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An early-May fly fisherman casts his line from a float tube on the north side of the float bridge in Castleton last spring.

Each year when the Rutland Herald’s Dennis Jensen was about to take off for the New England Outdoors Writers Association annual conference, I would say, “You bringing your wheelbarrow with you?”

He would answer, “What are you talking about?”

My response: “You know, to bring all those awards home with you.”

That was hardly an exaggeration. Each year he would clean up in the awards department with the New England Outdoors Writers Association.

Deservedly so. He was a master of outdoor writing. I know he could have written for Field and Stream, Outdoor Life or any of the national glossies in that field.

Fair Haven boys basketball coach Bob Prenevost has won more than 500 varsity basketball games and a good number of varsity football games with Whitehall High School.

I have won a grand total of one (1-0, thank you) of varsity games while subbing one day for an ill coach at Fall Mountain Regional High School.

Yet, Prenevost and I have a couple of things in common. We both graduated from high school in 1965 and we loved Jensen’s column despite having no great interest in hunting, fishing or the great outdoors.

I would say that would be the ultimate compliment — having someone tell you that they relish your column despite not having interest in the subject matter.

It is because Jensen makes you feel the outdoors. His love of hunting, fishing, nature and mountain biking gives you the sights, sounds and smells of it all.

And as Prenevost pointed out, there are other themes woven through his words, many times about family and frequently sharing outdoor sports with his three sons.

He recently made the decision to stop writing his outdoor column and his last one appeared over the past weekend.

He did not like the fact that he was told the column would now be a monthly piece as opposed to every other week.

I hope he reconsiders. Having a month to pen a column would make for one heck of a read to look forward to.

Jensen, of course, did much work outside of writing about the outdoors. He interviewed Mike Tyson at his training camp in the Catskills and he was one of the first to interview Andre Agassi in a hotel room at Stratton before the 17-year-old was a household name.

But when you look back at his 45 years (a dozen of hose in retirement) of writing for this newspaper, it will always be his outdoor writing that he will be associated with.

Nobody did it better.

MASCOT MADNESS

I am not one in favor of Rutland High School having no mascot.

Part of that is selfishness. A story lacks the pizzazz when you have to write “Rutland” 20 times without the mascot name for variation.

I would have loved to see a mascot for Rutland that gives a nod to its history. Maybe Royals for the old Northern League baseball team the Rutland Royals. Or how about something to honor the proud railroad history of the area: Railriders, Railroaders Boilermakers, etc.

Now, Green Mountain Union High School has ditched the name Chieftains for the same reason that Rutland did away with the Raiders, sympathizing with Native Americans.

I get that.

But the good people of Green Mountain have mentioned going the way of Rutland and having no mascot at all.

Yikes! I don’t get that.

Here is a suggestion for the Green Mountain folks: Sentinels.

The forerunner of Green Mountain Union High School was Chester High School and the school’s athletic teams were the Sentinels.

Green Mountain Sentinels. I like it.

MILESTONE SATURDAY

How unusual was it that we had two Rutland County basketball players reach the 1,000-point mark for their career on the same day?

Elise Magro, the only 1,000-point scorer in Rutland High girls basketball history, joined the 1,000-point club at Castleton University on Saturday at Rhode Island College.

Later that afternoon in West Rutland, Westside sophomore Peyton Guay exploded for 34 points to eclipse the 1,000-point standard.

Unusual? Maybe but here is one far rarer than that: It happened on Dec. 13, 2003. Twins Joey and Joel Farley reached the 1,000-point milestone in the same game, less than 20 seconds apart, while playing for Rivendell against Chelsea.

That one will likely never be topped.

But there was another twin 1,000-point story at Black River High School that is pretty darn good.

Bobby Rohrig achieved his 1,000 career points playing for the Presidents in a boys basketball game during the same week that twin sister Courtney got her 1,000th playing for the Black River girls.

tom.haley @rutlandherald.com

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