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By Don's Early Light

By Don’s Early Light: Army of One Protests Coach’s Departure

White River Junction — Paul Keane is fed up, and he’s not going to take it any more. The former Hartford High English teacher and current member of the School Board was so upset over the news of football coach Mike Stone’s resignation earlier this week that he took to the streets Friday to publicly show his displeasure. First Friday morning and then again later in the afternoon, Keane manned his post on the corner of Hartford Avenue and Maple Street in White River Junction

By Don’s Early Light: Hartford Football Coach is Leaving Home

Mike Stone is leaving home. The face of Hartford High football for more than a quarter-century, Stone is leaving his high school alma mater to start a new path he has yet to nail down. “I’m retiring from Hartford football; I’m retiring from my Hartford teaching job,” said Stone in a short phone interview Wednesday afternoon. While many in the Hartford football community and around the region had opinions on Stone’s future, the Hartford grad would not offer any indication. “Just say I am pursuing

By Don’s Early Light: Bowling for Respect in Hartford

Mark Hamilton looked out over the group Wednesday night, his eyes searching their concerned faces. “This is probably the first time many of you have seen each other since the lanes closed,” Hamilton said in his greeting. The crowd of nearly 50 bowlers and supporters sitting in the Hartford High cafeteria murmured their assent. Hamilton, the Hartford High bowling coach, welcomed them and thanked them for their support. Then, forcefully but quietly, simply but eloquently, Hamilton leaned over the lectern and summed up the situation:

Don Mahler: Apathy Not the Answer

It is the nature of the beast that a student-athlete can sometimes be viewed as living in a bubble. If an issue doesn’t affect the athlete, his or her team or school, then it probably has the life expectancy of a newly birthed Snapchat. But for just a moment I ask student-athletes to pop that bubble and reflect on the news of the day and understand that while there is no direct local connection, there is a critical connection we all need to make as

Don Mahler: A Call to Arms for the Raider Nation

Raider Nation arise! Now is the time for all good men, women and children to come to the aid of their high school boys basketball team. The late winter snowstorm that has snarled traffic, closed schools and generally played havoc with daily life has also impacted the New Hampshire Division II boys basketball semifinals. Originally scheduled for Wednesday at UNH’s Lundholm Gym, the semifinal doubleheader — featuring Lebanon vs. Portsmouth in the first game and Pembroke vs. Pelham in the second game — was moved

Don Mahler: A Diamond Giant Departs

By any measure, we lost a giant last week. By word of mouth we got the news, sad news, tragic news, tearful news: John Bagonzi had died Thursday at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center following a period of declining health. When they built that legendary place called old school — where guys like John Bagonzi earned their letters — I bet his name was on the cornerstone. Part John Wayne, part John Wooden, he was so many things to so many people. He wore so many hats

Don Mahler: Back On the Air; Rich and Woody Return to Radio

The boys are back in town. That’s right: Rich Parker and Rob Woodward are back on the air. And as Parker puts it, “Nothing has changed but the channel.” Starting Saturday, Parker, the Dartmouth College golf coach who played in the U.S. Open, and Woodward, a former member of the Boston Red Sox pitching staff, will be broadcasting their local sports and talk show on WUVR 98.9 FM and 1490 AM in the familiar 10 a.m.-noon time slot. It was back in early December that

Don Mahler: Valley Airwaves Go Silent; After Six Years, Irreverent Radio Show Suddenly Bids Farewell

For almost six years, the Rich and Woody radio show has been plugged into the ears of the Upper Valley. Every Saturday morning, Rich Parker, the Dartmouth College golf coach who once played in the U.S. Open, and Rob Woodward, a former pitcher with the Boston Red Sox, have been the hosts of a show known as The Sports Buzz on WTSL 1400 AM. Every Saturday, they bring their off-beat observations and spot-on opinions to sports issues that can affect Upper Valley athletes and impact

Don Mahler: The Good, Bad and Ugly of College Football

I usually stop caring about college football around the time Buddy Teevens puts his headset away for the winter. I mean, after all, the BCS has so badly messed up the postseason bowl situation that it’s just hard to get excited. And then came last weekend. It was the ultimate look at the good, the bad and the ugly of college football. And in one case, all three happened in one game. Let’s start from the top: The Good: How could you not be enthralled

Don Mahler: A Chance to Whoop It Up and Hoop It Up for Ed Kehoe

Let’s be honest — no group has a more directly intense and adversarial relationship than basketball coaches and referees. Almost by definition, it is an us-versus-them scenario every night. Except for this Friday. That’s when, in the Mascoma Valley Regional High School gymnasium, we’ll all be on the same team, united in the same cause. On that night, New Hampshire basketball officials from this side of the state will be putting on a night of basketball to help raise money for Hartford High girls basketball