwhile walk

The tomatoes are in the ground, the rhubarb is tall, ripe and a tad tart, asparagus reaches to the heavens, robin-egg shells are underfoot, the smell of red clover is a sweet reminder of the summer to come, and things are starting to happen in the wild kingdom. Just the other night, approaching 8 on a long holiday weekend, I figured I’d give the dogs a little bonus romp through the upper hayfields. The weather was nice, and I knew it would be worth the 0

Jaywalking: Opportunity knocks

Back in early April, Pioneer Valley Regional School student Tim Atkins was like any other senior. The Greenfield native had been thinking about his post-high school life and like many other seniors, had already chosen where he would be attending college. His choice was the University of Maine and the Atkins family had already paid the deposit to the university to secure Tim’s place there in the fall. Going to Maine was a great opportunity for Atkins, but also meant that his days of playing 0

Keeping Score: Dry Run

Good morning! On a warm spring evening outside Fenway Park, Kung Fu Panda bracelets were selling for $3, vendors were hawking free “soxaholic” bumper stickers with each paid program, and parking attendants were getting $50 a car. They’ll take it while they can, because the most expensive division in baseball is a cheap claiming race and the Red Sox are any old nag. “Minus four,” said David Hosmer, referring to the AL East’s combined number of games under .500 on Thursday. Free agents Pablo Sandoval 0

On The Trail: The season of the fish

Fish are on the platter this week. And why not? This is, after all, the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend, thus the week that annually signals the end of MassWildlife’s spring trout-stocking program, which, quite by chance, I innocently happened upon while on my daily routine Tuesday morning, eager dogs porta-kenneled under my pickup’s cap, both rarin’ to romp through shin- and knee-high, rain-drenched hayfields and unseasonably dry floodplain marsh below. On the way to my customary spot, yes indeed, there it was, 0

Jaywalking: New-rule flap

It looks like middle-school athletes will become a rare commodity at the varsity level beginning in the fall. The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Council, which votes bi-annually on the rule changes, passed about a dozen of them for the next two seasons. Many of the changes are minor. Some do not even affect local schools. But some do. One reads that no football team shall conduct more than two practices of full contact per week. Another says that any player who enrolls in substance-abuse treatment will 0