The fall sports season is in full swing, and while local teams have had their share of hits and misses, everyone is thrilled to be back in action, enjoying a normal campaign.

Here’s a look back at the week that was:


Freeport’s football team is off to a 2-0 start. After opening with a 33-0 home victory over Madison, the Falcons handled visiting John Bapst Saturday, 46-12. Aidan Heath opened the scoring with a 1-yard touchdown run and a 52-yard interception return for a score by Cooper Delois made it 12-0 after one quarter. In the second period, Tony Casale scored on runs of 2 and 24 yards, Noah Michaud recovered a fumble (caused by Danny Casale) in the end zone and Tony Casale hit Heath with a 27-yard TD pass for a 40-0 advantage at the half. Jackson Carr added Freeport’s final points on a 58-yard run in the third period. The Falcons take their first road trip Friday when they travel to Foxcroft Academy (2-0).

Yarmouth got in the win column for the first time Saturday. After starting with a 54-8 loss at Cheverus, the Clippers defeated visiting Traip Academy, 46-14. Spencer LaBrecque put Yarmouth ahead to stay with a 7-yard touchdown run and a two-point conversion. Jaxson Dauphinee added a 40-yard TD run before the Rangers answered to make the score, 14-6, after one period. The Clippers broke it open in the second quarter, as LaBrecque (12 carries, 117 yards, three touchdowns) had touchdown runs of 15 yards and 1 yard and Dauphinee added a TD rush of 10 yards to make it 34-6. Dauphinee (16 rushes, 140 yards, three TDs) added a 6-yard touchdown run in the third period for a 40-6 advantage, then Rufus MacVane added the final points in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard TD run. Yarmouth stays home Friday to welcome Spruce Mountain (1-1).

Falmouth/Greely lost its opener to visiting Gorham, 16-6. The squad was supposed to host Windham Saturday, but that game was canceled. Falmouth/Greely goes to Mt. Blue (0-1) Friday.

Boys’ soccer

Yarmouth’s Adam McLaughlin boots the ball up field as Freeport’s Owen Rusiecki looks on during the Clippers’ 4-0 win last week. Shawn Patrick Ouellette / Portland Press Herald

Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the reigning Class B champion, not only gave its longtime coach Mike Hagerty a landmark win last week (see story), but is off to a perfect start this fall. The Clippers opened with a 2-0 win at Cape Elizabeth, then blanked both visiting Freeport and host York by 4-0 scores. Against the Falcons, Steve Fulton scored in the first half, then Sutter Augur, Fulton again and Matt Robichaud added second half goals.

“At halftime, we talked about switching fields, and if we did, we knew we’d get them because they’d over-shift,” Augur said.

“It’s great to be back and have a postseason to look forward to this year,” Fulton said. “It’s fun working toward something. We approach every game we play to win. Starting the

When the vaccines for Covid-19 became widely available this spring, there was widespread optimism that the pandemic would wind down quickly and the economy would spring back to full strength. No such luck. The highly contagious Delta variant of the virus, which is causing a serious wave of infections and hospitalizations, is doing substantial damage to the economic recovery.
This was clear in the August employment report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. After adding close to 1 million jobs in both June and July, businesses added fewer than a quarter million jobs last month. That’s not bad in typical times, but not good when the economy is still down over 5 million jobs from before the pandemic.
The dramatic comedown in job growth was driven by businesses that either closed or lost sales due to the virus. Almost half a million more people were unable to work last month because the pandemic forced their employers to scale back. The biggest hit was to restaurants and bars, which had added close to 300,000 jobs in July but were then forced to cut payrolls in August. Hotels added workers, though barely, and recreational activities, which include everything from baseball games to Broadway, pulled way back on added jobs from previous months.
The Delta variant has also caused many businesses to delay requiring workers to return to their offices, which also hinders the economic recovery. Not long ago, many businesses were targeting this return for after Labor Day, but the beginning of 2022 now appears more likely. This is a blow to retailers and the service industry that cater to office workers, and it’s thus not surprising that transit-related jobs fell last month. Airlines continue to bring back workers, but they won’t be able to do so much longer if air travel continues to wane as it has in recent weeks. Nervous travelers are suddenly more cautious, and governments are reimposing travel restrictions.
Delta is further scrambling global supply chains, disrupting homebuilders, who are grappling with shortages of everything from lumber to appliances. Housing demand is booming, but builders can’t put up homes any faster for lack of materials. Jobs in vehicle manufacturing and at dealerships are stuck as the industry can’t get the semiconductors it needs to make cars and trucks. Vehicle sales have flagged, but not because people don’t want to buy. They do. There are just so few cars to buy that vehicle prices have gone parabolic.
Global supply chain issues have caused prices to jump for many goods, and while this will not persist, Delta ensures the higher prices will eat away at our purchasing power and spending for longer, costing us jobs. Just a few weeks ago, China shut down a key terminal at a major port after Delta had infected a dock worker. The cost of shipping a container on different East-West routes, which at this time of year will be filled with Christmas goods, is up 360% from a year ago.
Record job

With exactly one week to go until Pep Guardiola and his Manchester City squad take to the field to secure match fitness, first-team stars and a whole host of academy prospects have returned to training this week.

The Premier League champions are due to take on Championship outfit Preston North End at the Academy Stadium next week, in the first of two pre-season matches, before they travel to France to face City Football Group’s ES Troyes AC.

With many of the first-team squad still on holiday following their involvement in Copa America and the European Championships, the pre-season squad will be largely made up of academy names – here is a full list of everyone spotted so far!

READ MORE: Fabrizio Romano provides major update on €50M defensive pursuit

READ MORE: Premier league trio eye move for Man City midfielder this summer

Pep Guardiola has obviously returned to the City Football Academy this week, as he gears up for his sixth season at the Etihad Stadium, and will be looking to retain his Premier League crown for the second-time.

On the coaching front, there was also a new face in training, with Carlos Vicens joining the first-team set-up for the first time since his promotion from the academy system, alongside the familiar face of Juanma Lillo.

(Photo via Manchester City)

(Photo via Manchester City)

Moving on to the first-team stars that have returned for duty, Benjamin Mendy will be looking to revive his career at the club, while he is joined by fellow defenders Philippe Sandler and goalkeeper Scott Carson.

Riyad Mahrez and Fernandinho have both also reported for duty, and are arguably the two biggest names to return for pre-season training and will go a long way in aiding the development and experiences of the younger contingent.

A quartet of young talents have also been captured in training, with former Juventus prospect Pablo Moreno joined by Brazilian duo Yan Couto – who spent last season on loan at Girona – and new signing, Diego Rosa. Local prospect Shea Charles also joined the proceedings, and has been with the club since the age of eight.

READ MORE: English side look towards Man City striker as possible recruit

READ MORE: Danny Ings has his sights set on two Premier League clubs

There is an understanding that Zack Steffen could have already returned for first-team training, although the USA international was not captured in official club photographers or social media footage.

As exclusively revealed by City Xtra, Manchester City’s Brazilian pairing of Ederson and Gabriel Jesus will not return to training until August 8th, and so there is an expectation that they will miss the Community Shield clash with Leicester.

Full list of players spotted: Scott Carson, Yan Couto, Philippe Sandler, Benjamin Mendy, Fernandinho, Diego Rosa, Riyad Mahrez, Pablo Moreno.

You can follow us for live updates here: @City_Xtra

Less than 1% of UK travel insurance policies provide people with full comprehensive cover for Covid-related disruption, research by Which? has found.

The consumer body analysed 263 travel insurance policies and rated only two as “complete”, meaning they protected travellers against a full range of possibilities.

Meanwhile, 34 policies – including some of those offered by companies including Esure and Sheilas’ Wheels – were labelled basic, the lowest ranking.

Many commentators have said that for anyone going on a trip, having travel insurance that includes some form of Covid cover is vital, but Which? said some policies offered “next to no cover” when it came to having to cancel for reasons related to the coronavirus, while only a minority provided “meaningful” cover against several plausible threats to a holiday.

Travel insurers typically rewrote their policies last year to bar future cancellation claims from passengers prevented from travelling by the imposition of a government lockdown.

Which? has previously claimed that many travellers were being left with a false impression about the protection they would enjoy.

The two policies rated as complete – HSBC Select and Cover and Barclays Travel Pack – received the highest score because they protect travellers against three significant risks: cancellation because of changes in advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office or government lockdowns prohibiting travel; testing positive for Covid or being told to self-isolate; and being hit with medical and repatriation costs.

A further 85 policies were ranked superior, providing cancellation cover for travellers having to self-isolate without a positive test, but not for FCDO advice changing.

Just over half of the policies (142) were ranked low, including some from providers such as Nationwide and Admiral.

Basic policies provide travellers with cover for related emergency medical costs and repatriation but not for cancelling a trip if a traveller contracts Covid-19.

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Gareth Shaw, the head of Which? Money, said: “As the removal of Portugal from the green list shows, last-minute disruption to holiday plans can happen, and our research shows that many travel insurers don’t offer much protection if it does.”

Some of those who were planning a trip to Portugal or were out there when the UK government removed the country from the travel green list this month will not have been covered by their insurance.

For example, it “seems highly unlikely” that anyone who elected to cut short their Portugal holiday so they could return to the UK before Portugal went on to the amber list, would be able to claim on their travel insurance, said Kevin Pratt of the comparison website Forbes Advisor UK.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Fourteen months after the pandemic triggered a national emergency, the final chapter of the U.S. economic recovery may begin this month, with rapid changes starting with the end of enhanced unemployment benefits in half the states and ending in the fall’s expected reopening of schools and universities.

Customers drink, eat and talk at well-spaced tables on Almanac Taproom’s former-parking lot-turned-pandemic-beer-garden in Alameda, California, U.S. June 4, 2021. REUTERS/Ann Saphir

Along the way, Major League Baseball stadiums are slated to return to full capacity, and the largest state economy, California, on June 15 will shed its final COVID-era restrictions and give bars, restaurants and other businesses a green light on the road to normal.

That same day in Washington, the U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to open debate about when and how to cut the economy loose from its crisis-fighting monetary policy and shift to managing what is hoped to be a long economic expansion.

The questions about just what the post-pandemic economy will look like are myriad: How many people will return to jobs? How many businesses will have survived or failed? How resilient will the country be when pandemic supports are withdrawn? The answers should start to come soon.

“The timing really is awesome,” Porchlight Brewing Co. general manager Tyson Herzog said of the just-in-time-for-summer end of California’s restrictions, which closed many restaurants for parts of last year and kept them under strict limits during the fight against the virus.

An $800 billion small business assistance program helped many firms survive, including Herzog’s. After a year of home-delivering beer in his 1999 Dodge Caravan he plans to hire more onsite staff and expand production amid already record sales.

Since coronavirus vaccines rolled out in December, forecasts have pointed to record-breaking numbers this year, including the fastest annual gross domestic product growth in nearly 40 years.

More than 60% of people 12 years and older are at least partially vaccinated. The rate of new infections and deaths has plummeted, while confidence, travel, and human socializing – and the commerce that accompanies all that – have risen steadily.

(GraphicS; Air travel picks up as infections drop – )

Still, the pieces have not yet clicked in unison.

Companies in May added 559,000 jobs, but the total number remains 7.6 million short of early 2020. About 3.6 million more people are unemployed, and the labor force is 3.5 million smaller.

Shortages of supplies, workers and raw materials have crimped the recovery with businesses curtailing hours, turning away customers, or delaying filling orders. The Fed’s most recent national economic snapshot referenced shortages 44 times, compared with 17 in January and three a year ago.

Economists expect that to ease. The pandemic put the economy into what some likened to an induced coma. Shaking off the stupor takes time, and is complicated by some of the programs used to cushion the economy’s sharp drop last spring.

Stimulus payments and low interest rates, for example, fueled a

Royal Caribbean International has announced that six of its ships will begin sailing from major United States cruise ports in Florida and Texas in July and August.

The comeback will kick off on July 2nd in Miami, with Freedom of the Seas embarking on a special Fourth of July weekend sailing to Perfect Day at CocoCay.

By the end of August, 12 Royal Caribbean ships will be cruising once again across the Bahamas, Caribbean, Alaska and Europe.

Rivals Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line have confirmed similar comebacks.

On the heels of the first cruise in Royal Caribbean’s return to the United States will be the debut of the brand-new Odyssey of the Seas on July 3rd.

The ship will set sail from Fort Lauderdale on new six- and eight-night Caribbean cruises, to soon be followed by Allure, Symphony, Independence and Mariner of the Seas.

In the coming weeks, the cruise line will announce its plans to reintroduce its full fleet around the globe by year’s end.

The 2021 summer cruises are available to book today.

“This is it. Holidaymakers can finally plan to take their precious time off this summer and truly get away after what has been a challenging time for everyone.

“I would like to sincerely thank our guests and travel partners for their incredible patience and understanding during this very difficult period,” said Michael Bayley, president of Royal Caribbean International.

“Thanks in large part to the successful rollout of vaccines, the world of adventure is beginning to open up, and we are all excited to start delivering great holidays to our guests, who have increasingly told us they are getting vaccinated.”

The expanded summer line-up will go beyond the United States to include international ports across the Atlantic, like Barcelona and Rome, when Harmony of the Seas returns to Europe.

Starting August 15th, the Oasis Class ship will set sail on 7-night itineraries to the Western Mediterranean and visit iconic destinations like Palma de Mallorca, Spain and Provence, France.

The new United States and Europe cruises extend Royal Caribbean’s previously announced plans to return to sailing, which include Adventure of the Seas departing from the Bahamas on June 12th as well as Anthem of the Seas sailing out of the UK and Jewel of the Seas from Cyprus in July.

High school football in Section III is set for a fall return for the 2021 season.

After COVID-19 canceled the fall high school football season last year and a shortened spring season was played, the tentative schedule approved by the section’s athletic council has things starting to get back to what looks like a more usual season. 

For some teams this will be the first time they strap up the pads in two years. Spring football was an option in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, but not every program opted in. And, with all the COVID protocols, there wasn’t a postseason.

Back to action

The 2021 season is set to kick off on Friday, Sept. 3, according to the schedule. That is a week later than usual, but the same time the season was set to begin last year. Some teams will play games the first weekend while others may opt for scrimmages.

If teams opt to play a game that first weekend then they will bring their regular season game total up to eight, an increase from the usual seven game schedule.

The ninth week of the season will be the start of playoffs. That is set for Friday, Oct. 29.

Big-time matchups

A game that is always circled on the schedule is one of the oldest rivalries in high school football: Thomas R. Proctor and Rome Free Academy. That game is set to take place on Friday, Sept. 24 at RFA this season.

That weekend is packed with big games as the Whitesboro Warriors are scheduled take on the New Hartford Spartans and Frankfort-Schuyler is set to travel to Dolgeville to take on the Blue Devils.

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Class re-alignments

There’s a lot of movement along classes in the section for the 2021 season.

Class AA saw a shakeup as West Genesee dropped from AA to A. The switch to class A has re-aligned the divisions in class A. Class A American now consists of Auburn, Cristian Brothers Academy, East Syracuse Minoa, Fayetteville-Manlius, Jamesville-DeWitt and West Genesee and Class A National will consist of Carthage, Central Square, Fulton, Indian River and Whitesboro.

Class B will add Mexico from the independents this year. Class B now has three divisions, North, Central and West. Camden, Mexico and Oneida are in the North division. Central Valley Academy, Chittenango, New Hartford and Syracuse Tech are the Central division and Cortland, Homer, Marcellus and Westhill will play in the West division.

Class C has no new additions, but they did lose Hannibal and Jordan-Elbridge. Both of those programs are now independents.

Adirondack makes the move from 8-man to class D this year. With this move, the 8-man league has re-aligned from their class C and class D divisions to a North-West division and South-East division. North-West will consist of

WENATCHEE — Led by manufacturing and leisure and hospitality sectors, jobs in Chelan and Douglas counties are on the rebound.

Statistics from the state Employment Security Department for April show dramatic improvement over a year ago, when the pandemic shuttered businesses and the employment rate climbed to 16.1%. This year, April’s employment rate is at 6.4%, showing a return of 5,100 of the nonfarm jobs lost last year.

The region, now recording 44,600 jobs, is still down 1,000 jobs overall from April 2019.

Wenatchee MSA unemployment rate.png

The unemployment rate for the Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area, which encompasses Chelan and Douglas counties, fell between April 2020 and April 2021.

“This upturn was encouraging economic news,” regional economist Don Meseck in his Labor Area Summary report released Thursday. “This April’s 12.9% and 5,100 job increase was the first month in the past 12 months — since the start of COVID-19 related layoffs in April 2020 — in which the labor market registered year-over-year job growth.”

The two industries accounting for the biggest local turnaround are:

  • Leisure and hospitality, which added 2,200 jobs this April compared to last April, a 59.5% increase
  • Manufacturing, which added 400 jobs, a 20% boost.

Both industries are ahead of statewide percentage increases. Those two sectors also are ahead of the jobs tallied in March, with manufacturing up 100 jobs and leisure and hospitality up 300. Leisure and hospitality jobs were hit harder than any other sector in the Wenatchee Metropolitan Statistical Area, Meseck said. The current total of 5,900 jobs is still down 800 jobs from April 2019’s 6,700 jobs.

The construction industry, also one of the most active in the region, saw a 500-job boost this April compared to last April, but, with 3,000 jobs, was even with the figures from March. That also was the case with retail jobs, which accounted for 6,400 jobs this April, echoing the numbers from the previous month, but up 1,100 jobs (20.8%) from April 2020.

Statewide, retail trade jobs saw a 15.4% gain across all subsectors, which include motor vehicle and parts dealers, building material and garden supply stores, food and beverage stores, general merchandise stores and other retail stores.

Meseck noted that the subsector accounting for more than half of the added retail jobs were in “other retail trade” which are internet shopping firms.

A credit rating agency is forecasting a full job recovery for Illinois and the rest of the country won’t happen until the end of 2022. 

Fitch Ratings says the job market was hit hard by the pandemic and, despite recent monthly gains, the recovery in employment has lagged output. Unemployment will not fall back to 4.3%, which is Fitch Ratings’ estimate of the natural rate, until the fourth quarter of next year. 

Olu Sonola, senior director with Fitch Ratings, said the huge shock to the labor-intensive leisure and transport industries hit labor demand hard and recovery will be slow. 

“The outsized effect that the pandemic had on the leisure and hospitality and transportation sector and our expectation is that sector will be a drag and we won’t see a full recovery there until 2024,” Sonola said. 

Hotels and restaurants in Illinois were crippled during the pandemic with state-imposed capacity limits that remain in place. 

The unemployment rate in Illinois is about 7%. As of May 1, nearly 450,000 Illinoisans were collecting unemployment benefits. 

Stimulus measures and the reopening of face-to-face service industries now are boosting labor demand. Fitch expects payrolls to expand by 4.6 million jobs this year. 

According to Illinois Policy, while total payrolls in Illinois were up 300, private sector jobs took a beating in April and lost 4,000 positions. 

Sonola said another factor that makes this job market unique is that some people may have quit the workforce entirely. 

“We think that quite a number of people (are) over the age of 55 and a lot of those people will be discouraged,” Sonola said. “We think that workers that dropped out of the labor force would also likely prolong that full recovery.” 

Illinois is one of six states that largely dominate employment and economic output. The others are California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. On aggregate, these six states account for 41% of pre-pandemic employment and 45% of GDP. They also account for 40% of the leisure and transportation sector. 

Illinois accounts for 4% of U.S. employment, which was down 6.7% in March 2021 compared to January 2020, before the pandemic began. 

PALM HARBOR, FL / ACCESSWIRE / April 30, 2021 / The rebound in Leisure & Hospitality (L&H) employment that began in May 2020 will continue with a second-wave peak expected in July 2021. There was a surge in COVID-19 cases during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays that led to many states returning to partial lockdowns. Those actions had a dampening effect on employment.


L&H employment hit bottom at almost 8.7 million jobs in April 2020. In February 2021, it had risen to 13.5 million. March data show it has creeped up to 13.8 million jobs.


(from the graph, below) U.S. employment in the L&H industry will peak at around 15.75 million in July 2021, then slip after the end of the summer tourism season. The recovery will likely not be completed until the end of 2021 or the first half of 2022.


L&H is a super-sector that contains the Arts, Entertainment, & Recreation sector and the Accommodation & Food Services sector as defined by the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). L&H made up 11% of all jobs in the U.S. economy as of February 2020.

The rebound for this industry in the initial months is due to some states reopening with social distancing measures in place in May 2020. The slower growth since July of the same year has been from hesitant local consumers and travelers trickling back into restaurants, hotels, bars, theaters, sporting events, concerts, theme parks, and other public venues.

Geographic Solutions, Inc. explored its internal labor market data and tested their optimal statistical relationships with L&H to conduct forecasts of employment in the industry. Geographic Solutions did not just deploy its internal labor market data strictly from the L&H industry into the analysis but also from its job openings in occupations related to air travel. The forecasts are monthly and cover March through September of 2021.

Employment as seen in the following table and chart is expected to peak around 15.8 million in July 2021. After this very active tourism season, it is expected to fall to 15.2 million by the end of the forecast timeline, remaining more than 10% below its February 2020 peak of 16.9 million total. The recovery will likely not be completed until the end of 2021 or the first half of 2022.

About Geographic Solutions

Geographic Solutions is the nation’s leading provider of software solutions for workforce development, unemployment insurance, labor market information, human services, corrections, education, employment, and training. The company has developed state-of-the-art systems for agencies in more than 35 states. Geographic Solutions’ software is available to more than 75% of the job seekers in the country. For more information, visit or call 727-786-7955.


Hallie Leverich-Purvis, Marketing and Communications Team Lead
Geographic Solutions, Inc.
727-786-7955, ext. 220
[email protected]

SOURCE: Geographic Solutions, Inc.

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