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Warriors rule, Raiders start and Tri-State title game. Ramblings from the desk of Mr. Gaff.

POSTED August 17, 2016
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney


TORRINGTON: It amazes me every time I head up to the Torrington Middle School for Torrington Warriors football.

The scene is quite remarkable and on Tuesday night, I needed a shuttle bus (not available yet) to make the hike from where I parked (near Granby?) to the site of multiple practices and a scrimmage between the Warriors and their counterpart from Woodland.

When you pull into the TMS from the Route 118 side and are greeted by a car parked almost at the entrance, you know another big crowd is on hand.

The main event featured two future high school Naugatuck Valley League rivals, the Hawks and the Raiders in a game dominated by the eighth grade versions of both teams in a feeder system that does both older programs proud.

In a day and age where we sometimes have trouble putting numbers together for high school programs, this program is not one of them.

The Warriors program is as vibrant as they come and the scene at the TMS is prove of just that.

….Not sure who fast forwarded the calendar but don’t look now but it’s almost time to go back to school for area kids who feel almost as bad as my friend Rick Wilson (a teacher at Thomaston High School) who has enjoyed an extra-long break which certainly can’t make going back any easier.

The Raiders football team starts practice on Friday, August 19 at 4 p.m. after a solid summer of weight training and conditioning.

For the first time in his tenor at the helm of the program, Gaitan Rodriguez opted for spring practice, leading to the later start of training camp.

Torrington is coming off a stellar season a year ago in which they posted a 9-1 (9-2, overall) record and hosted a home playoff game and has lost a considerable amount of talent on both sides of the ball.

A special group of young men graduated in June, including quarterback Connor Finn, running back Tyler Marens, tight end Nate Bresson, wide receiver Zak Mancini along with lineman Kobe Covington, Stephon LaForge and Keanu Mendiola.

Most of that group had played together since they first touched a football in grammar school and that’s not something you come across very often.

Torrington opens at home against Seymour on Friday, September 9 at 7 p.m. at the Robert H. Frost Complex.

It’s a wide open battle for almost all positions for the Raiders at this point.

Should be a great story.

….We have confirmed that a very special guest will be with us next Monday (August 22) for the taping of our Cable 5 Show at the Optimum Studios in Litchfield.

Former University of Connecticut quarterback, Casey Cochran will be on hand to talk about a subject he knows far too much about. Concussions.

Cochran was forced to give up the sport he loves due to multiple head injuries he sustained over his 15 plus years of playing.

It is now his mission to spread the news to organizations and schools about the risks associated with a game so many love to play.

The program will air on Thursday, September 1.

….Tremendous job by Ed Gadomski and the Tri-State Baseball League once again this year.

The league, the best organized league we have here in Torrington, will crown a champion tonight as the Watertown Blaze and Naugatuck Dogs play the third and final game of their best of three series to determine the team that takes home the trophy.

On Tuesday night, six more fine former players joined the league’s Hall of Fame in a ceremony before the game in front of family and friends.

Jim Isaacson, Dan Hamel, TJ Campion, Tony Santoro, Chris Beach and Donny Crossman joined the prestigious organization which is one that they made better by being part of it.

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