TORRINGTON: In the eleven year since the inception of Litchfield County Sports, so many magnificent things have transpired, so many great relationships have developed that will remain forever.
We took an idea, born on the sidewalk outside the studios of WAPJ in Torrington on Water Street, with absolutely no idea of where we would end up.
I think that’s sometimes how dreams get started. Some may say they had a grand plan and a blueprint and maybe I should have but no, that’s not how this whole thing started.
It started with a love of sports, with a group of talented sports writers who had met while working together at various newspapers; Patrick Tiscia and I at the Torrington Register Citizen, Rick Wilson at the Waterbury Republican.
I had started a radio show on WAPJ on Monday nights from 5:30- ^:00 with my first guest being Torrington great Michael Ciesco, a young man who is as close to a son as I will ever have.
From there, Patrick came on; and never left, followed by Rick; who came on and never left.
The rest as they say…
At one point during our half hour show, it became clear to each of us that the work we loved to do was going away in the traditional way we were used to doing it.
Both Patrick and Rick had left their full-time efforts and found more sane jobs but still had the passion and considerable talents of writing.
What to do?
Part of what you will learn in this special edition of the LCS Magazine, is what happened next.
What happened to take us from the blind attempts to create our own website to expanding into television at Cable 5 and then this magazine, the boldest of each of the undertakings.
The one thing I knew going into this venture was that we had a great product, searching for a place to grow.
We were told on more than one occasion that this would never work, print is dead and what can a couple of writers do that will get noticed by anyone.
Seems I like being told that I can’t because we pressed ahead.
Not to say there were not a bounty of bumps along the way.
How does one make a living doing this?
With large corporate newspapers going belly-up, how on earth would we be funded to make it in the long run?
What on earth does one charge for this mew website advertising?
How do I show value and how do we get eyes on us?
These and many more questions make up the journey that has been and continues to be Litchfield County Sports.
That journey has taken us to four NCAA Women’s Final Four basketball championships with Rick Wilson, Rich Elliott and I all attending one in Tampa, Florida in 2016.
Covering UConn was also some said we would not be able to do. To this day, we are fully credentialed to the States flagship university and while the current pandemic has curtailed things some, we expect to continue to show our dedication to covering Division I sports in Storrs.
In 2017 we branched out once again, this time into the print market, a place I don’t think any of us saw as a viable option in 2009 when folks were fleeing the industry.
I credit my good friend, Pat Richardson from Torrington baseball for the idea which I though was a crazy one at the time but it turned into our lifesaver.
The magazine opened doors for me that had been previously unavailable. Turns out advertisers do like to see just where their ad is.
Also turns out that good news spreads just as well as bad news and at the time, the market was begging for good news and we had plenty to offer.
The magazines success opened another door, this one within the Torrington Public School System where I started creating “Celebrating Excellence”, a 20-pafe magazine talking about all the great things happening in our schools.
We are working on out sixth magazine this winter for the TPS system.
These magazines are sent home to every family with a child in the system and serve as a great look at what’s going right in our local educational institutions.
Through our connections over the years, we have met so many great folks, like our staff photographer, Luke Pepper, a remarkably inspiring story himself and you will read about his journey.
John Torsiello, the definition of the ultimate free lance sportswriter, joined us soon after we launched as did John Nestor.
I hope you enjoy learning more about the writers who tell the stories you read either on the site or in print.
Heck, one of these days, maybe we’ll be able to get back into the Cable 5 studios for and updated LCS program.
One can only hope.
In the meantime, enjoy and please, wear a mask, social distance and stay safe.
I’d like to cover a game before 2022…