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Thanks Nina, Seymour soccer, A.J takes command....

POSTED November 03, 2014
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


            Despite the old adage of youth being wasted on the young, we learned much from Nina Poeta. The Seymour cheerleader died Saturday after a valiant battle with inoperable brain cancer.

            Nina took on the disease, never backing down, a story of inspiration and courage that touched thousands. If you haven’t already, look for Frankie Graziano’s poignant story of Nina’s battle and her amazing will to live. Have a towel handy for the tears.  She left us with much. So much to give with so much to lose. So sad, so admirable. We have been touched.

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You feel for the Seymour boys soccer team and then you don’t. It is painful to see a team that won 12 games during the regular season and does not get to participate in the post season. For a season full of effort and the seniors in particular who wanted that last hurrah, it hurts.

            On the other hand, I know of no other team that accumulated 17 yellow cards during the season and league playoffs, 15 being the magic number that disqualifies you from the state tournament. You need to know the rule and you need to play with more decorum, meaning keep you mouths closed and play the right way.

Seymour didn’t do this and I know of no other team that missed the state tournament for this reason. A painful lesson but a lesson that is hopefully learned.

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            It wasn’t exactly a secret but now it is official, - Aaron Bunel is new varsity boys basketball coach at Thomaston High. Bunel, an outstanding athlete in his own right at Gilbert during his high school days, has been an assistant to former coach Gary Franklin for the last three years.

            Bunel, who teaches music at Thomaston, will be nurturing a program that has hit on hard times with only one winning season in the last 12 years. But, you get the idea the program is in good hands.

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            Sisters Kayla and Megan Fitzgerald made quite an impact for the Elmira College women’s tennis team season this past season.  The former Thomaston High stars helped their team to the Empire 8 semifinals before being ousted by nine-time defending champion Ithaca College.

            Kayla, a senior, finished with an 8-4 record while Meg, who helped Thomaston to the Berkshire League title in the spring, was 7-1 during the regular season and 8-2 overall.  As a team the pair finished 7-0 during the regular season and 8-2 overall in the regular season.

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            We have a little spice in our own little college football world now don’t we? UConn, finally gets a win and looks good doing it and travels to Yankee Stadium this weekend to take on Army.  A great venue with all the pomp and circumstance the service academies bring and the Huskies on a bit of an upswing. Should be a good day.

            Meanwhile, Yale continues to roll along having disposed of a dismal Columbia team Saturday to raise its record to 6-1. In three weeks the Bulldogs travel to Cambridge for The Game against Harvard with a very good chance the Crimson will be undefeated and Yale will have one loss unless either stumbles in the next two games. 

            Harvard has dominated for more than a decade now but this one has so much promise. Can’t wait.

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            Condolences to good friend and colleague Waterbury Republican-American sports columnist Joe Palladino on the death of his father Nicholas this past weekend. I didn’t know dad but if he was like his son, certainly top notch.

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            I don’t like heights another reason I was mesmerized by Nick Wallenda Sunday night. Walking on a tightrope is crazy enough. Doing 500 or so feet up in the air with no safety net, etc. is crazier. Then doing it blindfolded? I tip my hat. Good stuff.

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            Gee NASCAR got even better after race Sunday, didn’t it?  A couple of things here. I am not a Brad Keselowski fan but I didn’t think he did anything wrong this time around. And what is Kevin Harvick doing here, shoving Keselowski from behind. And then there was the guy behind Keselowski just wailing on people.  A few people need to be taken to the woodshed here. But admit it, it does make you want to watch the race in Phoenix this weekend, doesn’t it.  By the way, A.J. Foyt would have decked them all.

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