Sports Columns

On The Trail: Dry run

High enthusiasm and low expectations hovered over the dense, thorny, tangled, frost-browned wetland below. Opening day of pheasant season? No. Too busy. Too crowded. It was, instead, late morning on the first Monday, Day 2, when the prospect of a random flush is possible but not particularly likely following the all-out opening-day circus of eager hunters, who just can’t resist despite chaotic overflow crowds. To each his or her own. Remember the old bumper sticker that used to be sold at outdoor-shows reading, “A bad 0

Jaywalking: Call him elite

As Paul Harvey used to say: And now for the rest of the story. The story, that is, about Charlemont native Tim Gerry, who I wrote about a few weeks back as he was preparing for the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. Gerry competed in what Ironman athletes call “The Olympics of Triathlon” on Oct. 10 against more than 2,300 others. In case you missed the original article or forgot, participating in an Ironman is not for the faint of heart. The competition starts 0

Keeping Score: Just a thought

Good morning! Almost every morning I take a slow jog on the empty campus in Northfield. The property remains meticulously landscaped, like a Hollywood movie set with empty buildings and unused parking lots waiting for the next cast and crew to arrive. Occasionally a busload of South Korean tourists will disembark and walk to the graves of school founder Dwight Moody and his wife Emma who are buried on a hilltop under towering pines. There’s dogwalkers, mothers with strollers, and the ubiquitous thrum of lawnmowers. 0

On The Trail: Pheasant fever

Cornfields have mellowed from green to tan, swamps are brightened by yellows and purples, acorns and apples are underfoot, a few still clicking and clacking through leaves and limbs, and those long, brown, white-pine needles are piling up fast to collect for blueberry-patch mulch — all unmistakable signs that pheasant season is upon us. Yes, it’s true. Saturday is opening day of the annual six-week season that lures sportsmen and sportswomen into dense, thorny Bay State coverts seldom visited when game birds are not fair 0

Jaywalking: A forgotten Greenfield race

I’m not really sure how most people celebrate Columbus Day. Unlike many other holidays when people have specific plans, such as cookouts (Memorial Day and the Fourth of July) or family gatherings (Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter), Columbus Day is one of those holidays that just comes and goes and no one really cares. It probably holds little fanfare because most people, including reporters, don’t get the day off from work, their only reminder an empty mailbox. But 80 years ago, Columbus Day was a big deal 0

Keeping Score: Overseas Blogger

Good morning! Jamin Hemenway’s “Pigskin Pursuit” college football blog is coming to you this year from France. The Deerfield native works in Paris for Danone, aka Danon. “Specifically, I work on global marketing for the Activia brand,” he wrote in a recent email. Coming into this season, Hemenway had been to 105 college football venues in 36 states over the past six years. Now, he said, “I’ve been hitting a few of France’s Ligue1 soccer games. The sport’s not the same but the atmosphere is 0

On The Trail: Report from the Northwoods

As our own archery deer season approaches (Oct. 19), hints of what to expect from a northern border state. Bowhunters’ take thus far, after the first New Hampshire Fish & Game polling of checking stations, shows a 10 percent decline from last year. The explanation from Granite State deer biologists is that deer are tough to pattern during this, the early season due to an abundance of wild food in the woods, which shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who patrols local wild lands. 0

Jaywalking: Devils touch down in Greenfield

Although this is Boston Bruins country, there were a lot of New Jersey Devils’ fans in the area Monday. The National Hockey League team held a nearly 90-minute practice session at Collins-Moylan Arena in Greenfield Monday evening in front of over 400 local hockey fans. The Devils spent the weekend in Brattleboro, Vt., on a preseason team-building mission. “We were doing stuff like climbing trees,” Devils player and former Boston College forward Stephen Gionta said in the lobby prior to practice. Teammate Mike Cammalleri mentioned 0

KeepingScore: Sports pourri

Good morning! The UMass football team hosts Florida International University this afternoon at McGuirk Alumni Stadium. The Panthers are 2-2, including a 15-14 upset win in their season opener against the University of Central Florida. The Minutemen, who are 1-2 versus the spread this season, are 3-point favorites. FIU’s campus is in Homestead, gateway to the beautiful Florida Keys. However, the Panthers are most likely remembered for an ugly benches-clearing brawl during their nationally-televised game against the Miami Hurricanes in 2006 that led to the 1

On The Trail: Squirrel pie

It’s October and the surreal blood moon has passed, signaling fall’s hunts and harvests. But first, fishing, a harvest of sorts, and specifically trout fishing, which should improve dramatically on selected local waters this week and next. Why, you ask? Oh, that’s easy. The annual fall-stocking program is underway. So, no, those state trucks you’ve spotted lugging splashy silver tanks with their small rear motors purring aren’t out on joyrides or returning from the garage or transporting trout from one hatchery to another. They’re freshening 0