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Sports Columns

On The Trail: Roadside rambler

Two phone calls, a month apart, reporting separate sightings of a New England phantom, added perspective gleaned from a morning trip to my old stomping grounds, and here I sit, molding it into an outdoors tale for the sports page. So let’s begin with the apparition, otherwise known as mountain lion or catamount or panther or puma or, heaven forbid, Eastern cougar — an agile, secretive and potentially dangerous beast that once roamed these parts as a top-of-the-food-chain North American predator, which has now, for 0

For Seymour, NASCAR firefighting fits his routine

Norm Seymour nearly found himself in victory lane Sunday afternoon at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon. No, he was not one of the 43 stock-car drivers competing in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series 5-Hour Energy 301, which took place that afternoon. The Millers Falls resident was working as a pit-road firefighter during NASCAR’s first of two annual stops at New England’s big-time oval. On Sunday, Seymour was stationed in Kevin Harvick’s pit box, and Harvick nearly won the race before “settling” for third. If 0

Keeping Score: That’s the ticket

Good morning! South Deerfield’s Bob Ouellette had four box seats to see the Yankees play the Red Sox at Fenway Park two weeks ago but nearly wound up watching from a Boston barstool. A diehard Yankees fan named John Sullivan had given him the tickets as a get well gesture to Ron Husted. Their friend and UMass co-worker wasn’t up for the trip, however, and so Ouellette took his daughter Alyssa, Ron’s son Dylan, and Dylan’s two friends Evan Bourque and Nick Muzyka. “We took 0

On The Trail: Wild apples, bees and stuff

Good news for deer hunters: From what I’ve encountered, there’s a bumper crop of wild apples. I guess it all starts for me in the front yard, where, just off the road at the driveway outflow, stands an old, tired, scabby, partially hollow apple tree I cannot identify. In nearly 20 years of observation, this mystery apple tree, which may soon be identified if I take a sample apple to Tom Clark at Clarkdale Orchards, has had many sparse years, some with almost no apples 0

Keeping Score: The long run

Good morning! Some businessmen frame their first dollar, but Bill Faucher wants to frame his first millionth. The 75-year-old New Hampshire resident owns an off-track betting parlor two miles east of the Hinsdale Walmart. His deal with the state requires him to take the profits and build a harness track within three years. Whether the state really needs a harness track is open for debate. The last sulky race contested in the Granite State occurred on August 30, 2009, when a 13-1 long-shot named Major 0

On The Trail: Cream-caddis delights

I see this as a dredging chore. That is, write in detail about a skill I honed years ago, have not used in many years but am confident I could master quickly if I decided on a whim to dig out stored equipment and head to my old lower-Deerfield River flyfishing haunts. And even if I mis-remember, make a little mistake, or some young whippersnapper opines he does it differently, well, so be it. Maybe we just fish the same hatches for the same trout 0

Jaywalking: Northfield Summer Series has become a community event

The Northfield Farmers Market was winding down around 6 Thursday night in front of the former Northfield Coffee and Books, but behind the building things were just heating up. Every Thursday summer evening, the Northfield Summer Road Race Series goes off at 6:30 from the parking lot behind Northfield Coffee and Books. The series is now in its fourth year and just like those who participate in the weekly races, it is showing no signs of slowing down. Bob Emberley started the weekly running series 0

Keeping Score: Safe holiday

Good morning! Two tennis players were toweling off on the clay court next to my house a week ago Friday when I looked at them and yelled, “Happy New Year!” It was little more than a senior moment and not altogether wrong considering the Fourth of July marks the beginning our country’s history. It’s an all-inclusive observance at the peak of summer when the corn is ripe, broccoli and beans are growing and the tomatoes are on the vine. It was also an ideal occasion 0

On The Trail: Rainy-day fishing

I guess it was the two galvanized tubs hanging among cobwebs high along the carriage-shed’s north wall that stirred uplifting memories on a gray, still Tuesday morning — air heavy, storm brewing — on my way out back to the kennel. The smaller, round tub is familiar to one at my previous South Deerfield home and that of my great-grandfather, Willis Chapman Sanderson, who was discovered unconscious in the road from Whately and carted to the Greenfield hospital. There, he died a few days later 0

Jaywalking: Manny’s maker drifting off into the sunset

If you’ve been to a Manny’s home baseball game this season and felt like something was missing, well, join the crowd. There is definitely something different at Veterans Memorial Field on the nights that Manny’s is playing host to another Tri-County League team. Ubiquitous Terry Ruggles has not been making his typical passing-the-hat rounds through the crowd this season, asking folks to drop their $1 donation into his Manny’s lid. The sight of Ruggles walking around during the middle innings collecting his unspoken “admission” has 0