2011 Year in Review. September 17. One Year Later We Say Thank-You. Story by Rick Wilson.
One Year Later We Thank You
It has been a year now, actually 53 weeks if you want an exact count, but it doesn’t change what we would like to say to you – THANK-YOU.
Tim Gaffney, Pat Tiscia and myself (mostly Gaffney, he’s the brains and workhorse behind the endeavor), launched litchfieldcountysports.com with dreams and high hopes of fulfilling our desire to write and hopefully your ambition to read about the sports scene in Litchfield county and beyond in a different manner than your local newspapers provide.
Indications are that we have found a niche with you. Our hits are up, advertisers continue to come on board and those hopes of a year ago have only increased.
We realized in the planning process that we could not and did not want to try and compete with our local newspapers who do a fine job. We wanted to take a different tact. Right from the beginning our idea has been to “give you something you can’t get anywhere else.”
It will always be our goal. There are stories out there that your regular sports page can’t get to or is not aware of. How games are played is important. Who wins and loses is part of everybody’s interest. Who is playing, coaching and watching the games, however, is what we are about.
Who are these people that make us laugh, cry, appreciate, frustrate, entertain and tantalize us? What is their story? What are the issues that pop up? We want you to meet the people and greet the issues.
We’d like to think during our first year that we are off to a good start in that regard. We like to think we introduced you to a lot of stories that you couldn’t and didn’t get anywhere else. There were also a number of times where not only did we let you know what was going on, you read it here first.
Gaffney and I were in Williams, household the night before Torrington’s favorite son, former Red Raider and Maryland star Jordan Williams, was the No. 36 pick in the NBA draft, going to the New Jersey Nets. We saw laughter, tears, hope and nobody else with a pen or pad.
We told you the poignant story of Peter Montesano, one courageous dude and cancer survivor who continues to provide inspiration for all with a zest for living that both the sick and healthy could learn a lesson from.
Field hockey doesn’t always get the respect it deserves and we let you know that Nonnewaug’s fine coach, Kathy Brenner was the Class M coach of the year.
Gaffney in a yeoman’s effort gave you 26 Torrington Titans in 26 days. It might have been 28 days but who is counting. Even the big guy rested after a busy six days. Nowhere else did you learn about what Torrington was offering for summer baseball in this manner.
We updated you on two local guys trying to make the climb to the major leagues, former Torrington High star Mike Fabiaschi and Housatonic star Brooke Belter. On a warm summer night Gaffney and I took the trip to Fishkill, N.Y. to get you updated.
We also updated you and one of Torrington’s best ever, pitcher Scott Arigoni, who is still serving up some lefty heat well into his 50s and loving every strikeout.
Recently we let you know that popular and efficient Wamogo Athletic Director, Mary Stolle, resigned and was replaced by Robert Medic. No reason was given and we continue to wonder if Wamogo has any clue as to what it lost. Other papers picked this one up. Wonder where they got it?
We gave you an inside look at one of Torrington’s very personable three-sport stars, Ali Otis. It was our pleasure.
Back to the Titans. We sat down with GM Mike O’Malley and got his impressions of his first year and thoughts for the future.
There was a story that still resonates with you readers and has a seemingly endless shelf life, that of Torrington High product Ali Bronson making good at ESPN. Gaffney’s eyes light up when you mention that piece.
We brought you the courageous story of Rose Lee Ciesco who passed away after a long battle with cancer. Her family, including son Mike and husband Bruce, are stalwarts in the community as was Rose.
There was another story, this one with a happy ending. About big, affable Thomaston athlete Nick Pesce finishing up his high school days after being diagnosed with cancer when a sophomore.
John Torsiello, my old golf partner, wrote a number of stories about area golf courses, and checked in with former New York Yankee pitcher Jim Boutin as the Tri-State Old-Timers Game.
Garrett Peruse had a fine baseball season for Torrington High this spring. You read about him here.
Our friend Dennis Fowler gave us a lot of good times at coach of the Lewis Mills girls basketball team. He resigned this spring to spend more time with his family. You read about it here.
We traveled through 35 years of the Litchfield Hills Road Race and let you know about Thomaston’s Alan Sanford, one of the Berkshire League’s few four-time wrestling champions.
When looking back at the stories we have provided for you, and certainly the above are just a sampling, we’d like to believe we are “giving you what you can’t get anywhere else.”
We eagerly look forward to the future – to give you more and do it better. We are on WAPJ – 99.1 FM most Monday nights (5:30-6) and in the very near future you will see our very first television commercial on a number of stations across the dial.
By the way, as for the commercial thing, Gaffney and I realize that we are not exactly Johnny Depp and Pierce Brosnan. We prefer camera angles straight on and aren’t thrilled with profile pictures unless airbrushing is available. So keep that one in mind when you do you viewing.
We want you along for the ride. We want to be part of your morning coffee or evening cognac. For those who have experienced the ride or tasted a part of it in the last year, thanks so much. Tell your friends, make us part of you day.
One thing we’ll guarantee you – “We will continue to give you the stories you can’t get anywhere else.”
Excuse me now, time to run. Another story to write.