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Of Rodriguez, Gilbert football, the 2.7 million....

POSTED September 22, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                                Of Rodriguez, Gilbert football, the $2.7 million...... 

 

            About 45 minutes before his game against Wilby Friday night, Torrington High football coach Gaitan Rodriguez stood near the middle of the field on a balmy evening and looked around.

            “This is awesome,” he said.

            It was just a fleeting moment, but it spoke volumes. We have trumpeted Rodriguez as the right guy at the right time to be heading the beleaguered THS football program. Despite all the off-season unpleasantness, he has not run the other way. He has not asked himself, “what have I got myself into?”

            Rodriguez wants to be here. He feels honored to be here at a time when others many have run the other way. On a Friday night in late summer conditions, he was back in uniform like he was in the 1990s for the Raiders. He was back on the field. He was the coach.

            There was really no other place he wanted to be. He will right the program which continues to be the victim of inaccurate reporting. Perception hasn’t been reality here. The damage has been done, however.

            There are brighter days ahead. Rodriguez sees them. Torrington is in good hands.

*

            Two games into the season I’m starting to feel a bit sorry for Ansonia. Okay, I know, the Chargers don’t get or need much of that sentiment from anyone. But, after one-sided blowout wins over Torrington and Sacred Heart, you wonder how much competition is out there in the Valley.

            All-world running back Arkeel Newsome is barely getting a chance to run (19 times in two games) although when he does, the numbers are immense (7 TDs, 350 yards) and the team is not being tested.

            Maybe down the road, Naugatuck and Wolcott can force the Chargers to have to play their regulars more than a quarter. And out of the Valley, Masuk, should be a challenge. Believe it or not, this is not an easy situation for coach Tom Brockett.

*

            Long-time Shepaug coach Al Ciarlo, who retired from teaching in June, is a candidate for the vacant Housatonic Athletic Director’s job. I don’t know how much interest there is in the position, but Ciarlo would be a good choice. He is efficient and has a ton of experience not to mention a nice guy.

*

            Never a Yankee fan, but nevertheless even I take my hat off to Mariano Rivera. As an opponent you never liked to see him walk out of the bullpen, knowing that the game was now over. His pitching stats speak for themselves but he has always been a class act and that also speaks for itself.  You have to appreciate greatness in all forms.

*

            A couple of good friends are well on their way to recovery after heart surgery. Stan Hurlbert, father of Thomaston’s Hurlbert clan and grandfather of the current Hurlbert/Sanson crop and Brian Lewis, one of Bob Ferrarotti’s guys at Fairview Farms are both doing well and we continued to offer best wishes.

*

            In case you didn’t pick it up, Jordan Williams time in Spain was pretty short. He left after a week. We wondered when Atlanta paid off his contract without even working him out. We wondered when there was no sign of him in the summer of 2012. And now we wonder again.

            Has Williams’ career hit the wall? Will we see him again in an NBA uniform? The great mystery continues.

*

            Say this about UConn, the Huskies gave it everything they had Saturday night in a 24-21 loss to Michigan. Also say this about UConn – the Huskies are 0-3.

            For three quarters, the biggest upset on the college football table this season was about to become reality. The UConn defense was superb all night particularly linebacker Yawin Smallwood (13 tackles) who was a pain in the Wolverines’ backside all night lone. There were four Michigan turnovers (2 fumbles, 2 interceptions).

            The offense took advantage of the turnovers and QB Chandler Whitmer found enough receivers to put Michigan on its heels.

            But, and there are always buts with UConn this year, once again there was a noticeable lack of a running game (47 yards) and Whitmer threw a key interception in the fourth quarter that led to a Michigan TD.

            In short, not enough plays and not enough big plays. So after a marvelous if unsuccessful effort, how do you recover for Buffalo this week? Paul Pasqualoni’s job doesn’t get any easier.

*

            Hey Torrington let’s get this $2.7 million grant thing done tonight. For the good of the town. Please.

*

            How about those Gilbert Yellowjackets. Two up and two down this football season including an opening victory over Cromwell and a 48-21 win over Granby Saturday. Nice start for coach Scott Salius and the boys.

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