“I would hug every person I see and tell them that I love them,” Norton High track and cross country coach Kent Taylor said as the surprise commencement speaker at the Lancers’ graduation ceremony last weekend.

“None of our plans went as they thought,” said Taylor, who is recovering from two brain surgeries and undergoing chemotherapy. “No one could have been prepared for what we experienced. “It’s not about time, but being present in the moment. If we concentrate on living in the moment, everything changes. Don’t waste time on the insignificant.”

Recalling his own collegiate commencement, Taylor said, “The thing that stuck with me from that day until now was about the relationships we establish with the people around us. Those are the things that we hold closest to our head and our heart — the people that we have to rely on are who we love.” …

One of those in attendance was Sofia Knopf, who was destined to again be the ace of the Norton High pitching circle in 2020, after having hurled the Lancers to the MIAA Division 2 South Sectional softball title and Tri-Valley League championship.

“This is the one that hurts the most,” Lancers coach Wade Lizotte said of expectations for Knopf, who had emerged from the shadow of previous Norton High pitching great Kelly Nelson. “She had her breakout season last year. She has tons of talent and it’s never easy following Kelly Nelson.

“She made a promise to me on the bus ride home (after the MIAA state Division 2 semifinal one-run loss to Gloucester) that she was going to work as hard as she could to become the best pitcher in the state during the offseason,”Lizotted added.

Knopf is headed to Wheaton College after being ranked among the top 10 academically in her senior class ...

Remember in your prayers, if you will, Alex Ohlson, the proprietor, club pro, caddy master, chef, greenskeeper and general ambassador of the game of golf. Ohlson was one of the founding fathers of the Attleboro Area Golf Association as well …

Former Bishop Feehan High lacrosse standout Abby Roberts of North Attleboro, the senior goalkeeper for the Columbia University women’s lacrosse team was the recipient of the “Moles Award” as a cum laude graduate from the school of Civil Engineering. Roberts tended goal for the Lions (0-6 this season) in 28 matches over her career on Morningside Heights in New York City, having 16 starts. She played in three matches this season, against UConn, Princeton and Cornell. She was enrolled in the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science …

A pair of local former local luminaries on the softball field had terrific starts to their abbreviated season with the Fitchburg State softball team — senior pitcher-first baseman Mikayla Harnois, via Attleboro High, and former Mansfield High Hornet Sarah Cahill, a freshman pitcher and utility player.

Harnois had pitched in eight games for the Falcons (6-4) on their trek to Myrtle Beach, S.C., with two starting assignments She had a 2-1 record with one save and a 3.25 ERA over 23 2/3 innings, walking just three batters. She also had six hits and drew four walks for a .333 batting average with a .455 OBP.

Cahill pitched in six games with two starts, owning a 3-0 record with seven strikeouts, allowing just two walks over 12 /3 innings of duty. She earned her first career win in the circle against Albertus Magnus. At the plate, Cahill had a trio of three-RBI games against Albertus Magnus, Penn State-Harrisburg and St. Joseph’s of Connecticut. She finished with four hits and nine RBI in eight games …

Attleboro High gymnastics coaches Rich and Noelle Butler graduate four boys and three girls from this winter’s team, but gain a great addition in their daughter Laila. “We have such a positive atmosphere and the kids really motivate each other,” said Noelle Butler. “We have some great athletes on the team. It will be tough to replace some of the boys and we’re hoping to get some new blood in there. It’ll be tough to replace some of the girls too, but we do have lots of depth and Laila will be a great addition.” …

“The good thing about this is everybody is able to get a lot of individual work,” PawSox manager Billy McMillon said of hosting 16 pitchers among the fleet of “taxi squad” Red Sox members working out at McCoy Stadium. Among the pitchers, “Kyle Hart is a long guy, we have a bunch of guys at that two-inning range,” he said of stretching arms out. “It’s a point of them getting some arm strength built up, game like situations, facing batters.”…

One of the interesting tales out of the pool for coach Naomi Boucher‘s Foxboro High swimming team was senior Sam Belanger, a convert from the Warrior basketball program who specialized in the backstroke, “he realized that he should have been swimming throughout high school.” …

Believe it or not, former PC Friars hoop coach Keno Davis recently completed his eighth season as head coach at Central Michigan. Alhough the Chippewas posted a 14-18 record last season, Davis has five seasons of .500 records or better and a career 135-127 record there …

Down in Kingston, URI Rams basketball coach David Cox has added five transfers into the mix — Allen Bertrand (Towson), Mailk Martin (Charlotte), Makhei and Makhi Mithell (Maryland) along with Jalen Curry (Syracuse), a former top 50 recruit out of Harlem two years ago, the No. 5 shooting guard who was also sought after by Kansas, UConn, Miami and Villanova.

Peter Gobis may be reached at 508-236-0375.

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