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THE FINAL WORD: A PERFECT AFTERNOON ON THE POSTSEASON DIAMONDS (2017-05-24)
I think I have a finger on the pulse of what’s going on in the high school sports world. And, I pride myself on my insight .

While Tuesday will go down as one of the best days in postseason history for Valley baseball and softball teams, it was a confidence-shattering afternoon for yours truly. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: A FEW THOUGHTS ON 'COACH HENDERSHOT,' AND THE SPRING SEASON (2017-04-28)
I was fresh out of college, working at The Daily Review and at my first non-game assignment.

I walked into the Towanda High School cafeteria for the NTL East baseball all-star meeting, conducted by the coaches, and didn’t really know any of the coaches. Back in the days before the Internet, we had to attend those meetings, or it could take awhile to get the results. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: QUITE A START TO BASEBALL SEASON IN VALLEY ... AND MUCH MORE (2017-04-18)
The Valley baseball teams are off to quite a start in the 2017 campaign, posting a combined 25-3 record.

More impressive is that all three losses come to each other, with Sayre beating Athens 7-1, Athens edging  Waverly 3-1, and Waverly topping Tioga 12-5. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST WEEK OF THE SPRING SEASON (2017-04-05)
Typical for this time of year, the spring season has been adversely affected by Mother Nature, but it’s not as bad as you might think.

Last year, several teams in the area were not able to get a game in until April 11. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: PUTTING A BOW ON THE 2016-17 WINTER SEASON (2017-03-26)
The 2016-17 winter season will long be remembered for a number of reasons.

It marked the end of stellar careers for a number of remarkable athletes in an array of sports. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: ATHENS' COURTNEY, LADY REDSKINS TOP "SUPER 7 STORYLINES" OF WINTER SEASON (2017-03-25)
I’ve talked about storylines in the past and how they normally come in one of four realms: the start of a storyline, the continuation of one, the likely culmination of one, or a storyline totally out of the blue.

This winter season is no different. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017-18 WRESTLING SEASON (2017-03-24)
There were some highs and lows associated with the 2016-17 wrestling season.

Athens enjoyed its best season in years and had four wrestlers advance to States, while Tioga continued its march toward Section IV dominance. However, Waverly and Sayre each suffered through another year with low numbers and few highlights. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017-18 BOYS BASKETBALL SEASON (2017-03-23)
All four boys basketball teams in the Valley qualified for the postseason, but there’s a great deal of room for improvement next season for three of the four.
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: A LOOK AHEAD TO THE 2017-18 GIRLS BASKETBALL SEASON (2017-03-22)
When it comes to the girls basketball in the Valley, 2017-18 couldn’t possibly get any better than this year, could it?

I mean all four teams qualified for the postseason, and three of the four won 19 games or more. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: THOUGHTS ON THE SAYRE GIRLS' HISTORIC SEASON ... AND MORE (2017-03-19)
While there will likely be debate about where this Sayre girls basketball teams falls in terms of talent in comparison to its predecessors, there is one thing no one can debate: this Lady Redskins team accomplished several things no other team could.

Those accomplishments include a school-record 23 wins, the program’s first-ever District 4 title, and the first state playoff win in program history. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: ON BRIAN COURTNEY AND A SPECIAL GROUP OF SENIORS ... AND MORE (2017-03-13)
During the last four wrestling seasons, I’ve had the privilege of covering Athens senior Brian Courtney.

I watched in awe as a skinny, floppy-haired freshman bounced back from a late-season appendectomy to win the North Section, District 4, and North Region titles. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: A WILD POSTSEASON RIDE ON THE HARDWOODS (2017-03-03)
And then there were three.

Three Valley hoop teams remain alive in the postseason with the Sayre girls winning the program’s first-ever District 4 title, the Waverly boys playing tonight for their first Section IV title in 21 years, and the Athens boys are one win away from a state playoff berth. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: WRESTLING, MORE WRESTLING, AND A LITTLE HOOP (2017-02-27)
Wrestling was on center stage on both sides of the border this weekend and the Valley grapplers represented themselves and their programs quite well.

Tioga had a pair of state medal-winners at the New York State Championships, while Athens crowned a pair of District 4 champs and had six advance to this weekend’s Regional tournament. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: ANOTHER OUTSTANDING WEEKEND FOR VALLEY ATHLETES (2017-02-22)
It was another big weekend for Valley athletes with the highlights being six Athens Wildcats winning North Section titles, and the Waverly boys bowling team winning the Section IV State Qualifier.
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THE FINAL WORD: WHAT A WEEKEND FOR VALLEY TEAMS, STANDOUTS (2017-02-14)
Section IV champions, Section IV record-holder, a major milestone, a “Showdown” champion, Section IV Class champions, and IAC champs — it was some weekend for the locals on the mats, the hardwoods (both basketball and bowling), and the pool. ...more

THE FINAL WORD: THOUGHTS ON WRESTLING, HOOPS (2017-01-22)
The winter season is the most chaotic of the high school sports year, leading to long nights and, for me, something has to give and it’s usually “The Final Word.”

I’m going to try to be better about putting my two cents out there for the remainder of the season, beginning today with a look at the wrestling and basketball scenes. ...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: A BAKER'S DOZEN — TOP STORIES OF 2016 (2016-12-31)
While 2016 may not be remembered fondly nationally and on the world scene, it was an incredible year for high school sports in the Valley.

It was a year of “firsts” with several programs making their first appearances in Section IV or District IV finals.

Individually, it was also an incredible season with a couple of state champions — Athens’ Brian Courtney and Breana Gambrell, and a slew of medalists.

As I've said in the past, lists are like … well, everyone has one.

Here is one person's list — from 13 to 1 — of the "Baker's Dozen — Top Stories of 2016 ...more

THE FINAL WORD: THOUGHTS ON THE WINTER SPORTS SEASON TO THIS POINT (2016-12-12)
The winter season is about two weeks old and the efforts from the Tioga wrestling team at the Marino Invitational in Webster, N.Y., and that of Athens at its own Jarvis Memorial really caught my eye.
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FROM THE PRESS BOX: SO MUCH TO BE THANKFUL FOR, INCLUDING THE WINTER SPORTS SEASON (2016-11-24)
Today is a day to be thankful.

I can honestly say I’m thankful every day for my lovely muse and the driving force in my life — Nicole Birney.
...more

FROM THE PRESS BOX: PUTTING A BOW ON THE 2016 FALL SEASON (2016-11-19)
The end of the 2016 fall season brings to a close the stellar careers of several senior standouts in an array of sports.
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