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Independence Day Road Race Canceled for 2020
10:09AM / Thursday, May 21, 2020
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Following the announcement that the 2020 Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade has been cancelled, the organizers of the BMC Independence Day Run, a very popular 5K run held just before the parade kicks off, have decided to cancel the event.

This would have been the 35th anniversary of the Independence Day Run, which raises funds to benefit Berkshire Medical Center.

Organizers of the Independence Day Run cite the ongoing caution surrounding COVID-19 and the continuing need for social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus in the Berkshires.

The event is being planned for 2021 and it is hoped conditions at that time will allow for the continuation of this

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National High School Federation Offers Guidance on Return of Sports
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:45PM / Tuesday, May 19, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Do not expect this spring to be the last high school sports season impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.   That is the sobering takeaway from a 14-page report issued Tuesday by the National Federation of High School Associations in Indianopolis.   The national group's Sports Medicine Advisory Committee wrote the report to advise the NFHS' 51 member state associations as they think about a phased return to interscholastic athletics in consultation with state health departments.   "It is important to be clear that this is guidance for individual states to consider as they return to activities this fall," NFHS Executive Director Karissa

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American Legion Baseball Season Canceled
iBerkshires.com Sports,
03:47PM / Monday, May 11, 2020
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QUINCY, Mass. -- Massachusetts' American Legion Baseball season Monday became the latest sports league to see its season canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.   In a news release from the Department of Massachusetts Athletic Committee, Chairman Richard D. Paster Monday announced that the department is canceling the 2020 season effective immediately.   "This is a sad day indeed for American Legion Baseball in Massachusetts and marks only the second time since 1926 that there will be no program," Paster wrote "Let's hope life returns to normal in time for the 2021 season."   In a three-page memo to teams, post commanders, coaches and families,

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Youth Baseball, Softball Leagues Working to Salvage Seasons
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
06:26AM / Saturday, May 09, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Playing before an international television audience in Williamsport, Pa., is not the goal for Little Leaguers this year.   Playing games in their own hometowns will be victory enough.   Local youth baseball and softball officials are discussing how they can give youngsters an experience in the sport if and when state and local authorities give the green light.   Last week, Little League announced that it is following the lead of its colleagues in professional, college and high school sports by canceling the World Series and Regional tournaments because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It is not known how many other national competitions will follow

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Massachusetts Golf Courses Reopen Under Restrictions
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
11:14AM / Thursday, May 07, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The U.S. Golf Association's "Rules of Golf" runs more than 160 pages long.   On Thursday, Massachusetts golfers got a few more rules to follow, courtesy of the COVID-19 pandemic and the commonwealth's social distancing restrictions.   Local officials say the game's devotees will be ready to do whatever it takes to get back on the course.   "We're ready," said Eric Mabee, the head pro at the Country Club of Pittsfield.   "[Social distancing] is going to be up to the players. That's their civic duty to maintain that."   It will be impossible for the courses themselves to

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Two Williams Men's Lacrosse Players Drafted by MLL
Williams Sports Information,
10:18PM / Monday, May 04, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS. – With the 19th pick in the 2020 Major League Lacrosse Draft the Philadelphia Barrage made Brendan Hoffman a senior midfielder and captain for George McCormack's Williams Ephs the first player from Williams College to be drafted by Major League Lacrosse.   Eleven picks later the New York Lizards selected senior captain and long stick middie Rock Stewart in round five.    Since the NCAA ended all spring sports play on March 13th due to the coronavirus pandemic all current senior lacrosse players were granted another year of eligibility. Hoffman, the 2020 NCAA DIII Player of the Year honoree by US Lacrosse magazine was looking to pursue a graduate

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NECBL Commissioner: Canceling Season the 'Responsible Thing to Do'
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:35PM / Saturday, May 02, 2020
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NECBL had to weigh the well-being of players and the logistics of trying for a postponed season before making the decision  to cancel.  NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The directors of the New England Collegiate Baseball League waited as long as they could to hold a vote no one wanted to take and affirm a decision that was largely out of their hands.   "We wanted to be a ray of hope for our communities, but the ramifications of doing so felt reckless," NECBL Commissioner Sean McGrath said on Saturday morning.   Instead, the board Friday had the responsible but unenviable task of informing the league's players, fans and communities that it would not be

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From the Purple Valley to the Valley of the Sun: Williamstown's Benzinger Talks About Signing NFL Deal
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
04:05PM / Sunday, April 26, 2020
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- Jake Benzinger has never seen Arizona.   If all goes according to plans, Arizonans will be seeing a lot of Jake Benzinger in the years ahead.   “I’ve never been to Arizona before, not even to see the Grand Canyon or anything,” Benzinger said Sunday afternoon in a telephone interview from his parents’ home. “I’ve got a couple of things to check off the bucket list when I get out there.   “I’m going to have to get acclimated to the temperature. It’s very different than it is in Williamstown.”   It’s even different than Winston-Salem, N.C., where the 2015 Mount Greylock

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Williamstown's Benzinger Signs as NFL Free Agent
iBerkshires.com Sports,
07:56PM / Saturday, April 25, 2020
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Mount Greylock Regional School graduate Jake Benzinger Saturday signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Cardinals shortly after the conclusion of the NFL Draft, according to his college football program.   At just after 7 p.m., the Wake Forest University football program announced on Twitter that the senior offensive tackle is, "On his way to Arizona!."   "I could not be prouder of Jake," said Wake Forest coach Dave Clawson, a Williams College graduate, on Twitter. "He was an under-recruited player, who through sheer determination and work ethic willed himself into being an outstanding tackle.   "His frame, athleticism and work ethic will

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Running Community Adapts to COVID-19 Reality
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires.com Sports
04:08AM / Sunday, April 19, 2020
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The commonwealth’s premier road race may be shut down, but that will not keep down Berkshire County’s running enthusiasts.   Monday should be marathon day in Massachusetts, but the 124th running of the Boston Marathon has been postponed until at least September by the Boston Athletic Association in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.   On Saturday, Gov. Charlie Baker recognized the loss of the event.   “This year, while the race will not be taking place on Monday, the sentiment, I think we all feel here in Massachusetts on marathon Monday remains true: Massachusetts is strong, we are resilient, and we can run any marathon anybody wants us to run,” Baker

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