Gaffney's Take for Friday. Joe Pal hangs em up, THS football and walking.
TORRINGTON: Wow, that was a fast and hot July.
Before we know it, the big yellow busses will be rolling around our local roads (and perhaps construction will wrap up?) and another school year will begin.
I know far more about the back roads of Torrington than I care to at this point considering the avoidance techniques we have to use to avoid major construction areas.
What’s been happening? Glad you asked.
Joe Paladino: In case you haven’t heard, Joe Pal is leaving the Waterbury Republican American after a remarkable career that impacted so, so many people in a positive way.
Name a city or town in the area and you can bet Joe did multiple stories about people that you know, if not you!
Telling stories, not just game stories, was what made Joe Pal special. He threw his opinions out there when needed and warranted and had a passion for telling it like it was.
Over the last decade when digital became all the thing to do, this sports scribe adopted and not only learned all the technology needed for websites and the like but perfected it.
He was Mr. High School sports.
Joe did a story on a good friend of mine forever ago, Pete Montesano who was battling cancer at the time and helped a community come together to celebrate a guy who thankfully, is still with us.
Finding sports writers who understand that the future in this business is more than box scores and game stories will be a challenge for the place he called home for so long.
The hours that he spent in gyms or on fields is something you can’t replace quickly.
We will miss you out there, Joe Pal.
Thank you for what you did for your vast community.
Torrington Football Camp: Last week, the Raiders football team held a camp with the Torrington Warriors youth program, the farm system to the high school.
Over three nights, nearly 40 players from THS worked the youngsters from the Warriors through drill and conditioning.
Every phase of the sport was worked on from line work to passing routes to how to properly throw a pass. You name it, it was covered.
The high school players seemed to revel in the enthusiasm that came from the younger kids who got a chance to play on the turf field at the Robert H Frost Complex. A place they one day hope to play on.
Head coach Gaitan Rodriguez was joined by his coaching staff and multiple alumni who came back to help train the future.
Two great programs working together. Bravo.
Hitting the Track: After taking far too long off from using my legs for something more than hitting the fridge for another snack, I’ve gotten myself back to walking at the THS track each morning.
I’m not going to lie. It hurt the first few mornings as my body reminded me of how long it had been since I did anything to improve my health.
Five days in though, I can report some progress.
I haven’t fallen which is a good thing and had steadily increased the distance and intensity of each walk.
Monday: 6 laps.
Tuesday: 8 laps.
Wednesday: 10 laps
Thursday: 8 laps, sprint (humor me) for 100 yards four times.
Friday: 8 laps, sprint (stop laughing) for 100 yards six of the eight laps.
10 miles in five days. I’ll take it, it’s a start.