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A Closer Look: soap operas, coaching greats and more

POSTED May 04, 2014
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


            After the winter and the absence of spring for once I didn’t complain about mowing the grass Saturday. Plus, the old mower fired right up, always a plus. Just nice to see some mighty green grass and actually some leaves starting to pop out. We are in May after all.


            The Connecticut High School Coaches Association will honor two or our outstanding area coaches Thursday night at the Aqua Turf in Southington. Torrington High’s long-time girls basketball coach Mike Fritch and Thomaston High cross country coach Mark Olsen will be honored.

I have been fortunate enough over the years to get know both coaches and watch their programs excel. It has been my privilege.  The two coaches have been tremendous assets to their schools and communities. Congratulations to both.


            Torrington is kind of struggling with this $2.7 million state grant it received  to put artificial turf in at the Robert H. Frost Complex isn’t it. First, some members of the Board of Education wanted to know if they could give the money back. That speaks for itself.

            Then Wednesday, committee members Ken Traub and Mario Longobucco got into a shouting match over a proposal from a local family who wanted to donate $20,000 needed to pay for a new scoreboard in memory of a late relative.

            There are a lot of issues of trust and personalities here but chew on this for a while. This is a community that has received a large amount of money from the state and now the offer of a donation. Many communities would love to have this opportunity. Torrington seems to spend more time bickering about it.

            What should be a very positive thing for the community is turning into a soap opera. However, having Ed Arum as chairman of the committee gives hope for future days.


            It is high school prom season so before we go any further, have fun and be safe folks. Make yourself a long-lasting memory the good way.


            One of the first games I ever covered for the Register Citizen in 1987 was Torrington’s 49-43 victory over Watertown on Thanksgiving Day. The game carried names and performances that would resonate for years. Names like Rico Brogna who threw for almost 400 yards and Steve Barnowsky who caught 11 passes.

            On Torrington’s side was Davie Holliday who ran for 285 yards in an all-time great performance. Both Mike Conway, MC of the Torrington Hall of Fame dinner last week, and Tim Gaffney told me this week that Holiday, who came from California for the dinner looks like he could move right into the starting position today.  Hall of Famer then and now.

            Meanwhile, here’s a little tidbit from the Thomaston High girls state championship banquet held at the same time last week. The Bears have been in five state title games, winning two of them and Bill Ryan has been part of all of them. Ryan was coach Paul Ebbs’ assistant during the Bears three straight appearances (1992-94) and Bob McMahon’s aid during the last two seasons. Some would give their right and left arm to just get there once.


            Could we please get on with the NFL draft? Three months, 8 million shows on six million channels with analysis and mock drafts. Enough already. No offense Mel Kiper but go away. Talk about overkill.


            Three cheers for some of the undefeated as we head through the guts of May – Torrington and Northwestern Regional softball, Seymour and Thomaston baseball, Wolcott and Nonnewaug boys tennis, Thomaston girls tennis, Nonnewaug track.  Who knows what the next month has in store for these teams but you can’t argue with their April performances.


            My son Jonathan doesn’t care if Manchester City wins the Barclay’s Premier League but I will need to sedate him if Liverpool wins the whole thing. All coming from a rather unhappy Manchester United fan. Gee, Liverpool gave us the Beatles, how bad can they be?

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