Not much changes outside of the calendar, but it is pretty safe to say that everyone has had just about enough of 2020. Not only did people have to deal with the pandemic, but every-day life as well — which isn't always easy. 

However, we made it. With better days ahead, here are my top-five stories that I had the honor of writing in 2020. 

5. Taconic grad Stephanie Wilson talks about next trip into space, memories of Berkshires

It isn't often that you receive the opportunity to talk about an out of this world home-town hero preparing to blast off into space for the fourth time. Stephanie Wilson, who I recall learning about at Herberg Middle School, grew up in Pittsfield and has joined NASA's Artemis program, which hopes to undertake human missions to Mars. 

SIDENOTE: With all the talk of changing school names and mascots, Pittsfield's Stephanie Wilson High School, home of the Astros (or Star Gazers), has a wonderful ring to it. 

4. On Track: Clapp Park providing respite from reality

The pandemic cancelled games, but it didn't cancel sports. While we dealt with a variety of unknowns throughout the year, I had the opportunity to start a column and do plenty of reflecting. I must say, there aren't many things more therapeutic than writing. 

3. Taconic girls basketball team rallies past Medway and into MIAA Division II state championship game

The 2020 girls basketball season was going to feature two state-championship games with local hoopers. However, both Taconic and Housac Valley, who each had incredible runs, accepted the title of co-champions due to the pandemic. For Taconic, the drama continued following the final buzzer of their final game, before the talented Braves roster earned the first state title in school history. 

2. Community rallies behind Dalton farmer who lost Biden-Harris hay bales in fire

The burning of haybales certainly went viral, but it unified the town of Dalton. That deserved just as much, if not more, attention than the attempt at division.

1. Scott vs. the World: McGuire puts up 52 points, breaks 2 records in Drury win over Monument

With everything that happened, I remain a sports guy at heart and I don't think I will ever see a better live performance than what happened between Drury and Monument Mountain on Jan. 23. It featured two of the best hoopers this county has ever seen. Scott McGuire broke two records while putting up 52 points in order to keep Drury's postseason dreams alive against Dion Brown and the Spartans. 

Jake Mendel can be reached at jmendel@berkshireeagle.com, at @JMendel94 on Twitter and 413-464-3655.

As a lifelong Pittsfield resident, Jake gravitates to the nearest field or park. He joined The Eagle as a paperboy in 2005 and worked his way up, becoming a full-time reporter in 2018. He's on The Eagle's express desk and is found on Twitter @JMendel94.