Royals, Sacred Heart, Paterno....Rick Wilson takes a Closer Look
A few stories that caught the eye and tweaked the interest meter in recent days.
Royals passes all others on assist list – When Sarah Royals left the friendly confines of the Connie Donahue Gymnasium and moved on to Albany you wondered what kind of impact she could make on the Division I level. Three and a half years have passed and Torrington’s heart swells with pride. The hard-nosed, affable Royals has had a career to be proud of.
She will leave the Great Danes as the all-time assist leader, have played on conference champions and played in the NCAA and done much of it as a starter not from the end of the bench. She went, she played and she conquered. The only thing we wonder now is where the heck the time went. She has lived up to her last name.
Hearts to honor Saukas – For 36 seasons Mark Saukas coached the Sacred Heart baseball team, flashing signals, strategizing, building character and taking care of the immense amount of details that are part of the high school coaching gig. He was always a gentleman to deal with and proud part of the Hearts tradition. That is a whole lot of giving. Nice job Mr. Saukas. By the way for anyone interested there will be a dinner Feb. 15 at 1 p.m. at La Bella Vista at the Ponte Club in Waterbury. For more information call 203-753-1605.
Hearts beat Christ the King - While we are on a Hearts role here, the Sacred Heart boys basketball team posted a rather impressive 64-51 victory Saturday over nationally known and No. 6 ranked team in the Tri-State area, Christ the King of New York. The Hearts are no secret but you wondered how they would measure up. Now we know. This could be one of the best teams ever in the NVL, maybe the state (?) although could we let the season play out please and then beatify Mustapha Heron, Malik Petteway and the rest of the players.
Talk about statement wins. Okay, not to rain on the parade but aren’t we all thinking the same thing – And these guys are playing in Class S?
Paterno’s record restored by the NCAA - I don’t’ know what Joe-Pa knew about the whole ugly Sandusky mess, but I do know this. He coached his teams to 409 wins. You can’t change history whether you want to recognize it or not. Ty Cobb was probably the orneriest baseball player ever but we didn’t take away any of his 4,191 hits. Michael Vick spent time in jail for his animal cruelty digressions. His passing marks still stand. You can’t change history in this case.
The game that changed UConn women’s basketball - Jan. 16, 1995, Gampel Pavilion. No. 1 Tennessee vs. No. 2 UConn. Both undefeated. I was in the house that night on the baseline sitting next to Olympian Dawn Staley. Future author but just a youngster at the time, Jerry Beach, was with me. To this day it is still the most electrified atmosphere I have ever been part of. Gampel was rocking and rolling with a steady roar that had you stomach doing flip-flops. Geno and Pat. Rebecca Lobo, Kara Wolters, Jen Rizzotti. The Huskies won, 77-66.
It was the beginning of the UConn women’s legend. They would beat Tennessee again for the national title and finish 35-0. But that night, there was just nothing like it. Those that were there still get a tingle.
Lewis, the tuck rule and Tom Brady – “The first time we created something called a tuck rule, it’s the only reason we know – I’m just being honest – the only reason we know who Tom Brady is because of a tuck rule.” – Ray Lewis.
Let’s see, four Super Bowls with two wins. Hey Ray, are you watching the same sport as everybody else. Hartford Courant writer Jeff Jacobs referred to Lewis as a `Bag of wind’ after this beauty. Come back to reality Ray. Look at some history books. You are better than this I’m hoping.
Ronaldo wins FIFA’s Ballon D’Or Award - My son Jonathan says this is a no-brainer for the world’s best player although I’m sure there are some Messi fans out there who would disagree. Ronaldo scores goals at a faster clip than the UConn women score points – 61 last year for Real Madrid and Portugal. Many of the unbelievable variety. Well-deserved. And his hair never moves.
Calhoun gets a start – Frankly I thought Jim was a little old to be lacing them up again and then somebody said we were talking about Omar. At times that could be a tradeoff. Omar is a better shooter but Jim is tough off of the boards.
Gelzinis scores 22 to lead Wolcott Tech – Okay, this was 50 years ago (1965), but I just wanted you to know that the former long-time Wolcott Tech baseball coach, Fran Gelzinis was a player in his day. We don’t forget. Well, actually, this was before my time but I found it in an old clipping.