Introduction and an early look ahead at next week
When it comes to local sports in Litchfield County, very few have the passion and excitement about the teams, the games and the people that Tim Gaffney and Rick Wilson do.
Rick has been a staple in the local sports scene for many years, dating back to the legendary Torrington-Watertown football battles during the Rico Brogna era. If you played or had a child in a state championship game, the odds are very high you relived that contest the next day in a Rick Wilson column or article. And if you were a Hartford Whalers fan, Rick was there to fill you in as well. (Source: Page 214 of the 1994-95 Hartford Whalers Media Guide.)
I challenge you to find someone who has been at more sporting events in the last 25 years than Rick has. That would be a near-impossible task to say the least. In this area, there is no more familar face on the sidelines or in the press box.
I met Tim back in 2003 when I began to work at The Register Citizen. Tim was, by far, the most upbeat person in the newsroom. Despite his Mets enduring yet another dreadful season that year, Tim would show up, in his Piazza jersey, and take his lumps from the Yankee fans in the office (I plead not guilty, by the way) while keeping a positive attitude as he took a never-ending slew of double track and field results over the phone. (Trust me, it takes a special person to not want to throw your computer through the window while taking sports results over the phone during the spring season.)
Long story short, Tim's love for sports, especially of the local variety, was evident to me immediately. So it came as no surprise when he called me six years later to discuss an idea of his to create a radio show that focused on local sports.
Surprisingly, in this media age, Litchfield County had very little exposure when it came to sports outside of newspaper coverage. Since the Litchfield County Sports Show launched in October of 2009, we've had coaches, players, media personalities, politicians and even an auctioneer on the program to discuss all aspects of sports and the response from the guests and listeners has been great.
It became clear to Tim, Rick and I pretty quickly that the demand for local sports coverage was even more than our 30-minute weekly radio show provided. Which brings us to today. LitchfieldCountySports.com was created to expand local coverage in a way that has not been seen before. Whether it's a big game or a developing story off the field, we want you to come here expecting nothing but the best. And we will do our best to give you that.
This site is not about the three of us, it's about the local teams that take the field and their stories. We are here to bring you their journey and how they got there.
For me personally, I am very excited about this new venture and feel very lucky to work with award-winning writers such as Tim and Rick. I have a feeling this is only the start of something special.
Quick look ahead
Week One of the high school football season kicks off Friday night with Torrington traveling out of conference to face East Lyme on the road. I love this scheduling by the Red Raiders. Since the game means nothing in the Naugatuck Valley League standings, why not go on the road and challenge yourself? It always bothers me when I see a team schedule a non-league home game against a lesser opponent. All that does is pad the head coach's career record.
On Saturday, four more local teams open its season, highlighted by Lewis Mills playing host to Granby Memorial at Muzzy Field in its first-ever varsity contest. Gilbert also will play at home as Haddam-Killingsworth visits Winsted, while Housatonic and Wolcott Tech will open on the road against the Sports Science Medical Academy and Windsor Locks, respectively.
Keep on the lookout throughout the week on LitchfieldCountySports.com for football season and game previews, followed by game coverage. As for the aforementioned Litchfield County Sports Show, tune in Monday on WAPJ-FM (89.9 or 105.1) from 5:30-6 p.m. or click on the Podcast link on this site later in the week to hear the program.