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Opinion

THE FINAL WORD: PUTTING A BOW ON THE 2020-21 FALL SEASONS (2021-07-29)
What should have been the 2020 fall season was just that in Pa., but thanks to an over-reaction in New York State all sports was canceled until Jan. 4, 2021, and the “fall” season was not contested until March and April. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: A GLIMPSE INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL, AND THE 2021 FOOTBALL SEASON (AND A STATE TITLE?) (2021-07-27)
From Sayre having three of its six games canceled due to Covid concerns to Waverly and Tioga playing its schedule in March and April, the 2020-21 high school football season in the Valley was nothing like we’ve ever seen — and, hopefully, will never see again. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: A GLIMPSE INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL AT THE 2021 BOYS, GIRLS SOCCER SEASONS (2021-07-27)
The 2020-21 soccer season resulted in strong seasons for the Athens programs, much-improved seasons for the Sayre boys, the Waverly boys and the Tioga girls programs, and a disastrous injury for the Sayre girls program. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: THE 2021 VOLLEYBALL SEASON — A PEEK INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL (2021-07-25)
The 2020-21 volleyball season was all about Athens.
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: COVID FORCES DIFFERENT ROLL-OUT FOR OUR ALL-VALLEY TEAMS (2021-07-24)
To say the 2020-21 high school sports seasons in the Valley were different, would be a vast understatement.
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BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: TROY, ATHENS SEASONS COME TO END; BOTH LIKELY TO BATTLE FOR NTL CROWN NEXT SEASON (2021-03-13)
Prior to Monday night’s District Four, Class AAA semi-final round playoff matchup against the Central Columbia, Troy basketball fans had grown accustom to that one clutch span during a ballgame when their squad produced a special run — the run that lifted their team to an outstanding record of 17 wins and just three losses. ...more

# SPORTS: 'GOOD COACH ONLY AS GOOD AS HIS / HER ASSISTANT' (2021-03-03)
“A head coach is only as good as his / her assistant.”

Pretty straightforward statement. It’s one I agree with 100 percent. The only question I would have nowadays would be: which one? ...more

TAYLOR MADE: ADJUSTING TO A UNIQUE ERA (2021-02-21)
The high-risk sports (basketball, competitive cheer, ice hockey, wrestling) are underway and let me tell you, it's been an interesting situation (as it was with bowling and swimming).
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BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: ROLE PLAYERS STEPPING UP BIG IN NTL PLAY (2021-02-09)
Most area basketball teams are privileged to have that one special player to count on night after night or game after game – that one player a coach can depend on at crunch time who’s not afraid to take the “big shot.” ...more

#SPORTS: DAILY FANTASY 'WAY BETTER' THAN TRADITIONAL FANTASY FOOTBALL (2021-02-07)
WARNING: THE FOLLOWING OPINION SHOULD IN NO WAY BE TAKEN AS AN ENDORSEMENT FOR ANYTHING, NOR AS ADVICE AND, JUST TO BE CLEAR ... SHOULD DEFINITELY NOT BE TAKEN AS ADVICE!
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: THE GOAT, OR THE BEST NOW? ... AND THE NFL DRAFT (2021-02-07)
We’re just hours away from the kick-off of the 55th Super Bowl. All I want to see is a good game, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t get one.
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#SPORTS: REDISCOVERING A LOVE OF WRESTLING (2021-02-03)
To be clear, the wrestling I’m going to be referring to in this column is high school wrestling. ...more

BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: LADY WILDCATS ADD TO EXCITEMENT IN ATHENS ... AND MORE ON NTL BASKETBALL (2021-02-01)
Nothing comes easy in Athens, but the games sure are exciting.
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#SPORTS: ON TOM BRADY, AND A STEELERS FAN'S PERSPECTIVE ON SUPER BOWL LV (2021-01-29)
As the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs prepare to meet in Super Bowl LV, there are dozens of early storylines trending on Twitter and other social media sites. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: THOUGHTS ON BASKETBALL AND WRESTLING (2021-01-26)
The Athens girls and boys basketball teams have offered up four — two apiece — of the most entertaining games of the young season.
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BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: 'CARDIAC 'CATS' HIGHLIGHT WEEK OF HOOP ACTION (2021-01-25)
The “Cardiac Cats,” whoops, make that the Wildcats are setting a Friday-night precedent that Athens coach Jim Lister would probably like to avoid the rest of the season. ...more

#SPORTS: COACHING IN THE COVID ERA (2021-01-24)
Just a brief background to demonstrate my expertise on all things coaching. (You’ll get used to the self-deprecation / sarcasm, I promise.)
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: ANYONE ELSE UP FOR A SUPER BOWL I REMATCH? (2021-01-24)
Today is my favorite football day of the season, in terms of the NFL — it’s conference championship day.
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: TROY TEAM TO BEAT IN LARGE SCHOOL BOYS TITLE CHASE ... MORE ON NTL HOOPS, WRESTLING (2021-01-18)
If I took anything out of the first full week of the NTL season, it’s that Troy is definitely the team to beat in the Large School Division boys title chase. ...more

BAKER'S SPORTS PEN: THOUGHTS ON WEEK 1 OF THE NTL BASKETBALL SEASON (2021-01-18)
The first big Northern Tier League match-up of 2021 went the way of the Troy Trojans as Steve Renzi’s squad flexed its muscles in a big, 70-53, win over Athens. ...more

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