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Support us, so we can support you when the games return

  • Greenfield’s Bryan Baumann celebrates scoring the game-winning goal against Lunenburg in the third period during the MIAA Division 3A state final at the Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester earlier this month. The win was the last game on the local calendar before the COVID-19 pandemic halted sport STAFF FILE PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Sports Editor
Published: 3/29/2020 3:17:03 PM

It was just three weeks ago that I walked out of a sold out Hart Center on the campus of Holy Cross in Worcester with a wide grin on my face. The Greenfield hockey team had just won the first state title in program history thanks to a thrilling 3-2 victory over Lunenburg, and I was there to cover it.

Along with photographer Dan Little, we busted our tails to provide the most comprehensive coverage of the historic event. I wrote multiple stories, Dan got photos of all three Greenfield goals as well as celebration and trophy shots. We did our best to put together a package in the Recorder that represented the atmosphere and thrill of the last game of the high school winter season.

Just two days before that, the entire Recorder sports department made the trip to West Springfield to cover Greenfield’s 2-1 overtime victory against Wahconah in the Western Mass. final. That was three reporters and a photographer, providing blanket coverage of another historic moment for the local sports community.

Just three weeks ago.

Not long, but right now, an eternity.

Last week, due to the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, and with no games to cover, the sports reporters who work under me at the Greenfield Recorder were laid off. The hope is that this is on a temporary basis, and everyone will return when sports return. Does anyone know when that will be? We sure don’t.

Small businesses throughout the area are hurting. People are doing their best to survive, folks in the community are ordering takeout and visiting grocery and liquor stores, popping in to buy cans from local breweries. I’ve seen the best in people during these dire times.

This local business needs some support right now, too. I want to be able to support you all when sports return.

That’s the thing about sports, right? When times are tough, and the realities of life hit you hardest, distractions can get us through. They help. I still find myself pulling up my phone throughout the day, opening my Sports Alerts app and checking for scores to games that aren’t being played. Force of habit. It’s right now that I need a late night Pac-12 hoop or football game when I get out of work, or some Wednesday night MAC-tion where Northern Illinois holds off Akron in triple overtime in front of 839 fans. That’s the good stuff.

When I walked out of the Hart Center three weeks ago, there was no inkling in my mind that Greenfield’s win would be the last sporting event I’d see in person for months. The community came together to support a team that truly represented all that is great about sports. It was a true Franklin County effort, a team made up of members from Greenfield to Deerfield to Turners Falls and into the North Quabbin region. We were all on the bandwagon together, enjoying the ride.

Now we wait.

I don’t like to come out from behind my pen and paper. That’s never been my style. I let the writing do the talking, provide the commentary on the games and stories developing before me. But right now, we need your help. When I say your support means a lot, it means that we want to be there when the next Greenfield hockey story happens, when the community rallies around the next team or person doing great things.

I want to cover that story. I want my crew there with me.

Subscribe to the Recorder, in print or digitally. Digital subscriptions to the Recorder are so cheap right now I’m basically doing you a favor here. Seriously. We’re talking $1 a week for 13 or 26 week promo offers (Click here to subscribe). Pick up a newspaper when you’re grabbing takeout. Heck, grab five of them – a stack of newspapers can be quite versatile.

Order a photo online of your son or daughter, grandson or granddaughter, scoring a goal and sinking a 3-pointer. I need our local sports coverage to survive because I want to be able to tell your stories when the games come back.

Because we don’t know when that will be, we wait. For many, the return of sports will usher in the return of normalcy. We all need that right now, we all need to feel normal. We deserve that, the security of tomorrow and beyond.

I write for a newspaper that printed its first edition in 1792. That’s a tradition I don’t take lightly. I’m going to do everything I can to continue writing about everything great this area has to offer.

Continue to send me your story ideas, memories and everything in between. With your support, I’m still open for business.

Jeff Lajoie is the sports editor of the Greenfield Recorder. His byline first appeared in the pages of the newspaper in 2004 as a freshman at UMass. He can be reached at jlajoie@recorder.com




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