Heard enough this fall of local athletes who just had to party and let down their teammates and communities by getting suspended? Then remind yourself of Ted Nichols, a Kennebunk High senior lacrosse player who’s done his best to pick someone up.

Nichols took a friend’s idea from three weeks ago and ran with it. Sunday, hundreds of people will join the Walk for Ashley, Walk for Hope fundraiser that begins and ends at Kennebunk High School.

Ashley Dubois, a senior classmate, was ejected from her car following a crash with another vehicle on Sept. 4. She went home from the hospital on Oct. 12 with numerous screws and plates holding together broken bones. She has many hours of rehab ahead of her.

Cherish Stewart, an older mutual friend, talked to Nichols about the mounting expenses and that something like a walk could raise money. He took it from there without taking time to come up with a plan or establish committees.

“I hate to say this has been done on the fly,” said Nichols, “but we’ve only had about 21 days. It’s disorganized organized, if you know what I mean. The reaction has been remarkable.”

This 18-year-old didn’t Tweet, send text messages or e-mails to contact Kennebunk merchants. He walked into their places of business to make his pitch for their help. Very old school. But then, he’s the student-athlete whose voice is heard in every classroom and office each morning at Kennebunk High, welcoming everyone to another day and asking them to recite the pledge of allegiance with him.

Already, thousands of dollars in donations have been received. More than 200 walkers have pre-registered. Nichols thinks between 500 and 800 will walk the 1.62 miles between the school, downtown Kennebunk and back. Registration, which can be done at noon, is $15. Another $15 gets you a T-shirt with the words “Pain is weakness leaving the body” printed on the back.

Dubois, who was training for a marathon before the accident and has just returned to school part time, will lead the walk from a wheelchair. About 100 feet from the finish her goal is to get out of the chair and walk through the ceremonial tape.

Sunday will be a day of smiles and tears because a friend, a classmate, one of Kennebunk’s unheralded athletes, decided to help someone else.

Go find columnist Lisa Olson’s take on the World Series parade and celebration in San Francisco on the Internet. Then kick yourself if you tuned out before Game 1 because you didn’t think either team belonged. Dump the East Coast bias. Other teams, and especially New York and Philadelphia, had their chances to kick Texas and San Francisco out of the playoffs. Baseball experts had just hailed the Phillies’ starting rotation of Roy Halladay and friends as the best.

Fear the Beard. Aubrey Huff’s thong and once-in-a-career sacrifice bunt. Tim Lincecum’s intense coolness. The emergence of Buster Posey and Madison Bumgarner. Cody plucked-off-the-scrap-heap Ross. With no horse in the race, this was a fun World Series to watch.

the way, the father of new Maine Maritime Academy athletic director Eric Sabean is cousin to San Francisco Giants GM Brian Sabean. “I don’t know what that makes me,” said Eric Sabean. It makes him family.

Jim Hunter didn’t drive one of NASCAR’s Sprint Cars, own a team or build engines. But the life of the man who had more credibility and humor and common sense than most in NASCAR headquarters was celebrated Wednesday. He died of lung cancer at age 71. New England drivers got to know him well when NASCAR brought the Busch North Series to the area in the late 1980s.

“Jim took his job very seriously, but a lot of times didn’t take himself too seriously. That’s what endeared him to people,” said Andy Hall, who was hired by Hunter to work at NASCAR in 1982 and stayed through 1997. Hall is now with ESPN.

“Every year at Daytona we had a dinner for the weekly track operators, and one year we decided to do a show for them that involved all of us dressing up as famous entertainers. Hunter was right in there with us — he put on a black wig and sunglasses and did a spot-on imitation of Dean Martin singing ‘That’s Amore.’ He had a blast.”

When track owner Bob Bahre called Daytona, Hunter told me he would reach into his desk drawer, take out a hard hat and put it on. He didn’t care if your name was Dick McCabe or Dale Earnhardt, or whether you wrote for the Portland Press Herald or Sports Illustrated.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

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