Some general observations while enjoying the first signs of fall:
Good luck to all of the area's fall sports teams, athletes and coaches, including soccer squads, cross country runners and golfers, plus girls' tennis and volleyball teams.
They may not draw the fans of football, but they certainly deserve our support. Off-season sports like baseball, softball and basketball are also heading into "fall-ball," with leagues and tournaments continuing for many traveling teams.
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The debate continues, as always, over the state's deer population, with some residents, like many living in the Philadelphia area, feeling like there are too many deer, while for some hunters, there may not be enough.
From my observation, it appears the deer population is growing, based on the animals that have been casually roaming through our yard as of late.
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Ten of the twelve positions in NASCAR's Chase for the Championship have been claimed, as of this weekend's race in Atlanta.
The final two spots are Greg Biffle's and Clint Bowyer's to lose, however, Ryan Newman, Jamie McMurray, Mark Martin and David Reutiman all have an outside shot. It would be great to see 51-year old Mark Martin squeak in to the lineup.
He's a sentimental favorite for many, and would be the third of four Hendrick teams to make the Chase, along with Jeff Gordon and 4-time defending champion Jimmie Johnson. The sport would like to see Dale Earnhardt, Junior in contention. Junior stands in 19th place and out of the chase race.
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NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell reduced Ben Roethlisberger's potential punishment to four games, down from the six-week maximum suspension he could have received,but still, it appears Big Ben has some work to do with his peers.
For the first time in three years, he was not voted as a captain by his teammates. The Steelers stood by their quarterback through some of his previous questionable off-field activity, but it looks like he'll need a little more time and effort to earn back their trust this time around.
At the same time, it is nice to see tight end, Heath Miller earn the honor for the first time in his career. Miller's been a play-maker and positive force on the Steelers for the last five years, and it seems his teammates appreciate the character he has shown on and off the field.
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Kudos to Lady Lion basketball coach Coquese Washington for another successful golf outing.
Coquese's Drive for the Women's Resource Center raised just under $9,400. The money will be used to provide resources and services to victims of domestic and sexual violence.
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The chance that the Penn State football team could go on the road with a true freshman quarterback and upset No. 1 Alabama is probably slim to none, but it's nice to dream, isn't it?
And what an amazing story that would be as Joe Paterno gets closer and closer to his 400th career win. Here's hoping
Kellie Goodman Shaffer can be reached at Kellie@BedfordCountyChamber.org. Her column appears on Tuesdays.