Category Archives: Sports and Rec

‘Audrey’s Angels’ seeks teams for May 22 cystic fibrosis walk

SHELBURNE—Winter will end and spring will bloom, and with it will arrive the 17th Annual Shelburne Falls Great Strides walkathon, which is raising funds toward a cure for the debilitating disease cystic fibrosis.

Walk day, which leaves from BSE, is a fun, family-oriented event with a healthy 2.5-kilometer walk, children’s activities, food, and festivities that participants look forward to year after year.

Participants can form walk teams at their workplace, through their clubs and organizations, and with friends and family.

The event is Sunday, May 22. Check in is at 1 p.m., and the walk starts at 2 at BSE. The route will traverse the Bridge of Flowers.

According to Great Strides’ Massachusetts/Rhode Island chapter, the event is part of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s largest national fundraising event. Locally, the walk is  in honor of BSE alumna Audrey Clark.

Clark notes on Great Strides’ “Audrey’s Angels” page that she is fighting for her life against CF, which affects 70,000 people worldwide, including 30,000 Americans. CF is an inherited disorder that damages the lungs and digestive system.

“Cystic fibrosis has caused me to need two double lung transplants, the first of which when I was 12. I am 21 now. I have rejected them both and need to wear oxygen to breathe. Only due to the money raised toward research could this have happened and given me this much extra life. Please donate so others don’t need to endure the hardships that I have,” she says.

Clark adds that she plans to walk the route. You can raise funds as a walker or “virtual walker” by visiting Great Strides.

Clark’s mother, Sandra Gaffey, is the bookkeeper at Mohawk. Each year, she says, more than 125,000 people participate in hundreds of walks across the country to raise funds for cystic fibrosis research and drug development.

For more information, call Sandra Gaffey  at 413-625-0227 or call the CF Foundation at 800-966-0444.

Run! Hide! Zap! Like a challenge? Laser tag just might be for you

Bennett-mugLASER TAG is a game you can play if you are looking for action and sweaty armpits.

You start out with a suit and “phaser.” You must have two hands on the phaser or it won’t work. The gun has your code-name on a glowing green tab.

The goal of the game is to shoot as many people in the shoulders, chest, back, and phaser as you can. You start in a dark room and once the ear-petrifying music starts, RUN, HIDE, AND ZAP!

Examples of code names are: the Borg, Cow Tipper, No Mercy, and Alien.

I have gone to LaserBlast at Interskate 91, at Holyoke Mall, three times and played two rounds each time. Each round is eight minuets and there is no “getting out.” At the end of each round, you get a rank depending on how many people you hit and hit you.

The first time I held a phaser, a smirk of confidence bloomed smack-dab on my face. I knew I would destroy everyone, but I ended up in fifth place. It takes practice and I am slowly getting better. I think I need to watch out for competitors from afar.

InterSkate 91 says that you can have your birthday party or a private party there and take laser tag lessons. At “LaserBlast: Ancient Adventure,” a “single blast” is $6 and a “double blast” is $9.

Parents can surf the Web there on free Wi-Fi while their kids play. Or they can even join in the fun themselves.

For more information, visit

Erika Looman offers words of advice on Mohawk sports success

Student-athlete Erika Looman, at right, with her family.
Student-athlete Erika Looman, at right, with her family.

FOR THE FINAL THREE springs of her BSE career she was a Shelburne Falls Huskie. Now she plays softball for Mohawk Middle School, and No. 27 Erika Looman says that school presents new rules.

“At Mohawk, to play any sport, you have to make sure you aren’t failing any classes. If you are, the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association will simply say you have to sit out for the season,” she tells us.

That’s in contrast to elementary school softball, where “your grades don’t necessarily affect you playing softball.”

Second, she says, her new team is a mix of many of the people she played against in the Hilltown League, “so your enemies are now your friends.”

Erika’s advice for Mohawk softball success: Dedicate yourself to it.
“In the beginning of our season, which started mid-March, my coach warned us that if we stopped going to practice she wouldn’t let us play in games. In the elementary league, it was ‘come if you can,’ which led to some teammates not being as strong as others.”

She’s having fun though, and invites you to check out Hilltown Softball during April vacation at the Arms Softball Field in Shelburne Falls.

For game information, visit

Team meeting for 16U tourney softball April 26

Joe Bompastore of 16U Tournament Softball says a team meeting is set for April 26 at 4 p.m. at Mohawk.

Interested players and parents are welcome. For more information, call Joe at 413-386-6162.

Girls 14U tryouts May 9

Jennifer Sinistore of Mohawk girls 14U suburban softball league writes to say that tryouts are Saturday, May 9, on the Mohawk varsity field from 10 a.m. to noon. Rain date is Sunday, May 10, at the same time. Age cutoff is Jan. 1.

Sinistore adds that there are many people to thank for helping make this season fun and successful:

“Dave Fried for the AMAZING photos; Grampa Johnston for the bathroom key; Fred Redecker for the field; the Townsleys for lime and willingness for always wanting to do more; Jon for keeping the book and helping coach; Nick for coaching bases when needed; Nick, Mike, and Pat for helping with the field; Rich and Joe for assisting; Cindy and Chantal for asking me to coach; Olivia, Carol, and Gramma Sinistore for the snacks; the parents for your endless support; and the FANS FANS FANS… It truly is a community effort.”

Summer rec registration open

Registration is open for the Mohawk Summer Recreation Program, which runs 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from June 22 to July 31. To register and for more information, visit

In Gear: 2015 Pinewood Derby winners

DERBY WINNERSCONGRATULATIONS to our scouts competing in the Pack 85 Pinewood Derby, held Feb. 28 at the Shelburne Grange. From all reports this was the perfect blend of balsa wood and gumption.

According to Cubmaster Adriaan Tuttman, pictured left setting up a heat, the overall winners are Trevor Mills, 1st; Liam Green, 2nd; and Henry Jones, 3rd. Trevor Mills won for Webelos 1; Tyler Dubreuil for Webelos 2; Ethan Poirier for Bears (he’s pictured below on right with his brother, Thomas Adams); Everett Jones for Wolves; and Liam Green for Tigers.

Basketball at Cowell is fast, fun

Restarting BSE’s team possible?

KYLIE LOGOSHELBURNE—Basketball at Cowell Gymnasium is a lot of fun. I participate with approximately 10 other players in grades 4-6. We meet on Mondays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

We would like to be able to compete against elementary school teams at Mohawk. Doug Martin, who is a coach along with my dad, explains the coaches spoke with Principal Joanne Giguere about restarting a team at BSE. She said she is open to the idea, so we will see.

Other Mohawk elementary schools have teams and ours would be separate from the free, drop-in Cowell program.

About to hoop it up! Left to right, front row: Katie, Brooke, Emily, and Rikku. Back row: Doug, Kylie, Hannah, Eve, Elly, and Dave.
About to hoop it up! Left to right, front row: Katie, Brooke, Emily, and Rikku. Back row: Doug, Kylie, Hannah, Eve, Elly, and Dave.

I’ve enjoyed basketball since I was a little kid. I think more people should try it. It’s really fun and gets you a lot of exercise. Because you play with other people you need to be flexible with decisions.

You dribble the ball down the court and try to make a shot into a net.
Meanwhile, there are people on the other team trying to block your shot — you have to be able to pass the ball to your teammates and shoot the ball when you get the chance.

Oscar, Matt, Gavin, Tyler, and Reuben work the court at Cowell Gym.
Oscar, Matt, Gavin, Tyler, and Reuben work the court at Cowell Gym.

The game, founded in Springfield 125 years ago, is played in four quarters of eight minutes. At the end of the second quarter there’s a halftime break.

There’s my league, middle and high school, college, and the National Basketball Association (NBA), which is where the game is played professionally.

According to Mary Johansmeyer, basketball is a sport you can play at any age. It doesn’t require a lot of equipment.

“The hardest thing to learn is shooting. There are so many different shots you can take. The second-hardest thing is playing defense,” she said.

“You also learn a lot about teamwork and good sportsmanship,” she added.