Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Transition trouble

Good morning! Last weekend, six Atlantic 10 softball teams converged in Amherst to play at Sortino Field, the complex named for the longtime coach who passed away two years ago this August at age 63. Fordham won its third straight A-10 title by beating Dayton, 8-2, in the title game. The Rams lost to North Carolina State Friday, 12-5, in the first round of the Harrisonburg (Va.) Regional of the NCAA Tournament in Harrisburg, Pa. The only New England team at the dance is Dartmouth. 0

On The Trail: Turkeys silent as spring brightens

Before eight chimes on the Monday-morning tall clock — gray sky, heavy air, cup of coffee in hand and headed for my customary parlor reading station by the window — it walloped me like an open, clammy palm across the puss. Ah yes, that first overpowering fragrance of spring lilac, a sweet harbinger of summer. What an uplifting scent to brighten a new day, a new week. Four hours later, exiting my truck for our daily mile or two walk through upper hayfields and around 0

Jaywalking: Soccer scholar

South Deerfield native Jessica Wrisley has put on a pretty remarkable balancing act this year. The 13-year-old Frontier Regional School seventh-grader made high honors each of the first three semesters this season, which is no easy feat in itself. Now take into account that she bypassed playing for the middle-school girls’ soccer team, instead going straight to junior varsity. Throw in some volunteering around the community and you might be scratching your head trying to figure out how she does it all. Those are the 0

Jaywalking: Mixed reaction to fight that fell short of hype

It’s Monday morning and I’m still being reminded of just how hyped up Saturday night’s welterweight title fight between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao was. I walked into the office just before noon and sitting on my desk was Sports Illustrated, complete with its special double cover, one side featuring Mayweather, the other Pacquiao. One final bit of hype for a fight that had taken place about 36 hours earlier. Problem was that the most hyped boxing match in recent memory wound up being 0

Keeping Score: Louisville Upstart

Good morning! Railbirds who are betting their vacation money that either American Pharoah or Dortmund will be wearing the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs today might be staying home this summer. “My first look if somebody told me you gotta pick now or you’re going to the gallows, it would be hard to see past those two,” said Greenfield handicapper John Dobrydnio. “But in 25 years I’ve never seen so many interesting horses at a Kentucky Derby.” American Pharoah comes in with four straight 0

On The Trail: Turkey talk and housecleaning

The Full Corn-Planting Moon is building as the landscape greens, turkeys gobble and shotguns roar from distant hills. Yes, it’s spring turkey season, a fine time of year for a man so inclined. And, word out of Montville, Maine, indicates the time is ripe. But first a brief diversion — the first of two little housecleaning chores from last week, thanks to longtime reader Wild Bill the forester, who did well to catch an inaccuracy he suspected to be a slip of pen, which it 0

Jaywalking: Merritt Field: A worthy community project

When former Sunderland Elementary School principal Tim Merritt died unexpectedly at 51 in September of 2013, the Frontier Regional School district lost a beloved educator. Martha Barrett, Union 38 superintendent, summed up what many in the community were feeling at that time. “He was very warm and extremely caring about the community,” she said. “He was energetic and had a terrific sense of humor. His death is going to touch so many people.” What Barrett and many others may not have realized at that time 0

Keeping Score: Sports sampler

Good morning! Either get the yard work done early or pray for rain next Saturday. Nice weather or not it’ll be the one spring day to be inside watching the Red Sox versus the Yankees, the Kentucky Derby, the NHL and NBA playoffs, and the “Fight of the Century” on the eve of the Full Flower Moon. Floyd Mayweather Jr. (47-0) and Manny Pacquiao (57-5-2) will fight for an estimated $300 million with Mayweather taking 60 percent of the cut regardless of the outcome. “That’s 0

On The Trail: Splashback

Do rivers speak? Well, if you listen. Cool, sunny Sunday morning, 10-ish, variable wind gusting to stir small, random oak-leave tornados out in the open along the north wood line of a closed, two-acre meadow. A splendid day for a walk with the dogs — nose-dominant beasts that rely on winds to deliver information that can quickly accelerate their pace. Descending the earthen ramp down into Sunken Meadow’s north end after finishing the top loop, the swollen Green River below — displaying that trademark, clay-based, 0

Jaywalking: Distinguished

Current Greenfield High School students may know Donna Woodcock only as a principal, but before serving in that capacity she was one of the most successful varsity coaches in Franklin County and even the Pioneer Valley. Woodcock coached her last game in 2005 but has remained involved in sports for the past decade, serving in a many capacities. For all that she has done for high school sports both at GHS as well as in the Pioneer Valley, Woodcock was named the 2015 recipient of 0