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Busy day in Torrington. From snow shovels to the hardwood.

POSTED November 29, 2014
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: Lot’s happening in Torrington on Friday as folks in the area rolled out for Black Friday deals after throwing down a boat load of turkey the day before.

The action started early at Torrington High School as dawn came and the Robert H. Frost complex was still covered in about a half a foot of white stuff with a football game scheduled to be played just over 24-hours later.

A call to action spread around the area via social media and phone calls that bodies were needed to take on the monumental task of clearing nearly and acre and a half of snow from Wednesday’s storm.

It didn’t take long before Raiders head coach Gaitan Rodriguez and his players had forgotten about practice, put down the footballs and grabbed shovels.

Parents and other volunteers also put their collective backs into the project, which required a certain degree of finesse in clearing the newly completed 2.9 million dollar turf.

Put a plow on this turf was not an option this time around. With just the one game left before the complex shuts football down for the year, the risk of damaging the surface took away any thought of plowing.

Just some good old fashioned shovels, wheel barrels and four or five snow blowers went to work at about nine o’clock and continued until the sun went down later in the day.

With a partly sunny Saturday forecasted for the area, the team is counting on a little melting help from Mother Nature, who created this mess in the first place.

Volunteers brought drinks, snacks and pizza for the workers around mid-day and later in the afternoon, two local supporters, Alfredo’s Deli and Jimmy’s Store in Torrington donated nearly 20 grinders to keep the fuel level of those pounding away at the snow up at a high level.

The Raiders and the Watertown Indians will do battle on Saturday at 3 p.m. with the prized “Helmet” on the line.

VARSITY ALUMNI CLUB ALUMNI BASKETBALL GAMES: A terrific group of former Raider basketball players got together at the Torrington Armory and some memories flowed out of both the girls and boys teams as they took to the hardwood in two, 20-minute half’s.

Safe to say, neither game featured much defense but it was a chance for the players to re-charge their batteries with a friendly game that featured some of the best players ever to come out of THS.

The ladies were up first and a pair of sister combo’s took center stage.

Mariah (’12) and Kaylee (’09) Cerruto did battle against each other, as did Carrie (’07) and Lindsey (’09) Begey.

Lauren Cilfone (’10), a three-point machine for head coach Mike Fritch Sr. was on the floor with Morgan Thulin (’12) and Molly Bartles (’12), both hard working standouts in their time with the Raiders.

Taylor Christiano (’11) was back and fought hard inside, as she did every minute she was on the court during her years with THS.

Current Raider assistant coach, Erika Pratt (’97) got back in action against and with the very players she coached and represented herself very well, showing she still had it.

It’s part exhibition, part homecoming for these graduates who use their time home for the Thanksgiving break to catch up with old friends and teammates.

It was then the men’s turn to take the court and 14 former Raiders got back on the court with a history of all terrific high school basketball already jumping off their resumes.

From the 2006 Class L State Championship team, Michael Fabiaschi hit shots from downtown and ran the floor like he never left.

His father John (’80) represented the earlier generations and held his own while battling his way through traffic or setting up teammates for easy buckets.

Gary Robinson (’07) and a member of that ’06 team that went all the way, brought back memories of his tremendous inside presence while he was a Raider and an intern for LCS during the summer a few years back.

No beard but still fierce.

There was John Strawson (’05) and Steve Denza Jr. (’08) with Kevin Poniatoski (‘08) and Tony Ponte (’09) who each put on three-point shooting shows at times during this game.

Chris Fritch (’99) and Mark Borghesi (’99) mingled with Michael Ciesco (’03) and Justin Duksis (’09).

Tony Consolini (’12) was a force inside all game and ran the floor like he had never left while Andre French (’08) showed he hadn’t lost many steps over the last couple of years.

All in all, it was a very busy post-turkey day in T-Town.

Saturday, we put the 2014 football campaign to bed a little after six and get ready to head back into the gym to see the next generation of ballers make their mark in Raider history.

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