Sports Talk

In a time filled with off the field issues, our Castleton sports teams have not let it affect their play.  In men’s soccer, after a tough away loss to New England College, the friendly confines of Spartan Stadium helped the guys score 10 goals in the following two games; both wins.
On the women’s side, three straight wins had the lady Spartans at 2-0 in conference play heading into last weekend’s games.  In field hockey, lead by NAC player of the week, Rachel Preusser, the ladies entered this past weekend sitting tied atop the conference with three Maine rivals.
The men’s cross country team has already won two meets this year, and the women have come up just short three times already.
Moving onto the professional sports world last week the greatest closer in baseball history, Mariano Rivera, pitched his last game in Yankee Stadium.  The 19-year career of “Mo” has finally come to a close, but his legacy will live forever.  The legendary cutter he threw past hitter after hitter will never be duplicated, nor will his record of 652 regular season saves ever be topped.
He turned the last inning of every game, where so many others struggle, into a cakewalk.  But that is not the reason he received a war hero’s sendoff at the stadium last Wednesday.  Rivera is the consummate professional.  Both on and off the field, he is adored by all. Even those who support Yankee rivals had to stand and applaud the great Rivera, even if they don’t like to admit it.
In his last appearance, he was taken out of the game by two first class Yankees: Andy Pettitte and the captain, Derek Jeter.  Mo embraced Andy and the tears began to flow.  There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.  Even rewatching the video I still begin to tear up and get chills.  

For the Yankees, it is the end of an era.  Pettitte is also retiring this year and after the retirement of former catcher Jorge Posada two years ago, the dynasties in the late 90’s are now just memories.  

Unfortunately, the Yanks will be missing the playoffs for only the second time in Rivera’s career. Boston, Detroit and Oakland won their respective American League divisions, while Atlanta, St. Louis and Los Angeles took care of business in the National League.  My pick to win it all is the Dodgers.  They have the best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw and exciting offensive players in Hanley Ramirez and the youthful, exuberant Yasiel Puig.
The NFL is already a quarter of the way through its regular season and there are storylines for days.  There seems to be a changing of the guard at the top of the standings.  Storied franchises like the New York Giants and Pittsburgh Steelers have started terribly, while the up and coming Seattle Seahawks, as well as the Denver Broncos look to be on a collision course for the Super Bowl in February.

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