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Bears, UConn,Housatonic....

POSTED November 10, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


 

                                            Bears, UConn, Housatonic.....

 

            Fresh off of advancing to the Class S field hockey semifinals for the first time in school history, Thomaston will attempt to earn a spot in the state championship game Tuesday when it takes on No. 3 Stonington at Guilford High School at 6 p.m.

            The second-ranked Bears (16-1-1), who narrowly lost out on the BL title despite splitting a pair of games with eventual champion Nonnewaug, received a late goal from Abby Hurlbert to defeat Westbrook, 1-0, Wednesday.  These are good days in Golden Bear land.

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                        Have we ever been so glad to see the basketball season arrive at UConn after the debacle known as the UConn football season? It has been a hard, hard watch this fall and you hope there is a win somewhere in the pile for the Huskies in the last couple of weeks before we mercifully bury this season.

            One of the unfortunate casualties of all of this will probably be interim coach T.J. Weist. He inherited a black hole not of his own making and not with his own recruits yet it is hard to imagine Athletic Director Warde Manuel not going in a different direction after the final opponent’s touchdown.

            Meanwhile coach Kevin Ollie’s UConn men survived a scare Friday night at The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn to hold off Maryland, 78-77, bringing more than a few smiles to those in Huskyland.  And of course there are Geno’s lady Huskies who torched University of Hartford Saturday are in search of their 9th national title.

            The weather says it is time to go inside anyway but never has it been so sweet to get off of the football field.

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            If you are a Red Sox fan or even if you are not, pick up Sports Illustrated and read Tom Verducci’ s story on David Ortiz and the Red Sox. Verducci is one of the best and this is a good read. A keeper for Red Sox nation

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            I covered the Housatonic football program on a weekly basis in the early 1990s, following the Mountaineers from one side of the state to the other. From Putnam to Old Saybrook to Plainfield and Deep River and other parts unknown.

            It was a great beat dealing with coach Mike Guy and his top assistant Mike DeMazza and getting to see players like Steve Ongley, Brian Mollica, James Hemingway, Todd Baker and Jason Marshall.

            There was an appearance in the Class S championship game which was lost to Derby but what an experience for the small school in the Northwest corner.

            It saddens me to see what is transpiring with the program – three straight forfeits because of not enough available players. The much-anticipated Berkshire Bowl with rival Gilbert now highly in doubt.

            Now a co-opt program with Wamogo, the program still can’t get enough players dressed. There was a time Housatonic would run 70-80 players out on the field on its own. Here’s hoping coach Deron Bayer, who puts so much time in, and his staff can keep the program afloat. If not this season for next season.

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            Congratulations to Naugatuck boys soccer coach Art Nunes on winning his 300th game Thursday as he Greyhounds defeated Masuk, 2-0, in Class L second round action. Nunes has coached for 19 years and no team in the NVL has been as consistently on the leader board as his clubs. The NVL title usually goes through Naugatuck.

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            Ansonia stretched its school record and state’s longest win streak alive to 37 Thursday night nipping Seymour, 21-20, but may have cost itself the chance of earning the state’s No. 1 ranking in the process.

            The Chargers had fallen to No. 2 behind New Canaan a week ago and the closest of the win could prevent them from regaining the top ranking. Of course all is contingent on running the table the rest of the season.

            Such is the state of Ansonia football when not victory but margin of victory is the deciding factor in these issues. By the way, take nothing away from Seymour which played an outstanding game and got 239 rushing yards from Joey Salemme.

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            On a blustery, frigid afternoon at Watertown High’s John Mills Complex Thursday afternoon, 84-year-old Marty Maccione was there all bundled up helping out on the sidelines. He was going to come back later in the night to help take tickets for the Watertown football game. Tip your hat to that kind of dedication. He really is Mr. Watertown.

            Also, congratulations to Watertown Athletic Director Roberto Medic on the birth of his son Landon two weeks ago. You have a good dad Landon.

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