Time Out by John Bernhardt

Time Out: March 25, 2015

“A teacher affects eternity; she/he can never tell where his influence stops.” — Henry Adams
For me, coaching has always been teaching and the basketball court or the baseball diamond captivating classrooms. And, in most cases, no matter how hard you prepare or how much passion you apply to your craft, you’re never really certain of the influence of your work. That’s because the lessons taught and learned are sometimes actualized and appreciated long after the student or athlete is no longer part of your circle.

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Time Out: January 14, 2015

A tip of the cap to Roxbury coach Lisa Faraci. Maybe it’s because in the past she’s experienced the challenge of motivating a team that’s struggling to find a winning grove. Whatever the inducement, with her current team putting together a banner year in Roxbury, Faraci is showing a “touch of class” in how she manages games when her squad faces a badly overmatched opponent.


Time Out: January 7, 2015

Most of the guys of my generation lost a hero just before Christmas, even if only a few of us could recognize his name. Sy Berger, the father of the modern day trading baseball card, died at age 91. Where would we have been and what would we have done to gobble up large swaths of our time growing up without Sy Berger?


Time Out: Dec. 24, 2014

One of the pleasures of working in public education is to sometimes be a part of turning points in young people’s lives. A turning point is a critical step forward, an awareness of one’s capabilities that makes a positive difference in one’s life. Turning points provide purpose and meaning that help shape future direction. And turning points come in every shape and size; perhaps a youngster discovering the joy of reading, a young actor surpassing their expectations when performing on stage, or an athlete or even a team taking their play to an uncharted level of success.


Time Out: August 13, 2014

By John Bernhardt
In another day, in another time, in another era, baseball was king. In community after community across Delaware County, nearly everyone played. Locally, there was a time in Margaretville when a youth baseball House League swelled to well beyond 100 kids.
Times change. Demographics shift. New passions erupt. Soccer exploded on the local sports scene, stretching its influence from autumn through spring. Over time, like a slowly leaking faucet, local interest in baseball eroded until in recent years only traces of the grand old game remained.


Time Out: August 6, 2014

Unless you’re a high school athlete attending a sports camp, team sports activity slows to a crawl in the summer in the Catskills. In days of old, summer baseball was huge in almost every small community in our county. At its peak, American Legion baseball was everywhere and almost every Delaware County town or hamlet fielded a youth baseball team. Sixteen teams represented Delaware County communities during its zenith. For the most part, Legion baseball in rural New York State is a thing of the past.

Baseball was king


Time Out: July 30, 2014

He was a man without a country, a baseball fan decked out in the traditional orange and blue of the New York Mets enveloped in a sea of Atlanta Brave gray and red hearing “y’all” everywhere he turned. Styrofoam tomahawks bounced off his head and shoulders as thousands of Brave fans broke out in a chorus of their all to familiar tomahawk chop.
IDOL CHATTER — Randy VanKeuren (in uniform), chats with one of his idols, former Mets’ star Darryl Strawberry in Cooperstown on Sunday. — Contributed photoIDOL CHATTER — Randy VanKeuren (in uniform), chats with one of his idols, former Mets’ star Darryl Strawberry in Cooperstown on Sunday. — Contributed photo


Time Out: July 23, 2014

“They were just regular guys. The nice thing was that they were as interested in us as we were interested in them.” That was Cooper Reither’s assessment after meeting two Binghamton Met baseball players at a post-game picnic Sunday afternoon at NYSEG Stadium in Binghamton.


Time Out: Matt VanValkenburg Daily Star's top soccer player

Matt VanValkenburg gets it. On Saturday, the Margaretville soon-to-be-senior was named the Oneonta Daily Star 2013 Boys’ High School Soccer Player of the Year. The opening of sportswriter Rob Centorani’s story announcing the Player of the Year selection says a lot about the soccer player and the person who is Matt VanValkenburg. Here’s how Centorani started.
TOP HONORS — Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg heads the ball into the nets as he ties the score with the second of his three goals leading the Blue Devils to a 3-2 overtime victory against Charlotte Valley in the November 2, 2013 sectional finals contest. — Photo by Dick SanfordTOP HONORS — Margaretville’s Matt VanValkenburg heads the ball into the nets as he ties the score with the second of his three goals leading the Blue Devils to a 3-2 overtime victory against Charlotte Valley in the November 2, 2013 sectional finals contest. — Photo by Dick Sanford


Time Out: July 16, 2014

It is the great equalizer, a rare innovation that levels the playing field and neutralizes the power the big kids bring to a backyard baseball game. Since the early 1950s, Americans of every size, shape, sex, and age have at one time or another played Wiffle® Ball. That’s right, the abbreviated backyard baseball game using those long skinny, yellow, hard plastic bats and that plastic baseball featuring eight holes in the ball.


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