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Sports championships in a COVID-19 world

FALLS VILLAGE — Russell Sears, a rising junior at Housatonic Valley Regional High School and a Sharon resident, beat out the Northwestern Field Hockey team to win the first ever Berkshire League Backyard Sports Championship.  

It started with a question: “How bored are students and teachers without sports?” Nonnewaug High School teacher and boys soccer coach Toby Denman began asking this question when it became clear that spring sports in the Berkshire League or the rest of the state would not be happening.  

After a simple post on social media, Berkshire League Backyard Sports was born.  

Denman asked for submissions of any creative backyard sport, from replicating a high jump using common household items to trick shots with golf and pingpong balls.  

All nine schools in the Berkshire League were represented in the 64-video NCAA-style bracket.  

Weekly rounds of voting on social media pitted athletes in videos against one another. 

In the winning video, Sears used a baseball bat to hit a basketball 70 feet to bank it off a tree limb and into the basket.


Anne MacNeil is high school athletic director and middle school athletic coordinator for Housatonic Valley Regional High School and the Region One School District.

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