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Of Johnny D., Matzko and other things

POSTED April 07, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                     Of Johnny D, Matzko and other things 

            Congratulations to the Hartford Courant for writing maybe the only article on the Torrington High students arrested for sexual assaults that did not mention the THS football team. This situation is not about the football team but two students (in this case Joan Toribio and Edgar Gonzalez) who happened to play football. Their careers ended on Thanksgiving Day. Sadly that idea is not understood or ignored in most coverage of this sordid incident.

            By the way, can we please get Gaitan Rodriguez officially hired so he can officially start the process of putting his program together in all aspects.

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            Johnny Desrochers was one of guys with a twinkle in his eye and a zest for living that was fun to be around. He lost a battle with cancer Thursday at the much-to-young age of about 50. I met JD playing softball and we shared more than a few games and laughs not to mention conversation in the gym in later years. He will be missed. Condolences to his wife June and the family.

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            There is a striking theme of dedication and passion when you run down the list of NVL baseball coaches. Derby’s Sumner Sochrin (500-320) is in his 38th season, Ansonia’s Mike Vacca (446-308) enters year 36 and Sacred Heart’s Mark Saukas is in his 35th campaign. Seymour’s Bob Kelo (403-209) is just a pup in his 27th season.  That’s a lot of baseball, a lot of wins and most importantly a lot of commitment.

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            One of my favorite golf tournaments starts the week – The Masters. As usual I will be rooting for Phil Mickelson. However, the way Tiger is playing everybody else could be playing for second place. Still, Augusta in April and the Masters is a must-see.

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            Our friend, former Torrington High basketball coach Tony Turina did a nice thing recently for the Class S finalist Thomaston High girls basketball team. Tony, who owns Tony’s Coffee Express in Thomaston, allowed the team members to pick out an ice coffee and will sell it with their name on it. Anybody want a Maggie Eberhardt French Vanilla?

            Proceeds will go to the Thomaston High girls basketball team. Not a surprise coming from Turina who is always willing to help and a pretty cool thing for the Golden Bears team.

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            Time to play the game. We’ve read, dissected and been inundated with UConn-Notre Dame this week. Let’s go. There is little that separates the two teams talent-wise, the difference has been Notre Dame’s ability to make plays down the stretch and UConn’s inability to do the same. The Huskies have one last chance to rectify the situation. If they lose again, no excuses, they had four chances and lost them all. If they win, another national championship banner is waiting in the wings. Look for Bria Hartley to be a key here.

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            Brittany Griner’s college career speaks for itself, one of the all-time greats. But in the NBA? Let’s get a grip here. She doesn’t have the strength or the game to compete at that level. Mark Cuban come down out of the stratosphere.

            Also, there have been other players with more all-around game than Griner. Like Maya Moore, Diana Taurasi, Cheryl Miller, etc.

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            Thomaston baseball is trying an interesting scheduling switch this season. The Bears will play six of their games on Saturday mornings in order to make it easier for parents to attend games. Sounds like it is a worth a try since those 3:45 weekday stars can make it difficult for parents to leave work and see the entire game. Now, if Mother Nature will do her part.  Watching baseball in blustery 40-degree temperatures doesn’t help. It might be New England, but it isn’t fun. You ever take one off of the fists in that kind of weather. Ouch.

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            Do yourself a favor and go see Torrington High pitcher Sydney Matzko this season. I talent like this comes along very rarely, Go see before it becomes a memory and she is doing her thing in college. In case you missed it, Matzko tossed an 18-strikeout no-hitter against Kennedy Friday and followed that performance up with a four-hit, 17 strikeout Saturday i n a 9-2 win over Lewis Mills. That's 35 strikeouts out of 42 outs. Toss that one around a bit.

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