A wild weekend that was
It was one of the whirlwind weekends that only the upcoming end of the season can produce. A lot of cool stuff no matter what your sport of reference is, all buoyed by some crisp fall air that added to the already lively atmosphere.
I was at the Berkshire League Cross Country Championships Thursday and Northwestern Regional’s Peter Bakker and Thomaston Sammi Breier made it a worth venue. The respective defending champions both expected stiff competition in efforts to repeat.
Instead, the pair came up with virtuoso performances to become two-time champions. Bakker and then Breier less than an hour later were lone figures charging to the finish line, accompanied only by the cheers of appreciative fans.
Bakker completed the 3.1 mile Black Rock State Park course in 16:34 while Breier posted a personal best time of 20:18.
On the team side, Shepaug Valley and its guitar playing coach Tom Scarola were impressive in just flat out using a pack attack to dispose of any threat. On the girls side, underneath his big Texas hat, Nonnewaug coach Arleigh Duff was smiling after his Chiefs captured their second straight title, avenging a one-point loss to Housatonic during the regular season in the process.
And as always, the voice of the Litchfield Hills Road Race and Litchfield coach, Brent Hawkins, was the best dressed. A cornucopia of color to match the fading foliage.
Friday started off with a visit to Thomaston High to watch the Golden Bears in a field matchup with Wamogo. What was on the line? Just another title in the continuing saga of what is maybe the best sports story going on the area.
Thomaston downed Wamogo and won the field hockey crown outright for the first time in school history running through the BL this time around with a 12-0 record . For three seniors, Morgan Sanson, Gabrielle Hurlbert and Nicole Schaefer, they now have won BL titles in every sport they have played in high school and their championship haul at this point is now 12.
Sophomores Alexa Milius and Alexa Sanson have also now won titles in three different sports. Senior Julia Romaniello has four titles in two sports as do sophomores Katie Everett and Sam Laone.
It is a story that transcends seasons and different sports. It is nothing short of remarkable and it continues on.
It was quick ride up to Torrington after the field hockey game to see the most ballyhooed event in recent memory around here, a battle of undefeated football teams Ansonia and Torrington.
How big was this game? Athletic Director Mike McKenna even called on veteran basketball coach Mike Fritch to don one of those very bright `Event Staff' vests and help with crowd control. Now you know when that happens it is `big’.
The Robert H. Frost Complex was alive with 2,500 fans ready to rock, roll and remember with high hopes the Raiders could beat the NVL’s flagship program. But, the air was siphoned out of the Complex in quick order as the Chargers dominated from start to finish for a 54-14 win.
Tajik Bagley, the mercurial Ansonia running back was superb and Ansonia sniffed out every offensive look Torrington threw at it. They are the Chargers. Torrington will have other days. To the credit of the Torrington faithful, they hung around hoping for something to happen. If it was a UConn game, they would have been gone before the last fan paid to get in.
And while I wasn’t there, how about Julia Robillard scoring two goals for Lewis Mills in a 3-0 defeat of Nonnewaug Friday. Robillard had ACL surgery about a year ago. Now, that’s good stuff.
Finally in a battle of unbeaten boy’s teams, Mills gets a penalty kick from Kyle Baron to upend Nonnewaug, 1-0.
All of this in about 30 hour time span. You have to love this time of year.
Let’s get this one field hockey thought out here and move on. The Berkshire League Athletic Directors must get rid of this ridiculousness of giving a team a point for an overtime loss at least as it pertains to deciding a title. If the state wants to use the point to qualify and seed teams for the state tournament with the point, fine. But it is absurd and unfair to use it to decide a title.
Let’s get it done before another team is penalized for the rule which is crazy to begin with. Think about this. Two teams tie for the BL title in baseball with the same record. They split with one another during the season but one time needed an extra inning to win so it loses to the title. Can you imagine Gregg Hunt dealing with that scenario.
UConn football coach Bob Diaco told reporters he had a lot things to be pleased with after the Huskies 37-13 loss Cincinnati Saturday. He is building both on the field and off the field. Positive is good. But, that is the most powerful pair of rose-colored glasses being worn in the state these days. UConn gave up 612 yards and while results don’t ever tell the whole story, they are a powerful measuring stick.
While intrigued by the World Series matchup I am struggling with who to root for. With apologies to the Mets fans out there, particularly Tim Gaffney, I have never been a big fan. On the other hand, although normally an American League fan because of my rooting interest in the Baltimore Orioles, the Royals don’t float my boat either. Maybe I’ll just sit back and enjoy. Prediction: Something tells me the Royals are going to be disappointed two years in a row. The Mets have the mojo.
Happy Halloween folks. May all your candies be good ones or whatever we say on this wonderous night.