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All hail the Chiefs, Woodstock, great performers

POSTED May 18, 2014
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


 

 

            All Hail THE CHIEFS.

            I don’t’ care how you slice it , dice it and carve it up, 19 straight BL track and field title for the Nonnewaug girls team and coach Arleigh Duff is just flat out awesome. Depth is undeniably part of the success as Duff talked about after Saturday’s meet, but there has been an awfully lot of terrific athletes and dedication here along the way.

            Again, all hail the Chiefs.

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            In case you missed it in today’s papers, how about these performances in yesterday’s BL track championships. Nonnewaug’s ?Alex Niez-Charest won the pole vault, 100 hurdles and triple jump along with a second place finish in the 300 hurdles.

            Not to be outdone, Thomaston’s Sabrina Olsen captured the 800, 1,600 and 3,200 races and was the anchor for the Bears victorious 4x800 relay team.

            On the boys side, Northwestern’s Tony Ortiz topped the field in the 200 and 400 meter races and finished second in the long jump. Thomaston’s Alex Gagne was first in the long jump and javelin and second in the triple and high jump.

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The Thomaston High baseball team with plenty of help was as impressive off the field Saturday as it has been on the field this season. Staring at a makeup game with archrival Terryville, the Bears’ field was unplayable after rain Friday and a hard downpour in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

            But the Bears refused to take rain for an answer. Starting pitcher Brian Butkevicius was at the field at 7 a.m. along with a number of teammates that included Mike Milius, Blaise Russo, Anthony Moura and others.

            Thomaston Middle School coach Bob Milius was also there with some equipment as was THS softball coach Gene Torrence. The yeoman’s effort got the field playable, avoiding another postponement.

            Sometimes it takes a village and Thomaston has one. Nice job guys.

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            Had a chance to catch Oxford’s junior pitching sensation Ashley Guillette this week against Pomperaug. Guillette finished with a perfect game and 17 strikeouts. Let’s just say this, a matchup between her and Torrington’s Sydney Matzko would be one worth paying to see.  Oxford will be in the NVL next season, unfortunately by then Matzko will be firing her lasers for North Carolina.

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            I’m struggling with all this horse talk. Maybe because I’m still not over Secretariat.  But I am now rooting for California Chrome. Adds a bunch of excitement to the whole thing.

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            Belated condolences to former Thomaston High Athletic Director Bill Ryan on the death of his mother Jean recently.

            Also, happy birthday to one of the Litchfield Hills Road Racing icons Rick Evangelisti who turned a youthful 70 recently. Man where does the time go. As long as were in the birthday zone, happy birthday to St. Paul guard Kelly McMahon who turned 17 last week.

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            For you seasoned musicologists out there, a couple of dates you might want to put on your concert schedule. Up at Woodstock (yes, that Woodstock and it is only about two hours and 10 minutes away) on June 15 Santana will be there and John Fogerty on Aug. 8.

            You can also catch Crosby, Stills and Nash on July 5, Keith Urban on Aug. 17 and the Zack Brown Band on Aug. 29. Hey, nothing like a little music to light up the day and this is a great concert venue and you can walk the original field and check out the fabulous 1960s museum.

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            It wasn’t the ending former Thomaston High pitcher Pat O’Neill was looking for but it didn’t deter from a great year. O’Neill, a sophomore at Eastern Connecticut State University took the loss Thursday as the Warriors were eliminated from the NCAA Division III baseball tournament Wednesday by MIT, 5-2.

            O’Neill took a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning but was touched for four runs before leaving.  He finished the season with a 5-1 record and had brought a 2.25 ERA into the game.  Eastern had entered the tournament as the Little East champions but lost its first two games.

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Interesting thought on why pitchers are having so many arm problems these days particularly elbow surgery requiring Tommy John surgery which involves replacing the elbow ligament with a tendon harvested from elsewhere in the body.

One school of thought is that too many athletes are playing at an early age and pitching nearly year around while in the past these same athletes went on to different sports or in the professional leagues went out and got other jobs.

Sounds credible, there is no respect for seasons anymore, coaches push kids to play year around in many instances, too many athletes are becoming just one sport athletes.

Not an easy issue to figure out except that injuries are increasing at an alarming rate. Remember when pitchers would throw 200 innings a year without having a doctor standing beside them ready to shut them down?

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Who thought my Orioles would be ripping apart the AL East with a robust 22-19 mark at this point. Okay, ripping apart may be a bit strong but they are tied with Yankees and do have a robust one-game lead over Toronto.  You wonder if anybody is going to be able to break out of this pack of mediocrity.  Here’s an interesting fact for you to chew on, all five AL East teams have better road records than home records.

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The Tri-State Baseball League opens up today (May 18). The dream never dies, forever young. Good luck guys.

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