image description
Matt Koperniak plays with the North Adams SteepleCats in 2018.

Sprechen Sie 'Baseball'? Koperniak Joins British Team in Germany

By Stephen Sports
Print Story | Email Story
Hoosac Valley graduate and London, England, native Matt Koperniak this week was assigned to Great Britain's team in the qualifier for the World Baseball Classic.
Koperniak, who is coming off a strong summer with the St. Louis Cardinals' Double A affiliate in Springfield, Mo., was assigned to Great Britain on Tuesday, one day after the Springfield Cardinals placed him on the "temporarily inactive list" with six games left in the regular season.
Great Britain's national team is in Germany this week to play in a six-team tournament that gets underway on Friday.
The British team's opener against France is at 10 a.m. 1 p.m. EDT and is available on MLB.TV  or and the World Baseball Classic YouTube page.
Two teams from the double-elimination tournament in Regensburg, Germany, will advance to the 20-team draw in March's World Baseball Classic, the first since 2017.
The Classic, which will be played in the U.S., Taiwan and Japan, is waiting on four qualifiers -- two from Germany's Pool A and two from another six-team pool that plays in Panama at the end of the month.
Pool A, which is set to conclude on Wednesday, includes the Czech Republic, Spain, France, South Africa and host Germany.
A three-sport star for the Hurricanes in high school, Koperniak went on to Trinity College before signing with the Cardinals as a free agent in June 2020.
His amateur days included two seasons, 2018 and '19, with the North Adams SteepleCats.
In 106 games in the outfield this summer with Springfield, Koperniak hit .288 with 14 home runs, 13 doubles, 59 RBIs and 11 stolen bases in 15 attempts.
Comments welcomes critical, respectful dialogue; please keep comments focused on the issues and not on personalities. Profanity, obscenity, racist language and harassment are not allowed. iBerkshires reserves the right to ban commenters or remove commenting on any article at any time. Concerns may be sent to

North County Communities Close to Hiring Shared HR Director

By Brian Rhodes

ADAMS, Mass. — The town is close to picking a candidate for a grant-funded human resources director, which will split time between Adams, North Adams and Williamstown. 


The Board of Selectmen's Personnel Sub-committee met on Monday to discuss the position and several other personnel matters. In March, the three communities received a $100,000 grant from the state's Community Compact Cabinet Efficiency and Regionalization program to fund the position


Town Administrator Jay Green said two candidates were interviewed for the job, with expectations to make a formal offer to one of them soon, pending final approval from officials in North Adams. 


"It's going to be a large undertaking for whoever is in the job. But I think, at the end of the day, we will provide the communities with somebody paying attention to this stuff," Green said. "... I think a lot of the retention and recruitment issues; all three communities have those issues. So all three communities are looking forward to having the person to be able to work on that." 


Green said each of the three communities has specific needs that a human resources director will provide. For Adams, he explained that keeping the town's human resources policies up to date is a significant need. 


"This person will work for us directly, and they will be a resource for us," Green said. The three communities, he explained, have to keep the position funded until at least Fiscal Year 2024. 


In other business, the group discussed preliminary job descriptions for an assistant Treasurer/Collector and assistant Town Accountant. These positions would replace the current financial assistant titles and would be a title and job description change rather than a personnel change. 


"We have too many high-level people doing too low-level work because we're not staffed enough in that level," Green said, noting the town expects the title changes to be ready to begin the next fiscal year. "A lot of those positions have been eliminated over the years. The work doesn't go away, but the work just gets kicked up." 


Town Accountant Crystal Wojcik said the new titles would allow the people in those positions to have more training opportunities and take on more responsibilities for the town. One example she gave is a conference from the state's Municipal Accountants and Auditors Association, which Financial Assistant Ashley Satko cannot currently attend. 


"I can go to that, but Ashley can't because her title is not Assistant Town Accountant," she said. "You either have to be a Town Accountant or an Assistant Town Accountant. I believe the same rules go for the treasurer's association." 


Another new position the group discussed was assistant director of Community Development. Rebecca Furgeson, the current program manager for the department, would take on the new role. 


"[Rebecca] has a very unique skill set with project management that I can't replicate. And she has capacity to take on additional work," said Community Development Director Eammon Coughlin. "We've had incredibly good luck with grants over the past year. I think we've gotten basically everything we've apply for it, and so there's a need to have a good set of eyes and sound judgment in terms of managing those projects." 


The committee also discussed the part-time administrative assistant for Inspectional Services. Green said he is hopeful the position could eventually become full-time, but budget considerations do not currently allow it.  


  • The committee discussed a potential code of conduct for town employees and others involved in town business. Board Vice-chair Christine Hoyt said she researched conduct policies for other communities and wants to do more work to update those policies in Adams. 


"I'd like to explore this more and come forward with a code of conduct that is all-encompassing," she said. "... We hold our employees to a standard, but we haven't necessarily put a standard of conduct in place for elected officials for the public." 


Green said the current provisions for the town only apply to town employees, not elected or other officials.


View Full Story

More Adams Stories