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A Few Stocking Stuffers

POSTED December 24, 2011
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                                A Few Stocking Stuffers

           I haven’t been mistaken for Santa Claus, at least not yet. He has a beard and despite Peter Wallace’s occasional yappings a few more pounds to go with it. Plus he has a red suit and I only have a dark gray all-purpose funeral, wedding and any other occasion job. While I don’t have a convertible, my ride is heated.

            Still, I’d like to be a stocking stuffer and on this `most wonderful time of the year’ I would love drop the following gifts into a few holiday hose currently hanging over respective area fireplaces in anticipation for tonight’s visit from the jolly gift giver.

            For:

            The Gilbert girls basketball and Thomaston wrestling programs – A few more bodies. Both programs have solid traditions and are hurting for bodies. Gilbert had only 10 players at last check while the Thomaston grapplers numbered seven. Gilbert has had trouble fielding JV teams and Thomaston had to forfeit seven weight classes in its recent match against Nonnewaug.

            It is difficult to fathom why in either case but those numbers are low enough to put the program’s existence in question. Here’s hoping the two teams can recruit a few more bodies and return to better times.

            Gregg Hunt  - A baseball team to coach this summer. Hunt recently severed ties with the Torrington Titans after a long tenure that started with the Torrington Twisters. Summer baseball in the area without Gregg Hunt coaching a team? Say it ain’t so. It’s just not right.

            The Wolcott Tech athletic programs – A new more successful sporting life in the Technical School League. While the Wildcats’ boys programs certainly had their share of good moments over the years, the girls’ programs did not. Here’s hoping they thrive in a more competitive environment. Everybody likes to taste victory once in a while.

            Mike Gamari –  A quiet and long retirement. One of the Berkshire League’s best and classiest Athletic Directors, Gamari called it a day at the end of the school year in June. His wise counsel and straight forward manner will be hard to replace. If you had a question or needed an explanation, Mike was always there. Running into him at various events was always fun just for the conversation. Certainly the BL has lost one of its best.

            Jordan Williams  - A long and successful NBA career. The strike is over, the contract has been signed and Williams is officially a pro in the NBA. The dream has been realized for him and his family. Now we hope he lays the foundation for a long career. The Nets alluded to Litchfield County Sports’ Tim Gaffney that Williams might not have reported in as good condition as they wished and was down for several days due to hydration.

That aside, he should get some quality minutes this season and his rebounding ability and presence down low should establish a presence that will make him a mainstay for the future. With more than a touch of pride, a community wishes him well. He is a long way from the Connie Donahue Gymnasium. Let the journey move onward and upward.

Gene McMahon – You might not recognize the name but you would recognize the face. One of the area’s most well-known fans with a white mane and unforgettable drawl, McMahon has graced the area high school venues for years. His son is Bob McMahon who coaches the Thomaston High girls basketball team and owns a BL baseball title with the Gilbert baseball team, a Class S state title with the Thomaston High baseball team and and a BL basketball title with the Bears.

McMahon lost a daughter and wife to cancer this year more than enough for any person to have to endure. Yet he rolls on, well known in his community and using the sports world to help ease the pain and satisfy a long interest. We wish the octogenarian continued healing in the new year. He deserves it.

Tim Gaffney – Continued growth and success with Litchfieldcountysports.com. What you have read and seen here over the last 15 months is very much the fruits of his labor. He has a vision and is pushing to make it the very best part of your sports perusal. There are big plans for the future and he is working hard to make it happen. It is a pleasure to be part of it and hopefully we’ll be full time at it someday.

Mary Stolle – A big dose of well done and knowledge that she is missed as the Wamogo A.D. Stolle resigned this summer with little fanfare. Wamogo could have retained her but made little effort. They still do not know what they lost but the rest of the league does. Stolle’s replacement, Roberto Medic, will do a fine job, but Stolle wasn’t given the respect she had earned. Sometimes you wonder.

Pat Tiscia  - Hours of fun in his man cave. Gaffney and I don’t have one and we are jealous.

Dave Driscoll – A new pair of running sneakers. Has anyone spent as much time with runners young and old over the years than Litchfield’s Driscoll? Besides, he has to keep up with his pal Marathon Bob.

I hope Santa is good to all of you. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

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