Central the right place for high school football championships
Due to snow and freezing temperatures, none of the high school football championship games held this month at Central Connecticut State University came close to selling out.
The decision, though, to move the games there from Rentschler Field was the right one.
I covered the Ansonia-Woodland Class S title contest before an announced crowd of 1,400. Despite the smaller crowd and blowout game, it still had a decent atmosphere. Arute Field, which holds 5,500, did not have the empty feel that the 40,000 seat Rent would’ve had.
Sure, it would’ve been nice to see a bigger crowd, but the weather was that ugly, as was the matchup on paper as Ansonia had crushed Woodland just a couple of weeks earlier in the Naugatuck Valley League Championship Game.
I understand how cool it was for kids to play in a real stadium. However, after warm-ups and the first few minutes of the game, I’m sure the reality of playing in front of thousands of empty seats in near silence set in.
With the right matchup and decent weather, the size of Arute Field would provide the perfect championship atmosphere. The fans would be right on top of the field and not spread out through the massive lower bowl of The Rent.
Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to see this event at its potential best. Let’s hope the weather and brackets cooperate next year to do so.
It would be fun.
Speaking of venues, on Saturday the UConn men will play their first home game not in Storrs or Hartford since 1987. The game will be at Bridgeport’s Webster Bank Arena (Webster Bank is a major UConn sponsor) and is surely UConn’s first message to the state that its current arena situation needs an upgrade.
I’m covering the game and will have more tomorrow. Stay tuned.
I’m not saying the result would have been different (a Crusader win), but I’d rather see the Torrington and Holy Cross girls basketball teams play their two games later in the season instead of early on like this year. Long the premier NVL matchup, I think it’s more fun to have the season build up a bit before they face off.
They meet again Feb. 4 in Waterbury and possibly again in the NVL Tournament.
I’d like to publicly wish our Derek Jeter-like captain, Tim Gaffney, to get well soon. Tim was injured in a fall this week, but unlike Derrick Rose, we fully expect him to get back in the game soon.