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A changing high school landscape on the horizon?

POSTED January 20, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

A Closer Look




      From purely a high school sports perspective you wonder what the area scene is going to look like five years in a row. Enrollments are down all over especially in the Berkshire League’s smallest schools – Shepaug, Litchfield,  Thomaston and Wamogo.

       With numbers down and budgets a challenge on a yearly basis what this has all led to are regionalization conversations within the towns themselves. How serious at this point can be debated but it is out there and can’t be ignored.

       I suspect the landscape is going to look much different down the road. There is nothing concrete here but it is all on the table. Thomaston already has a consolidation committee trying to decide what to do.

This is certainly an issue that goes far beyond the sports realm but the idea that you favor team(s) and all they bring to the community table may be living on a borrowed time is not a comforting a thought. Something to keep your eye on.   


            Joe Palladino doesn’t need a boost from me but if you read any of his stories in the Waterbury Republican on the classic Wilby-Crosby boys battle last week you know one thing about Joe. This profession has never been a job for him it is a passion. Not only did you know the final score and how it got that way, you felt the excitement. Good stuff.


             So let’s see, Watertown swats Holy Cross and St. Paul knocks off Torrington Friday night in NVL girls basketball. There is no figuring this race out this year which makes it one of the most entertaining seasons in years.

            You want to know who is going to win the NVL title this season? Go to the NVL tournament. Whoever gets hot those couple of nights will be hoisting a trophy. There is no clear-cut favorite.

            Torrington beat Holy Cross but has curious losses to St. Paul and Woodland. Holy Cross has lost Kennedy, Torrington and Watertown. Kennedy has three losses including one to Sacred Heart. Watertown lost to Torrington. Isn’t it glorious?


            Here’s a little trivia that somebody threw at me the other night. Thomaston High girls basketball coach Bob McMahon, Nonnewaug girls coach Adam Brutting and Pomperaug coach Joe Fortier are all Thomaston High graduates. Between the three of them, they have a combined record of 36-2 and lead the Berkshire League and SWC. Gee, is Thomaston becoming the cradle of coaches?


            Not a good day for baseball Saturday with loss of a pair of Hall of Famers, former Baltimore Oriole manager Earl Weaver and the legendary Stan `The Man’ Musial of the St. Louis  Cardinals.

            Never were the Orioles better or more fun to watch than when piloted by the `Earl of Baltimore’. Volatile, cigarette-smoking, umpire baiting – Weaver was as much of the show as the three-run home run he adored.

            He won over 90 games more than 10 times with four AL pennants and a World Series.   Weaver coached the Orioles from 1968-`82 and then came back a few years later for a shorter stint. He was 82 years old. A sad day for us Baltimore fans. Weaver was a winner with a ton of pizazz. 

            Musial was a seven-time batting champion and three-time MVP. The pride of St. Louis. Like we said, not a good day for baseball Saturday.


            I have enough reminders that time is passing much too swiftly – the old hair thing, the old gut thing, the pulled muscles from watching TV. But then Dear Abby dies Thursday. I thought Dear Abby (Pauline Friedman) was forever.  Wasn’t it her that told Lincoln it was good etiquette to wear white gloves to the theatre? And wasn’t it her that advised Al Capone that the honest thing to do was file a tax return (which he ignored). Hard to believe he made more than a million a year mowing lawns and shoveling walks.  Another piece of Americana gone.


            A suggestion to the marketing geniuses at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Meriden Mall – WAKE UP. Nice store and all that but every once in a while when I go there I am looking for Red Sox stuff since my son is a Red Sox fan. There never is any.

            So I usually ask why and am told well they consider this New York Yankee territory. Okay, let’s go through a little geography lesson here. This is Connecticut located between New York and Boston. Polls indicate fan loyalty is virtually split between the Yankees and Red Sox.

            Red Sox fans to go to the Meriden Mall. You can get Red Sox stuff near Yankee Stadium.  You figure it all out, but I’m thinking maybe somebody needs to bring a map to the next marketing meeting for Dick’s and maybe have somebody actually look at it. Wow. Okay, that’s my rant for the week.


            He laughs, he does well in school and is pretty good at sports. But mostly he fills up my life and my heart. He is my son and he turns 13 Friday. Proud of you and love you pal. Welcome to the teenage years.


            Feeling a little cold are you? Maybe this will warm you up a bit. The sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue comes out in two weeks. Just thought you might want to know

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