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Welcome back Lopes, a cash cow and a big game

POSTED January 12, 2014
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


A CLOSER LOOK

 

                             Welcome back Mr. Lopes, a cash cow and a big game

 

            Nice to have Watertown girls basketball coach Ed Lopes back on the sidelines after being placed on administrative leave for more than a month. While the exact cause for the enforced leave has never been disclosed and won’t be, indications have been that the issue dealt with playing time and coaching style.

            For all the questions asked of Lopes, now that he has been approved to return, maybe it is time for the Watertown officials to start asking some questions of themselves. Surely, all efforts were made to do as thorough an investigation as possible but can we now ask:

            Why was Lopes denied the opportunity to watch his daughter, who is on the Watertown team, play?

            Why did the investigation take so long? I understand the Christmas break and the need to be complete as possible but fairness is a two-way street. But more than a month with severe restrictions on Lopes? Was this fair to Ed Lopes?  

            Why after being `cleared’ was Lopes forced to wait another three days before being able to resume his duties?

            If you follow high school sports these days, it does not take much for a situation like this to erupt. One person walking into the A.D. or Principal’s office can create havoc. And, it is incumbent and paramount to protect the student’s interests at all times.

            But you know fairness has two sides. You asked the questions that needed to be asked Watertown. Will you now answer some of the questions that need to be answered.?

            Meanwhile, hello again Ed Lopes.

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            It pays to know people in important places, just ask the Tolland High School Project Graduation parents. I noticed several concession stands were being run by the group during the UConn men’s basketball game against Central Florida Saturday. Intrigued, I talked to one of the parents and was told that they get to run their concession booths every home game. She didn’t know how they got the privilege but that it was a good way to raise money. Wow, a gaurunteed crowd of 7-10,000 every game, what a deal. Interestingly enough, she told me they have problems getting volunteers which stunned me. There are parents who wouldn’t want to watch a UConn men’s game for free?  All I know is that are about 8 million groups salivating about that kind of opportunity out there.  

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            Girls basketball is at about the halfway point of its regular season which means games start getting very important particularly in the Berkshire League which decides it champion by the regular season not in a tournament like the NVL.

            All of which makes the Lewis Mills at Thomaston game Tuesday night high on the big-game list. Mills and Nonnewaug and currently lead the BL with one loss. Thomaston, Northwestern and Housatonic have two losses.  Mills beat Thomaston in the season opener, 46-42, while Thomaston just handed Nonnewaug its first loss of the season in Woodbury.

            Once again the game takes on must-win dimensions for the Bears while a Mills loss would hardly be fatal. The team’s two stars, Teagan Dun of Mills (18 points, 20 rebounds) and Abby Hurlbert (23 points) had very big games the first time around. This should be a good one. 

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            Nice to see the Torrington boys off to a good start. At times the road has been rocky in recent seasons for the Raiders and coach Eric Gamarai.  A 5-2 start  that includes a wild 86-82 overtime loss to Kennedy Thursday night is just what the Raiders have been looking for. Players like Zack Mancini and John McCarthy are helping put a smile Gamari’s face.

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Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome picked up his third Walter Camp Connecticut High School Player of the Year Award Saturday morning at Anthony’s Ocean View in New Heaven. How many times can you say it but for the nation’s leading rusher this past season, once again well-deserved. Chargers’ coach Tom Brockett was also honored as Coach of the Year.

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Just for the record, nary a Christmas ornament left standing. The wife de-seasoned the house yesterday but I have to admit I’m going to miss my Dickens’ Village over the fireplace.

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Nice job by first-year Litchfield coach Dan Goscinski who has his Cowboys at 5-3 after a convincing over Thomaston Thursday night. Goscinski put his time in under Jason Harlow and was bypassed once for the job. So far so good.

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