For the Bears, 'One Shining Moment' continues
The 2014 Thomaston girls basketball team. Class S State Champions at their end of year banquet at Fairview Farms in Harwinton. Picture by Marianne Killackey.
“One SHINING MOMENT YOU REACHED FOR THE SKY
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU WERE WILLING TO TRY
ONE SHINING MOMENT…..”
HARWINTON – It hasn’t grown old, so much of it will never grow old. State championships and small towns are made for one another, they grab on to one another and hold on like a magic super glue. An elixir of pride and feel-good.
Thirty-seven days later you could still feel the pride, almost touch it, a palpable presence. There were still some tears and assuredly grand smiles. The immediacy of the moment was gone, but nothing else.
“The ball is tipped and there you are
You’re running for your life, you’re a shooting star
And all the years no one knows
Just how hard you worked but now it shows
(in) ONE SHINING MOMENT, IT’S ALL ON THE LINE
ONE SHINING MOMENT, THERE FROZEN IN TIME”
Thomaston officially saluted its Class S state championship team Sunday afternoon at Fairview Farm Golf Course. The jubilation from the Mar. 22 Saturday afternoon in which the Bears rallied past St. Paul., 61-57, in double overtime was more measured this time around but it was clear that the this moment will be measure in lifetimes not just the season and 40 minutes it took to make the moment.
They were all there, all in new seasons and different sports yet hanging on to one season always. Names and players that need to do nothing else athletically to be remembered in their home town. The sharpness in their game matched only by the resplendence in their dresses on this day.
Miss 5-for-3 (number and foul shots) one Abby Hurlbert and her legend a dominating presence as always. Casey Carangelo, the freshman who came to play on the biggest day of the season, the warrior cousins Morgan Sanson and Gabrielle Hurlbert. The senior stalwart who lost her starting position but never her heart, smiling Bryttnie Thomas. The senior who always had her spirit, Morgan Graham.
Senior Sarah Guay and sophomore Charlie Eberhardt, essential pieces to a championship puzzle. And the rest of a memorable band of battling Bears.
In a more intimate setting, a passel of proud parents and family members along with townspeople saluted and said thanks one more time. They understood special. They always have. This was special.
“But time is short and the road is long
In the blinking of an eye ah that moment’s gone
And when it’s done win or lose
You always did your best
Cuz inside you knew
(that) ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU REACHED DEEP
ONE SHINING MOMENT, YOU KNEW YOU WERE ALIVE”
The players had already received proclamations during a visit to the state capital several weeks ago. But there was more. On this day, they were sized up for their championship rings and walked out with championship sweatshirts.
Thomaston First Selectman Ed Mone talked about not just good basketball players but good people. State Representative John Piscopo followed, making sure the team managers Mike Milius and Rich Revere received their proclamations. Then came guest speaker, Wamogo baseball and boys basketball coach Gregg Hunt. There are long connections here.
First of all Hunt once coached the Thomaston High baseball team and took the Bears to the 1985 Class S state title game. He coached a kid named Bob McMahon. Then and later on with the Bethlehem Plowboys.
Hunt talks as well as he coaches. He is mighty proud of McMahon and saluted his protégé through the compliments of the toughness of these Bears.
A couple of superb video presentations compiled by Luke McMahon and Sam Everett produced both smiles and a few watery eyes, `One Shining Moment' the dominating theme. Then McMahon took the floor and with a mixture of wit and witticism ran through the season his coaches Tony Geraci, Billy Ryan and Kelly Finlay and his players. Funny, proud ready to roll again, McMahon relished the moment
McMahon read e-mails from a couple of proud BL coaching brethren including Lewis Mills coach Joe Capitani who challenged the Bears like nobody else this past season. And from former players who have taken the experience and program with them like Kelly Burns.
Ever the wise senior, Thomas understood what it is all about, the night, the season, the title.
“It’s like a battle scar, it isn’t something that is going away,” said Thomas. “I still think about it and tear up. I’m so lucky to be in this town with these people. It is the perfect group.”
“Feel the beat of your heart, feel the wind in your face
It’s more than a contest it’s more than a race
And when it’s done win or lose you always did your best
Cuz you knew….
ONE SHINING MOMENT……
A moment signifies a short span. Not this time. The Bears of 2014 could never be killed. That will never change. Always champions the moment is endless like a Beach Boys summer.
A shining moment forever.