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:

Football

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

  • Brits are working again, as new data shows the number of employees has returned to pre-pandemic levels
  • But the travel industry is bracing for a wave of redundancies once furlough support ends
  • JD Sports’ US expansion has paid off, as demand for sports fashion booms

UK labour market regains pre-pandemic strength

The UK jobs market is booming, but will the impending end to furlough temper its expansion?

The latest figures from the Office for National Statistics showed another 241,000 employees were added to UK payrolls in August, taking the total number of people in work to 29.1m – a level last recorded in February 2020. Meanwhile the number of job vacancies during the three months to August reached 1.03m, breaching the 1m mark for the first time and around a quarter of a million higher than the number of vacancies between January and March 2020.

For those who have been holidaying in the UK over the summer and noticed the number of job ads in restaurant windows, it will come as little surprise that the sector which saw the biggest rise in vacancies was accommodation and food service. Vacancies here rose by 75 per cent, although the increase may drop as seasonal factors fall away. 

Those in work are still enjoying strong pay growth. Average pay was up 8.3 per cent in May to July, although the market is being distorted by a decline in low-paying jobs and sharp wage inflation in sectors where there are severe shortages of workers, such as haulage.

But the big question remains: what effect will the ending of furlough support later this month have on the jobs market? The ONS reported that more than 1m people were still being supported by the furlough scheme at the end of August. GD

Read more: 

Is there a national labour shortage?

What does the lorry driver shortage mean for supermarket earnings?

Save travel industry by ending harsh rules, says ABTA

When the government does withdraw coronavirus job support, travel companies are likely to be hit harder than most. The UK’s leading travel agency body warned today that the industry faces a wave of redundancies when the furlough scheme ends later this month.

The Association of British Travel Agents argued the government should kill its current traffic light system, maintaining only a red list for the highest risk destinations. It also called for the end of expensive PCR testing for vaccinated travellers returning from “lower-risk countries”. New foreign holiday bookings this summer were down 83 per cent on 2019, ABTA said, while 58 per cent of holidays booked for July and August had to be postponed or cancelled. 

The government is reportedly considering changing testing requirements, and the traffic light system could end within weeks. But the industry is demanding action soon. On Monday, Heathrow Airport said that its August traffic figures were down 71 per cent compared to 2019, adding it had gone from being Europe’s busiest airport to only the 10th busiest. AH 

Further reading: 

EasyJet

Behind a pair of goals from Riley Intrator, the Smith Academy boys soccer team earned a 2-1 road win over Hopkins Saturday afternoon.

With both teams still scoreless halfway through the match, Ben Hudzik changed that by connecting with Intrator for his then first goal of the season.

As the Falcons continued to cling to their slim 1-0 lead nearing the 60-minute mark, Intrator struck again. However, this time, Griffin Goldman was awarded the assist to extend their team’s cushion to 2-0.

During the match’s final minutes, Andrew Ciaglo helped the Golden Hawks avoid being shutout behind his first goal of the year.

In the end, it wasn’t enough as Smith Academy claimed its season-opener while Hopkins has dropped two consecutive games since defeating Renaissance Tuesday.

The Falcons will now welcome Pioneer Valley to town on Wednesday, Sept. 15, at 4 p.m., while the Golden Hawks travel to face Greenfield scheduled for the same time on Monday, Sept. 13.

Boys Soccer

Saturday, Sep. 11

CHURCHILL

Westfield 5, Amherst 5 – Box Score

Frontier 4, Mount Greylock 0 – Box Score

Ludlow 3, Pittsfield 0 – Box Score

Minnechaug 2, Pope Francis 1 – Box Score

HOLLEY

West Springfield 8, Chicopee Comp 0 – Box Score

MORIARTY

Frontier 4, Mount Greylock 0 – Box Score

SCHMID

Smith Academy 2, Hopkins 1 – Box Score

Springfield International Charter School 10, Athol 0 – Box Score

SMITH

Westfield 5, Amherst 5 – Box Score

Ludlow 3, Pittsfield 0 – Box Score

Minnechaug 2, Pope Francis 1 – Box Score

West Springfield 8, Chicopee Comp 0 – Box Score

Girls Soccer

Saturday, Sep. 11

GRIEVE

Mount Greylock 5, Ware 0 – Box Score

PIONEER NORTH

Amherst 9, Springfield International Charter School 0 – Box Score

PIONEER SOUTH

Hopkins 5, Lee 1 – Box Score

Boys Cross Country

Saturday, Sep. 11

PIONEER NORTH

Easthampton 27, Springfield International Charter School 29 – Box Score

Girls Cross Country

Saturday, Sep. 11

PIONEER NORTH

Springfield International Charter School 24, Easthampton 33 – Box Score

Field Hockey

Saturday, Sep. 11

SUBURBAN

Longmeadow 2, Cicero-North Syracuse 1 – Box Score

Girls Volleyball

Saturday, Sep. 11

CENTRAL

Ware 3, Springfield International Charter School 1 – Box Score

MULLINS, S.C. —  Hudson Spivey passed for 202 yards and four touchdowns Friday to lead Pee Dee Academy to a 55-0 win over The King’s Academy.

Teammates Allen Moore had 81 yards receiving and a touchdown, while Colby Sinclair rushed for 63 yards and a score.

Landyn Tyler had 12 tackles, one interception and a touchdown for the Golden Eagles.

Pee Dee Academy improved to 3-0, 1-0 SCISA 2-2A and will host Thomas Sumter at 7:30 p.m. Friday.

PDA − Drew Singletary 29 pass from Hudson Spivey (kick failed), 10:33.

PDA − Luke Carter 2 run (Singletary kick), 9:23.

PDA − Landyn Tyler 12 pass from Spivey (Singletary kick), 8:54.

PDA − Singletary 21 pass from Spivey (Singletary kick), 4:55.

PDA − Carter 2 run (Singletary kick), 1:31.

PDA − Allen Moore 65 pass from Spivey (Singletary kick), 11:25.

Fresh off the greatest stretch of success in the program’s history, the Indian River High School field hockey program has a new field general who is taking the reins with hopes of continuing that success into the immediate future.

First-year varsity head coach Katie Boyer takes over for the retired Jodi Stone, and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge and success as both a player and coach from Cape Henlopen High School, as well as the travel circuit.

Boyer and the Indians will have to replace plenty of talent from a team that went 8-4 overall last year and made it into the DIAA Division II state playoffs, where they fell to Archmere Academy in the second round.

The team will have to replace the likes of four-year starting goalie Allyson Clark, as well as Morgan McGee, Savannah O’Shields, Jess Rybicki and Drew Szlasa.

To do that, they will be leaning heavily on the trio of Brynn McCabe, Emma Ruley and Kinsley Hall. McCabe and Ruley are seniors, with Hall being a junior. The team will also look to newcomers Mya Whittington, Kylie Harris and Jazmine Mayfield.

“This season is definitely going to be a rebuilding year, with a new head coach coming in,” said Boyer. “I have been extremely impressed with the work ethic that the girls have been putting in, and it is definitely going to pay off this season.”

The Indians have a 15-game slate that gets under way on Thursday, Sept. 16, with a trip over to Seaford to take on the Blue Jays. Three straight home games follow, against Lake Forest, Sussex Tech and Cape Henlopen.

Five straight road contests follow that home stand, as the Indians will travel to Delmar, Caravel Academy, Sussex Central, Dover and Smyrna.

The final two weeks of the season will see the Indians host Laurel, travel to Ursuline, head back home for Woodbridge and Polytech, then over to Sussex Academy, and then home again for the regular-season finale against Milford.

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Glynn Academy’s softball team has started their season on a roll under third-year coach Dawn Ketcham.

They’ve rallied off four straight wins after starting the season off with two straight losses.

“The girls are doing a great job of buying into what we have going on,” Ketcham said. “They are really coming together as a team. This year, we are a small team. We have 10 for junior varsity and 10 for varsity but everyone is working hard to get us to come together and make the varsity team better.”

For many, 10 players might seem like a struggle to get quality performances out of players.

Before COVID-19, Ketcham liked having her roster size around 11 players as she found it to be the perfect number for her. This year she has had to make do with the small roster size.

“Right now, with us having so much sickness that travels around with everybody,” Ketcham said. “The fact that we also have a few injuries that have come up, a couple of extra girls would have been great. That was just the number that we had come out, so that’s what we had to work with.”

Glynn Academy has made the most of its small roster size as the season has progressed into the last month of regular season play. Ketcham knows her players are fundamentally sound both offensively and defensively. All it took was meshing personalities and clicking as a group.

“I think we are finally getting to the point where we are seeing that click,” Ketcham said of her team. “Over the summer, nothing is mandatory it’s all optional. I understand because it’s time for families to go on vacation, it’s when they go to softball camps and travel teams finish up their seasons. It’s really hard for us in July when we need to start coming together, it’s hard for us to get everyone there. It took a minute to see how we were going to play as a team,”

“It could have taken a lot more than two games, but those first two games were kind of ugly. Once the girls realized what their roles were going to be, I think that they’ve seen what they are going to do and where they are going to be, this is what we need to make happen.”

The players have bought into their roles under Ketcham as she has her players play specific roles under her.

A few of the specific players that have seen improvement over the course of the season are ones who started the season with the junior varsity team.

“We have had a couple of players that were on the JV team to start with, and they have stepped it up,” Ketcham said. “I’m carrying them and they are playing some JV time, but they have stepped it up enough that I’m also carrying them with the varsity team. Which has helped with us having some girls that have been sick or injured, it’s