Matt Williams column: 100 things missed from the spring sports season

Postgame interviews and celebrations are a few of the things we missed about spring sports.

Now 101 days since the ongoing pandemic took away most sports, here are 100 things we missed about the North Shore spring sports season (in no particular order).

1. Drawing lines to turn my notebook into a baseball scorebook.

2. Texting neutral coaches with rules questions during games.

3. Pulling on a sweatshirt in the sixth inning when the sun goes down.

4. Track meets that come down to the relay.

5. Pulling a jacket out of the trunk in an unexpected deluge.

6. Slyly peering at the logo on a scout's bag to see what team he's from.

7. The tank at Patton Park.

8. Stat spreadsheets that go deep for numbers like OPS.

9. Getting the first look at St. John's Prep and Hamilton-Wenham's ALS Awareness uniforms.

10. The flower presentation at the Courtney Corning Tournament.

11. The rare lacrosse shutout.

12. Personal best times and school records falling.

13. Alerting an umpire when there's a ball no one else see's at the backstop.

14. Tennis coaches that call 6-0, 6-0 scores "bagels."

15. Digging into way too early Super 8 projections.

16. No-hitters.

17. Carpooling to Brockton with photographer extraordinaire Rose Raymond.

18. Lacrosse tournament power seedings.

19. Seeing which former Salem News all-stars make the D3 World Series.

20. Spectacular catches made over the portable fences.

21. The smell of fresh cut grass.

22. Writing a high school game story in the TD Garden press box before an NHL playoff game.

23. Picking up a buffalo chicken calzone on the way back from a baseball game.

24. State tournament qualification streaks that extend.

25. Sliding along the hill at Bishop Fenwick to stay in the shade as the game goes on.

26. Double checking my scorebook with Willy Tenney at a big Crusader game.

27. Chatting with Lew Leathersich on the hill at Beverly High

28. Hearing the cheer for a lacrosse goal from that same hill

29. Close plays that could be "hit or error."

30. Curveballs that hit the black on the plate.

31. Night games.

32. The Jim Geanoulis Memorial Day Tournament.

33. Inside the park home runs.

34. Right field homers that interrupt lacrosse games at Peabody High

35. Ipswich boys lacrosse coach Glenn Foster's Tiger T-shirt.

36. Essex Tech's runs in the state vocational playoffs.

37. Wood bat Catholic Conference games.

38. Sitting under the overhang behind the plate at Fraser Field.

39. Walk-off wins.

40. State tournament upsets.

41. Teams that post your state tournament predictions in the dugout to prove you wrong.

42. North championship Saturday at Lowell's LeLacheur Park.

43. Championship lacrosse at Harvard Stadium.

44. Refreshing the MIAA Web site until the divisional and state track meet results are finally posted.

45. Stolen bases.

46. Behind the back passes in lacrosse.

47. Nasty pick-off moves.

48. Runners caught in a run down.

49. Marathon two-plus hour tennis sets.

49. Handicapping a Bruins playoff series with Prep tennis coach Mark Metropolis.

50. Triple winners in spring track dual meets.

51. Dugout chirps, such as our next ten items:

52. "Hey sticks" for No. 11

52. "Hey Dimer" for No. 10

53. "Hey Nickel" for No. 5

54. "That's his best" for a cursory, lazy throw over to first

55. "SIR" for a questionable ball or strike call.

56. The simple yet effective, "Ohhhh yeah."

57. "Rattled."

58. "Back" on the throws over to first.

59. "We got ice" on an inside pitch.

60. "Send him to the jungle, he's wild" after back-to-back walks.

61. The grandstand at Marblehead's Seaside Park.

62. The short porch at Swampscott Middle School's diamond.

63. Seeing the junior varsity team arrive for the bus at the end of a long game.

64. Fouling off tough pitches on 3-2 counts.

65. Extra innings.

66. Sudden victory overtime.

67. The Danish Cup, North Shore Cup and Creator's Crosse.

68. The popcorn at Twi Field in Danvers.

69. Balls that roll around in the deep triangle at Salem State's gorgeous turf diamond.

70. The smell of sea salt water from the marsh at that same Salem State diamond.

71. Coaches that send in not just goals and assist but draw controls, ground balls and turnovers caused.

72. Figuring out next level stats like strikeouts-per-nine-innings and walk ratio.

73. "Championship" 8th and 9th innings in the Super 8 tournament.

74. Figuring out the Northeastern Conference standings in all sports.

75. Figuring out if the Cape Ann League divisions changed in any sports.

76. Adding up the the state tourney records by sport for the "Willie Awards."

77. Photos of athletes in front of the backdrop at Outdoor Track Nationals.

78. Unexpected out of season college offers for soccer and football players.

79. Staggered start times that let you watch more than one game in a day.

80. A 9-10 team winning its last game to make the playoffs.

81. 10 a.m. weekday starts during school vacation week.

82. Saying hello to dogs that happen to be walking near athletic fields.

83. Chasing foul balls.

84. North Shore folks that raise money to run the Boston Marathon.

85. Reading our colleagues "Lax Lowdown" "Quick Sticks" and "Fast Pitches" columns.

86. Catching some of Tony Mazz's "Baseball Reporters" show driving back to the office after a high school game.

87. Seeing if any ex-Salem News all-stars got playing time in Division 1 football spring games.

88. Grabbing Blizzards from Dairy Queen for Phil Stacey's annual office birthday tradition.

89. The Shriner's all-star football game.

90. St. John's Prep's unique niche sports like rugby and mountain biking.

91. Umpires with unique colored shirt tops.

92. Underclassmen who get called up for varsity debuts.

93. Double digit strikeout games.

94. Playoff beards and team-wide blonde hair bleach.

95. Gamechanger live updates from games you can't attend in person.

96. Postgame super beef 3-way treats.

97. Finding out what jersey number a coach's uniform is on a hot day.

98. The perfect timing of walking in from the parking lot with the umpires.

99. The postgame handshake line.

100. Seeing football coaches at spring games and saying "Two months until it starts for real."


Let Matt Williams know what you missed about spring sports at or on Twitter @MattWilliams_SN.


Assistant sports editor of The Salem News, blanketing the North Shore with the best coverage you'll find. Football fiend, track guru, seam-head, goaltending aficionado, history buff, stat geek. Allons-Y. #StrikeOutALS

Recommended for you