The growth of LCS in 2013 and a look ahead to 2014.
Torrington: As I look back at the year that was 2013 and peak forward into what 2014 will bring Litchfield County Sports.com, it is with one thing in mind.
When the heck will this leg heal and allow me to do something so basic as operate a vehicle, walk up and down my stairs and most importantly, get back out to do what I love, cover sports live from all over the region.
2013 truly was a breakout year for us.
It saw me able to devout full time to the effort after more than three years of serving two masters, Frito Lay and LCS.
If not for the first, the latter would never had gotten off the ground and I will be ever thankful for the support I received over the years in the pursuit of my dream.
2013 started at the 23rd Annual Possum Queen Festival, a great way to kick off any year or day and saw Rick Wilson write a touching piece on the tragic events of Newtown.
In Torrington, the boys’ basketball team got together with rival Naugatuck for a fundraiser for local legend Tim Considine, who had passed from ALS the previous fall.
We paid our annual visit to the University of Hartford to catch Sarah Royals and the Albany Great Danes on their way to a second straight NCAA Tournament appearance.
The Raider girls got over a long time hurdle by putting on the wedding gown in taking the Naugatuck Valley League Tournament title after so many years of being the bridesmaid.
Or finest coverage hours came during the Thomaston Golden Bears magical run to Mohegan Sun.
The LCS team had an astounding total of 18 articles over a seven day period and had four, yes I said four reporters on hand for the final.
Being at the big event became our signature at that moment and we have not looked back since.
We came out of winter and onto the fields of spring and watched as the Torrington girls pitched perfection on the softball field, led by All-World, North Carolina bound Sydney Matzko at the controls.
Another tragedy affected our local scene when the Boston Marathon bombing occurred with many area residents either running, watching or covering the event.
Torrington girls soccer coach Mario Longobucco gave us a look into what it was like to have a loved one, his son Brett, running in the race and the desperate search that thousands went through trying to find their loved ones.
As the temperatures continued to go up, we tuned in to see the Raider girls capture the ever allusive NVL title which they pried away from Seymour behind Matzko.
We added a world class marathon runner to the mix with an in-depth look at how Rod Dixon and the kIDSMARATHON continues to grow world wide after starting on the streets of Litchfield.
Thomaston and Terryville gave us great rides in Berkshire League softball, the locals met in a memorable 7-6 semi-final won by the Kangaroos who went on finish second in the Class S State Tournament.
As May gave way to June, we turned our attention to one of the most anticipated events in Litchfield proper every year. The Litchfield Hills Road Race.
Ten stories told of the before, during and after party that is and always will be the LHRR.
We again showed up in force with three reporters and the first ever LCS tent that will make a return to the Litchfield Green in 2014.
Local friends contributed to a marvelous feature that focused on a salute to Father’s Day.
We will have Mother’s Day in the mix this year as well, not about to leave the mighty ones out.
A trip to the Travelers Championships in Cromwell was a blast for us in 2013, John Nestor and I made the trip on various days and count on us being an even bigger presence in 2014.
In the summer we covered baseball, little league, some of our locals like Michael Fabiaschi and Conor Bierfeldt as they lived out their dreams of live as pro ball players.
The Connecticut State Open golf championship saw John Torsiello, Rick Wilson and myself on the course, we intend on bigger and better coverage of the local golf scene starting in ’14.
Mid-August marked my venture into the full time sports world and we celebrated by being granted press credentials for University of Connecticut football, a huge step for us.
Some may have though we had no business venturing into the land of the Huskies but I and many others knew it was a great stepping stone for us. We will always be about local and why not add the biggest State University to the mix.
The results have been tremendous. The exposure we have gotten across the region is priceless, we are the future of free lance sports journalism and this has helped get our name out on a much larger scale.
Sure, we picked a great year to cover the Huskies football team but by doing the work of showing up every week for press conferences and games, we will be able to tell an even better story in 2014.
I’m not going to lie to you. Standing on the sidelines when Michigan came to town was something to remember. 42,000 plus packed Rentschler Field, only a trace of what the Wolverines draw but still, it was something else.
Met and still meet some of the best writers out there during our travels, who knows which ones may be part of our future endeavors?
Through our connections at CPTV and our good friend, Frankie Graziano, Mr. Wilson and I made an appearance with Joe Zone on CPTV Sports “Game-Time” program and had a blast talking local sports while not setting broadcast TV back too far.
Our good and professional work earned us access to both the UConn men and women’s basketball teams who we are currently a third of the way into the season with big trips on the resume to date and more to come.
Patrick Tiscia and I hit The Barclays to see the men take on Maryland in their season opener and felt a tournament-like atmosphere and a hard fought UConn nail-biter.
A few weeks later, the men played in the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden and Mrs. Gaffney and I made it a three day mini-vacation.
Two more great games plus going to work at MSG. Yeah that too was pretty cool.
Gampel Pavilion is a rocking place when it fills up and Tiscia was on hand for the last second Shabazz Napier game winner against Florida.
Wilson and I drove down to NYC to the Garden to watch another women’s 25-point win and have made numerous trips to Storrs and the XL Center.
We trust that ride that will culminate with both teams masking some noise come March Madness.
Features were the rule of the day in November, expect many more as we go along.
Thanksgiving history and stories from the past ruled the pages.
We are back in the gyms now, with the local hoop scene in full swing.
Our annual look back for the top stories from each month inspire us every time we revisit them.
All in all, this was one spectacular year with 630 stories written by some of the best writers in the region.
Thanks to all our loyal readers who help make what we do so much fun.
Now, if I could only bend this knee…….
Happy New Year!!!