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State tournament time and more; Rick Wilson takes a Closer Look ,

POSTED May 31, 2015
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


            Welcome to the dream season – the state softball and baseball tournaments. Area teams will kick off play Monday with hopes of being around when the championship games are played the weekend of June 12, 13.  There were two area champs last season, both in softball, Thomaston and Seymour. Here’s hoping we can add to the list this season.

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            Berkshire League softball champion and defending Class S champion Thomaston’s reward for breezing through the BL with an unblemished 19-0 mark is a 4 p.m. date against SMSA at TERRYVILLE. Thomaston plays its softball and baseball games on the same field and both teams have home games, the BL champion baseball team facing Public Safety.

            Neither opponent was able or willing to change game times forcing one of Thomaston’s teams to move. Should both teams win Monday, the Bears could be in the same situation Tuesday.

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            Congratulations to Oxford on winning the NVL softball title Friday night with a 2-1 win over Seymour in eight innings. While the Wolverines are a lot of Ashley Guillette, their flame-throwing Coastal Caroline bound hurler who has 18 shutouts this season, there is more here.

            Catcher Kaley Kempf deservedly earned MVP honors by figuring in both runs, driving in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning and scoring the winning run in the eighth inning after leading off with a double. Kempf was 7-for-11 in the last two games against Seymour’s All-State hurler Raeanne Geffert and 3-for-4 in the championship game. Like they say, she can play.

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            Saturday was a bit of a bittersweet day as Seymour’s Bob Kelo’s 30-year tenure as the Wildcats baseball coach came to an end with a 2-0 loss to Killingly in the state tournament. Kelo’s commitment has always been evident and he was always a great guy to deal with. He finishes with a 418-235 record. Thanks Bob and enjoy your retirement in Florida. Seymour is richer for you having been there as both teacher and coach and the area is poorer by your leaving.

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            I always liked Joe D`Ambrosio and have to admit that Joe D. and Andy Gresh in the afternoon on WTIC-1080 is starting too grown on me. It is a nice afternoon alternative to Mike Francesa on WFAN although I do still listen in to the Baron of Bombast depending on what he is talking about. But, Joe D. and Gresh add more of a local flavor and their guest list has been excellent lately with the likes of the great Bob Ryan from the Boston Globe and former U.S. women’s soccer national coach Tony DiCiccio.  It’s worth the listen.

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            Steph Curry and LeBron make the NBA finals worth watching. Plus it is an intriguing matchup with team teams that haven’t tasted championship gold in centuries. Particularly Cleveland. But, I have to admit I won‘t be up late watching most of it. Just doesn’t peak my interest in early June although I will catch some of it. Maybe I’m just not over the old Celtic-Laker rivalry. I need to move on.

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            I’m not telling you anything you don’t already know but Lionel Messi’s goal Saturday against Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey final was sick in. He dribbled through four defenders and the found the net just inside the right post. Look it up on You Tube if you haven’t seen it. Sick, sick, sick.

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            Oxford’s Ashley Guillette could play with four trash cans in the field behind her and still pitch shutouts. Just saying. By the way, nice to see North Carolina star and former Torrington All-Stater Sydney Matzko as the NVL championship game.

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            Not excusing Tom Brady here but what about all the receivers that used stickum after it was banned and all the other things football players do that they can get away with. Are those situations any different?

            By the way, hats off to the NFL for pushing the extra point back and taking the automatic away from it. The change will cost some teams games this year and will make it a lot more interesting.

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            Former New York City Marathon winner Rod Dixon and Bill Burgess were on the Litchfield County Sports Show taping at Cable 5 this week. The duo is the founders and pushers of the Kids Marathon program and every school in the area should be taking part in the program.

            The idea is to get kids to live healthier lives through diet and exercise and over the course of a school year to run the equivalent of a marathon (26 miles plus). With obesity running rampant this is a program that brings people together it is fun and it is healthy.  Principals and Athletic Directors. If you are not already involved, get moving. More information can be found at kidsmarathonfoudnation.org. The program ends with thousands of runners gathering at Plumb Hill the day before the Litchfield Hills Road Race for the final lap and it is a great event.

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             Let me leave you with this: Commitment – The act of binding yourself to a course of action. An obligation. Allegience, dedication, loyalty.

             Sometimes the idea of commitment has been lost in today’s society or at least skewed to fit the situation.

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