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Random thoughts on GN Football, UConn and the Yankees

POSTED December 05, 2013
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia


I’ve told this story on here and on the radio several times, so I apologize if you’ve heard it before.

I feel, though, it’s important so I’ll tell it again.

In my first year at The Register Citizen, back in 2003, I covered my first Gilbert football game. My first impression could not have been worse.

The Yellowjackets got blown off the field, but even worse than the score, was the hopelessness. The players were small and got physically destroyed, the crowd was minimal and competing, let alone winning, seemed like a lost cause.

One decade later, I am still in shock to see how far the program has risen.

There are two big reasons why: the hiring of head coach Scott Salius and the addition of the Northwestern co-op.

Thanks to that combo, the Yellowjackets have not only improved, but become a year-in and year-out threat to make the state playoffs.  

“GN” had another great season in 2013, finishing 9-3, behind the duo of Tony Ortiz and John Lippincott and reached the Class M quarterfinals where it lost to Joel Barlow.

After “GN” made the playoffs for the first time in school history in 2010, some people (OK, me) thought it was a fluke and a return trip to the postseason was unlikely anytime soon.

Far from it.

Even with important players graduating, Salius has kept the program moving and maintained strong chemistry with kids coming from two rival schools. Since the 2009 season, “GN” has compiled an impressive 39-15 record.

They may have walked off the Western Connecticut University field Tuesday on the wrong end of the scoreboard, but that far beats the alternative of getting peeled off the surface like the team did 10 years ago.

The Yellowjackets are not going anywhere.

***

Monday night’s UConn game, a one-point buzzer-beating win over Florida, is why I love basketball. Close game, great crowd and some wonderful individual performances.

UConn’s game this Friday is not exactly an enticing follow-up as it will play host to the University of Maine, yes Maine, at what will be a half-empty and quiet XL Center.

They all can’t be great, so enjoy them when they come.

***

It’s always amusing to hear people whine about the Yankees spending their profits on players to make their team better. If you should be mad at anyone, it’s the small market owners, who pushed for this financial structure over a salary cap so they can pocket the millions of luxury tax money they receive.

Misguided anger if you ask me.

***

Whoever finishes with the worse record, the Giants or Jets, should be forced to watch the New York Super Bowl in the stands in a t-shirt and shorts. Sound good?

***

And finally, congrats to Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome, who scored 19 touchdowns in the time it took me to write this piece.

For more from Patrick Tiscia click here