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Baseball: Sam Connors, Mahar get past Smith Academy for win No. 2 (PHOTOS)
04-15-2024 8:13 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

ORANGE — The Mahar baseball team couldn’t have asked for a better first inning on Monday against Smith Academy. After Sam Connors shut down the Falcons in the top of the frame, it didn’t take the Senator bats long to get going when it was their turn...

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Track & field preview 2024: Frontier aims for repeat Intercounty League titles
04-09-2024 4:32 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Two years ago, Frontier’s Jack Vecellio captured an all-state title in the pole vault while Greenfield’s Liviu Mihailicenco won a state championship in the high jump. On the girls side, Greenfield’s Tess Rancourt placed third at New Englands in the...


High school tennis preview 2024: Frontier boys looking to build on strong season
04-05-2024 5:14 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Could this be the year a Recorder area tennis team makes it past the MIAA Round of 32? In the two years since the MIAA switched to a statewide format, area tennis teams have done well qualifying for states, but have struggled when getting there. In...


Softball preview 2024: Greenfield seeks third-straight Div. 5 state championship
04-04-2024 3:41 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

It would be hard to find a more dominant postseason run than the one the Greenfield softball team had a season ago. After winning the 2022 MIAA Division 5 state championship, the Green Wave came back last spring with a loaded squad and dominated their...


2024 high school baseball preview: Pioneer looks to get over Final Four hump
04-03-2024 5:13 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Is it possible to finish the year with a 21-2 record and not be satisfied with the results? The Pioneer baseball team sure wasn’t. The Panthers won the first 18 games of their season in 2023 and did so in convincing fashion, cruising into the Western...


Boys volleyball preview: Frontier looks to earn third straight Western Mass. title
04-01-2024 3:45 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

It’d be hard to imagine a program getting off to a better start than the Frontier boys volleyball team.Legendary Redhawk girls volleyball coach Sean MacDonald and Courtney Parent started the boys program at Frontier two years ago and in their first...


High schools: Agawam slugs past Frontier softball in season opener (PHOTOS)
03-29-2024 9:00 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Runs came early and often in the Frontier softball team’s season opener against Agawam on Friday. The visiting Brownies opened the game with four runs in the top of the first but the Redhawks responded by putting three runs on the...


High schools: Digging deeper into how the MIAA ranking formula fared this winter
03-29-2024 5:45 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

It’s always an interesting exercise to review the MIAA winter tournament brackets and see how the rating system fared in regard to ranking teams. The MIAA says the rating system is simple and transparent, noting on its website “the benchmark is...


MIAA boys basketball: Late run propels New Mission into Div. 5 finals with 60-49 victory over Pioneer (PHOTOS)
03-13-2024 8:30 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

WORCESTER — With a spot in the MIAA Division 5 state championship game on the line, nothing came easy for either Pioneer or the New Mission boys basketball teams on Wednesday at Worcester State University. Joseph Jackson swished a 3-pointer just...


MIAA boys basketball: Big first half powers top-seeded Hoosac past No. 5 Mahar, 76-44, in Div. 5 semis (PHOTOS)
03-12-2024 9:02 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

WEST SPRINGFIELD — The Mahar boys basketball team survived slow starts throughout the MIAA Division 5 state tournament, playing its best during the second half of games. The fifth-seeded Senators got themselves in a hole early again on Tuesday in the...


MIAA boys basketball: Third-seeded Pioneer prepares to face 4-time state champion New Mission with spot in Division 5 finals on the line
03-12-2024 5:31 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

NORTHFIELD — The Pioneer boys basketball team was ahead of schedule last year, with its young team knocking on the door of the MIAA Division 5 semifinals before falling in the 2023 quarterfinals.This year, the Panthers weren’t sneaking up on...


MIAA boys basketball: Mahar readies for top-seeded Hoosac Valley in Div. 5 semifinals
03-11-2024 7:04 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

ORANGE — Mental toughness is a requisite for a championship team.The Mahar boys basketball team sure showed a lot of it on Friday to reach the MIAA Division 5 semifinals.The fifth-seeded Senators couldn’t have had a worse start against No. 13 Boston...


MIAA boys basketball: Pioneer locks down Drury to advance to Division 5 Final Four (PHOTOS)
03-09-2024 6:24 PM

By GEORGE MILLER

NORTHFIELD — Saturday's MIAA Division 5 boys basketball state quarterfinal allowed Pioneer the chance to flip an old adage on its head, and discover just how hard it is to lose to the same team three times in one season.That's not to say the Panthers...


MIAA boys basketball: No. 5 Mahar erases 20-6 first quarter deficit, knocks off No. 13 Boston English, 63-55, to reach semifinals (PHOTOS)
03-08-2024 9:22 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

ORANGE — The Mahar boys basketball team’s run in the MIAA Division 5 state tournament was in serious peril after eight minutes of Friday’s game against Boston English. Hosting the No. 13 Eagles in the quarterfinals, the fifth-seeded Senators found...


MIAA girls basketball: Big first half powers No. 5 Westport past No. 12 Franklin Tech, 50-31, in Div. 5 Round of 16
03-06-2024 7:40 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

WESTPORT — The Westport defense made life difficult for the Franklin Tech girls basketball team on Wednesday in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 16.The fifth-seeded Wildcats smothered the No. 12 Eagles and didn't give them any easy looks at the rim early,...


MIAA boys basketball: Mahar locks down, pulls away from Old Colony to reach Div. 5 quarters (PHOTOS)
03-05-2024 9:05 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

ORANGE — The Mahar boys basketball team seems to get stronger and stronger as the games progress. Hosting 21st-ranked Old Colony on Tuesday in the MIAA Div. 5 Round of 16, the No. 5 Senators found themselves trailing 21-17 midway through the second...


MIAA boys basketball: Defense propels Pioneer past Athol, into Div. 5 Elite Eight for 2nd consecutive year (PHOTOS)
03-05-2024 8:58 PM

By GARRETT COTE

NORTHFIELD — Late in the second quarter, No. 14 Athol found itself down just two points after cutting into No. 3 Pioneer’s once eight-point lead.During the next stoppage, Panthers head coach Scott Thayer belted out “everybody relax” to his team...


MIAA girls basketball: Mahar, Frontier suffer road state tournament losses
03-04-2024 9:04 PM

Top-seeded Hoosac Valley certainly looked the part on Monday night.The Hurricanes shook off a strong start from visiting Mahar, turning a two-point lead after one quarter into a 32-13 halftime advantage.Hoosac pulled away for a 63-32 victory over the...


MIAA girls basketball: Maynard holds off charging Pioneer 42-41 in Division 5 Round of 16
03-04-2024 8:36 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

MAYNARD — The Pioneer girls basketball team seemed to have a counter for every punch Maynard threw on Monday in the MIAA Division 5 Round of 16. The seventh-seeded Tigers led 33-27 going into the fourth quarter, and while they held a lead throughout...


MIAA Div. 5 boys basketball: Brayden Thayer joins the 1,000 point club in Pioneer’s 65-37 Round of 32 win over Fenway (PHOTOS)
03-01-2024 9:45 PM

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

NORTHFIELD — It’ll be a birthday Pioneer Valley Regional junior Brayden Thayer will never forget. It was going to take a big year offensively for Thayer to become the 20th player in Pioneer history to hit the 1,000 point mark. He entered the season...


State Tournament Roundup: Franklin Tech girls basketball cruises past PV Christian
03-01-2024 9:43 PM

By GEORGE MILLER

TURNERS FALLS — The only real difficulty for Franklin Tech came in the fourth quarter Friday night, but oh, what a considerable difficulty it was.Pioneer Valley Christian, trailing 44-20 after three quarters, flew back into contention on the strength...

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