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Bay State Games: Hampshire County contingent powers Central girls soccer to gold medal finish
07-15-2024 5:15 PM

By GARRETT COTE

All but one sport featuring local players has crowned a gold medal winner at the Bay State Games this summer, with several medals given out over the weekend. Only girls basketball remains (July 19-21), as softball, baseball, girls soccer, boys soccer,...

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South Hadley Selectboard OKs $140K for school counselor to prevent youth substance abuse
07-12-2024 12:53 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

SOUTH HADLEY — The Select Board approved adding an adjustment counselor at Micheal E. Smith Middle School using 0pioid settlement funds to prevent drug and alcohol use among youth but not without push back from board members about the sustainability...


Locals lift West to softball gold medal at 2024 Bay State Games
07-11-2024 6:35 PM

By GARRETT COTE

DEVENS — When the best-of-the-best from around the state gathered to play in the gold medal game of the 2024 Bay State Games, high-level performances are expected.And through seven innings of Thursday’s softball finale at Willard Field Complex,...


Gazette Boys Tennis Player of the Year: Reilly Fowles, Northampton
07-11-2024 4:24 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

Newly-minted junior captain Reilly Fowles of the Northampton boys tennis team headed to the tennis courts at John F. Kennedy Middle School to get some extra practice in.He had noticed a large improvement in his play from his freshman season to his...


Gazette Girls Tennis Player of the Year: Ava Shea, Belchertown
07-10-2024 4:20 PM

By GARRETT COTE

BELCHERTOWN — Heading into this spring, Belchertown girls tennis star Ava Shea needed 15 victories to reach the 50-win plateau for her career. The senior sat down before the season started and created a list of goals for herself, trying to figure out...


Gazette Boys Track and Field Athlete of the Year: Logan Alfandari, Amherst
07-09-2024 12:52 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

LEVERETT — Logan Alfandari was cleaning his attic in late February when he stumbled upon a DVD set he hadn’t seen in years.He popped the disc for “Avatar: The Last Airbender” into his brother’s PlayStation and started watching.Alfandari had just come...


Gazette Baseball Player of the Year: Liam Flynn, Hopkins Academy
07-07-2024 2:01 PM

By GARRETT COTE

HADLEY — Hopkins Academy baseball head coach Dan Vreeland was torn between whether or not he would keep a freshman with potential on varsity to be a plug-and-play guy, or stick him on junior varsity where he would play every inning of every game.But...


School arts nonprofit Enchanted Circle pauses to regroup, refinance
07-05-2024 2:56 PM

By JAMES PENTLAND

HOLYOKE — Enchanted Circle, a regional arts nonprofit that has worked for decades with area school districts on integrating performing arts into their curricula, has announced it is going dormant for a year.The 48-year-old arts organization cited...


Gazette Softball Player of the Year: Ella Schaeffer, South Hadley
07-05-2024 12:01 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

SOUTH HADLEY – On April 15, South Hadley pitcher Ella Schaeffer reached 500 career strikeouts, normally a milestone reserved for the very best seniors at the end of their careers. She was just a junior, and at 16, a year young for her grade. By June...


Gazette Boys Volleyball Player of the Year: Michael Swanigan, Granby
07-04-2024 2:01 PM

By GARRETT COTE

GRANBY — During the Granby boys volleyball team’s run through the Western Mass. Class C tournament, it seemed to have one plan of attack when it needed a clutch point.Any time the Rams’ backs were against the wall, they would feed their star senior,...


Gazette Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year: Cedar Conrad, Amherst
07-03-2024 3:52 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

AMHERST — Cedar Conrad led the girls lacrosse team into a math classroom on a Wednesday afternoon at Amherst-Pelham Regional High School and started class.Every player took a seat and put their head down on their desk. Then, Conrad and Amherst’s other...


Northampton School Committee backs Superintendent Bonner in wake of union no-confidence vote
06-27-2024 5:21 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The School Committee affirmed its support for Superintendent Portia Bonner on Wednesday, some two weeks after the school union voted no confidence in their school leader following a tumultuous budget season this spring.Emerging from a...


Northampton fifth in nation to approve Green New Deal for Schools resolution
06-27-2024 4:47 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The city’s school district became the fifth in the nation to adopt the Green New Deal for Schools Resolution, a measure written by Northampton High School students that calls for advocating for ambitious climate-related goals for school...


Northampton School Committee to discuss no-confidence vote in superintendent on Wednesday
06-25-2024 6:22 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — The School Committee has called a special meeting for Wednesday afternoon at which members will go into executive session to discuss and possibly vote on a response to a vote of no-confidence the school union recently issued against...


Belchertown athletic director Jen Gouvin moving on after 5½ years
06-20-2024 7:11 PM

By GARRETT COTE

BELCHERTOWN — Following 5½ years with Belchertown High School, athletic director Jen Gouvin has taken a full-time role in the same position at Clinton Public Schools in eastern Massachusetts.Running the athletics department at Belchertown wasn’t her...


High school baseball: Amherst earns HFBUA Sportsmanship Award for 2024 season
06-19-2024 4:43 PM

By GARRETT COTE

What started as a friendly gesture turned into a common occurrence for Jeff Gladu and his Amherst Regional High School baseball team this spring.Early in the season, opposing coaches addressed Gladu following the handshake line after their games to...


Northampton school spending advocates eye ‘mountain of cash’ in reserves; city officials warn of slippery slope
06-18-2024 8:29 PM

By ALEXANDER MACDOUGALL

NORTHAMPTON — With more than 50 supporters of a larger budget for Northampton Public Schools sitting behind her, Ward 3 City Councilor Quaverly Rothenberg attempted to explain to her fellow councilors Monday night how the city can fully fund the...


A life in the locker room: Belchertown’s Nico and Nick St. George grow together through sport
06-18-2024 4:36 PM

By CONNOR PIGNATELLO

BELCHERTOWN – Cheeseburgers were sizzling on the Blackstone, pulled pork was fresh out of the smoker and a pickup lacrosse game was on the horizon.Belchertown boys lacrosse had just finished its last regular season game of the year, a 16-6 win over...


Belchertown voters resoundingly strike down override for new middle school
06-18-2024 3:12 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — Residents shot down the proposed $122.6 million middle school building at Monday’s special election, bringing the project to an end and denying a $47.9 million grant from Massachusetts School Building Authority to offset the cost.The...


Budget rift emerges at Granby TM: Finance Committee at odds with School, Fire departments
06-17-2024 1:01 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

GRANBY — The town recently completed its two-part annual Town Meeting, at which residents passed a $29.1 million budget for fiscal 2025 while also listening to a contentious disagreement between the Finance Committee and the School and Fire...


Decision day nears: Belchertown voters to decide on new Jabish Brook school at special election Monday
06-14-2024 5:50 PM

By EMILEE KLEIN

BELCHERTOWN — When Jennifer Whitehead heard that the now-closed Taggell School hindered her child’s ability to learn in the first two years of his schooling, it nearly broke her heart.The sound the lights made, the slippery long hallways and the...

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