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Sports Columns

Keeping Score: Fantasy spoiler

Good morning! It didn’t take long for FanDuel and DraftKings to get too big for their britches. This week the New York Attorney General’s office ordered the two fantasy sports leagues to shut down by the end of the weekend. It’s called a cease-and-desist order, akin to your mother saying, Stop it! Fantasy leagues are kids games at heart. You pick your team and I pick mine, we watch them play on the baseball diamond or gridiron and see who wins. Playing for money always 0

On The Trail: Death rut

A trophy buck has fallen in Northfield — one the hunter will likely never top, or forget. The archer who slew the 9-point, 215-pound racker Monday morning is Steve Roy, a GCC strength and conditioning instructor who grew up in South Deerfield, attended Frontier Regional School, graduated from Franklin Tech in 1978 and has lived most of his adulthood in Northfield, now Turners Falls. And, oh, what an interesting tale he had to tell about tree-stand observations from nature’s classroom during the breeding season or 0

Jaywalking: McGraw a worthy target of community support

Some folks have a knack for touching a community. Count Northfield resident Earl McGraw among them. So when McGraw was recently diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer, the community immediately began giving back. I’ve never met the 46-year-old McGraw, but do feel like I know what he’s made of. I know he is married and the father of two. I know that when my wife, Heather, used to teach his son Jalen at Northfield Elementary School, McGraw was one of the fathers who would show 0

Keeping Score: Carrying On

Good morning! As the days approached to retirement, Deerfield native Mike Russo knew boredom would be his primary adversary. Every autumn for 36 years he’d coached the Williams College men’s soccer team. Williams College SID Dick Quinn says the 69-year-old Russo was named National Division III Coach of the Year four times during his tenure, including 1995 when his Ephs won the NCAA title. The goalie on that team, Erin Sullivan, replaced Russo as head coach and was 7-6-3 in his inaugural season. Wikepedia claims 0

On The Trail: Indian bummer

Bittersweet has pushed its yellow skin aside, adding a softer shade of red to the abundant Christmas berries populating our local wetlands. Both wild ornamental berries will, over time, be snipped here and there by human gatherers seeking materials for holiday wreaths to hang on front doors, and fall floral arrangements to place in vases, stoneware crocks or old, scarred walnut trenchers centered on dining-room tables. Yes, the blotches of pleasant, uplifting colors just keep changing in this Indian summer weather so many Pioneer Valley 0

Jaywalking: Walker reviewed

We all know that when it comes to tournament-seeding time, someone is bound to feel slighted. That’s just how things go. There is no perfect system for seeding teams. Most tournaments currently use the Walker System to slot squads. The Walker System takes into account three factors: winning percentage, strength of schedule, and wins against tournament-eligible teams. That’s no secret. In fact, I’ve written about Walker injustices in this space many times. Because we don’t have a perfect system for seeding teams, there will always 0

Keeping Score: Honor System

Good morning! The days are dwindling down to a precious few, as the song goes. Baseball’s done, the leaves are down and darkness looms at 5 p.m. Just shoot me. It’s easy being on the front end of John Steinbeck’s remark, “What good is the warmth of summer without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” Sounds good, but feeling it from a chilly November perspective makes today’s Breeders’ Cup all the sweeter for horseplayers seeking one last score before New Year’s. The races 0

On The Trail: Swamp busters

Bird season in the Happy Valley is glorious yet short for those who love it. With it comes cold mornings — windshield scrapers always at the ready — and crisp, cool afternoons; sometimes sunny, sometimes gray, some wet and soggy days, others dry and crunchy, some windy and blustery, others still as a walk-in freezer locker. An early-season bonus is the brilliant backdrop colored with broad splashes of distant orange sugarbush, ridge-top coppertone oak groves and always the pale yellow alders and poplars of the 0

Jaywalking: Football expansion

The statewide football playoff looks like it will be undergoing another transformation beginning next fall. Last week the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Football Committee voted to change the current statewide playoff format beginning in 2016. The new format must still be approved by the MIAA Tournament Management Committee and possibly the MIAA Board of Directors before enactment, but there is nothing to suggest it will not go through. Under the proposed format, the MIAA will expand the football playoffs from the current six divisions to 0

Keeping Score: The frozen few

Good morning! They raised the banner to commemorate the 2015 NCAA hockey championship prior to the Providence College’s 4-1 win against Holy Cross last week. The NCAA title game was played last April 11 at TD Garden in Boston, where the Friars were heavy underdogs against a Boston University team that boasted No. 2 overall draft pick Jack Eichel. Trailing 3-2 entering the final frame, the Friars scored two unanswered goals to become the 21st different school to win an NCAA hockey title. The elder 0