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Sports Columns

Jaywalking: Sideline chatter

There are lots of reasons to love tournament season. It’s the time of year when every game counts. It makes for great drama every night, and when games live up to their billing, it’s even better. Tournament season also gives me the opportunity to hit the road and take in live games every day, something that is not easy to do with such a small sports staff (only three of us) during the hustle and bustle that is the regular season. The best part about 0

Keeping Score: Rivalry redux

Good morning! Today’s marquee game is 20 miles down the road in Amherst where the Lord Jeffs host Williams College. This historic rivalry will resume for its 129th year. The game will be contested at Pratt Field. The gridiron dates to 1891, making it the third-oldest NCAA playing site in the country. New additions include lights and an eight-lane track around the field. Some fans feel the $12.5 million renovation puts the facility on the cutting edge. Others will be pining for the anachronistic feel 0

Branching out

Saturday morning, after 10, gray, damp, rain holding off, me reading, phone rings. My buddy Cooker’s calling from the field on his cell, hunting over young male springer spaniel, Gizmo. “Hey, I’m hunting down by Duncan’s and, trust me, it’s your kinda covert. You ought to head down. You’ll like it. I’ve already killed a hen, flushed two roosters and have the place to myself. It’s three times the size of (your favorite covert), and thicker.” Intending to hunt later, anyway, it was exactly the 0

Jaywalking: Hoop junkie

It was a phone call Tim Caplice did not want to miss, but as he lounged around on his couch watching football one recent Sunday, he did exactly that. Caplice was late getting to his phone when he heard it ringing and saw the missed call/voice-mail from Greenfield High School athletic director Mike Kuchieski. He excitedly listened to the message, hoping it contained the words he wanted to hear. “He called to congratulate me on getting the job,” Caplice said, and with that he became 0

Keeping Score: Horse play

Good morning! Quiet time’s up for John Dobrydnio. He’s read the Form, watched the replays, talked to the railbirds and is ready to proclaim the winner of tonight’s Breeders’ Cup Classic. Two months ago he picked long shot VE Day to win the Travers Stakes at Saratoga, but that matters little in the what-have-you-done-for-me-lately world of horse wagering. A field of 14 thoroughbreds will go into the starting gate at Santa Anita Park for the 11/4-mile race. “It’s the toughest classic I’ve ever encountered but 0

On the Trail: Myth mayhem

As the Beaver Moon builds in the midnight sky, I’ve been stuck on the ancient beaver myth, my meandering thoughts briefly disrupted by backyard leave-removal chores and a fresh cordwood load dumped out back Wednesday morning by Blue Sky, a good man who left a tidy mound in front of the sliding woodshed door. I do hope to get it in promptly and return to pheasant hunting. Lily and Chubby, eager and capable gun dogs, have been displaying that familiar, palpable, pouting melancholia they wear 0

Keeping Score: Writing lesson

Good morning! One morning over coffee at Green Fields Market, my friend Bob Diamond guessed how long it takes for me to write the Saturday column: “What, a couple of hours?” Guess again. Assumptions like Bob’s are what caused German essayist Thomas Mann to wryly observe: “A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.” Two hours? Its taken that long for a phrase lurking in my subconscious to come unglued. Anybody can write, it’s what comes off 1

On The Trail: Weirdness

Weird: that’s how I’d characterize what’s been happening in my travels since we last met. Then, at other times, same-old, same-old, nothing at all peculiar. Oh well. That’s life. The weirdness started on my ride home from work through The Meadows before midnight a week ago. In a field where I often see deer, yup, you guessed it, a set of shining eyes I suspected to be those of a deer and were indeed — a doe, ears at 45-degree upright alert, head high, lying 0

Keeping Score: The long goodbye

Good morning! Mike Russo’s career coaching soccer at Williams College is drawing to a close. “Probably if I was smart I would’ve gone out last year when we went to the Final Four,” joked Russo, who grew up in Deerfield. One win in the Ephs’ final three matches will assure Russo of his 31st consecutive winning season, a streak that was in doubt after the Ephs lost their third straight match, a 2-1 setback at Connecticut College in New London on Sept. 27. Former Deerfield 1

On The Trail: Sweet 16

I returned from my daily walk with the dogs Tuesday morning, taunting firewood load piled on the lawn in front of the backyard woodshed, and was greeted by a long, narrow, triangular package leaning upright against the iron vice attached to the carriage-shed work bench by the side door. I knew what it was: a one-piece Tico Tool 12- and 16-guage shotgun cleaning rod I had ordered online. Nice! The final piece of the puzzle with upland bird-hunting season opening Saturday. No. Check that. One 0