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Wilson: A little here, there and everywhere

POSTED September 12, 2016
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


             9/11 – A day to stand and remember who we are, who we strive to be and what we have. So much focus on what we don’t have. Our work in ongoing but I’m still a Lee Greenwood fan. Protests in bad taste on Sunday.

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            You wonder and you hope that a season doesn’t turn on a play or one game this early. It will be interesting to watch UConn after Saturday’s debacle at the end which saw them sitting 36 inches away from victory as time ran out in a 28-24 loss to Navy.

            The timing of the final timeout, the final play call, the idea that coach Bob Diaco didn’t seem to know that it was second down instead of third down. There’s a lot to digest here. Maybe the biggest impact will be how the Huskies recover. Stay tuned.

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            I had the pleasure of listening to Chris Herren for a second time at Thomaston High School last week and again walked away hoping every school has the opportunity to be exposed to his powerful presentation and message.

            The 40-year old Herren, a McDonald’s All-American out of Durfee High School in Fall River, Mass who later went on to play for the Boston Celtics, lost it all in a sea of drug addiction that included beer, vodka, cocaine, heroin and OxyContin. You name it he did it. His story has been well-documented in an ESPN 30-for-30 series episode, “Unguarded” and two books, `Fall River Dreams’ and `Basketball Junkie.’

               Herren has been clean for eight years now, but his story is one of despair of a life and family almost lost and a career wasted and then resurrection. I have seen him hold a full high school auditorium worth of students in the palm of his hands and bring parents to tears.

            Herren is worth what it takes to get his message to the students and parents who desperately need to hear it. If you haven’t heard Chris Herren, you need to.

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                        It’s one game and the opening game of the season for that matter. But I couldn’t help notice that Thomaston beat Lewis Mills, 3-2, in field hockey and the winning goal was scored by junior Alexa Sanson. I just wonder if the rest of the Berkshire League is getting tired of hearing that name. Alexa is the sister of 16-time All-Star / All-State three-sport star Morgan Sanson who graduated in June. On this day, the beat goes on.

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            New school years often bring about coaching changes and there will be a couple of familiar faces missing from the sidelines this season. Long-time Naugatuck boys soccer coach Art Nunes is gone after a sterling career that made the Greyhounds state-of-the-art in the NVL and a power in the state. At Holy Cross, Ryan McDonald has moved after 12 seasons, ending a run of 40 years for the McDonalds guiding the Crusaders booters. Ryan’s dad, Jim coached for 28 seasons before giving way to Ryan in 2003.  The fields will be noticeable emptier.

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            Interesting article on the sports pages of the New York Dailey News Saturday, the gist being that not standing for the National Anthem is bad because it is turning people towards Donald Trump. Okay, you have your opinion I get that. But if you want to write a political column and this was a whole column not a one-liner, get off of the sports pages. There was no other angle here other than to bash a candidate. Doesn’t belong on the sports pages.

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            I’m not sold on the New York Giants after one game, but I am encouraged. The offense still looks like my truck stuck in the snow on a heavy winter day much of the time but they came up big when they had to in beating Dallas. There is reason for hope. Also, good to see Victor Cruz back on the field.

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            You just get the idea that the American League East is going to come down to the last home run. No great pitching but plenty of big bats for the Blue Jays, Red Sox and Orioles. Baltimore I don’t think will last for the wild card. Their pitching outside of Chris Tilman and Zach Britton may be the weakest.

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