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NVL and BL prove themselves in softball tournament; Rick Wilson takes a Closer Look

POSTED June 08, 2015
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

             How about a cheer for NVL and BL softball. The NVL has three teams in the state semifinals while the BL has two. Now that is pretty impressive stuff.

            NVL champion Oxford will take on No. 6 Tolland to be followed by No. 5 Seymour against No. 1 St. Joseph’s at DeLuca Field in Stratford Monday in a pair of Class M contests. Then there is Holy Cross. The NVL semifinalist has a date with top-ranked East Granby in Class S.

            Defending Class S champion and BL champion Thomaston tangles with No. 22 Hale-Ray Tuesday at West Haven High School. And how about Nonnewaug? An afterthought in most people’s minds, Kat Parlato’s crew is in the Class L semifinals against No. 10 East Haven.

            Also hats off to Wamogo a Class quarterfinalist and Torrington a Class L quarterfinalist who had outstanding tournaments.

            The NVL has a reputation as a tough league at the top and has more than punctuated that reputation. The BL is not considered a strong league, but the results are saying that idea might want to be revisited. Nice job! 


            American Pharoah gave us something to root for and in the end something to be proud of. I am not a horse racing guy. I don’t do trifectas or daily doubles, never been to a race, heck, never been on a horse. But like so many I got caught up in this. We live for the moment and a Triple Crown for the first time in 37 years is one heck of a moment.

            I was so inspired that I went back and watched Secretariat win the Triple Crown in 1973. I was in high school and fell in love with Big Red. Go back and watch the Belmont, he was two gallops above awesome.  American Pharoah brought it all back.


            Here are a couple of sure bets for next week’s 39th running of the Litchfield Hills Road Race. 1.) Bill Neller won’t win, but he will run for the 39th time.  2.) Once again the press truck will be filled with people, some who will actually write about the race 3.) Brent Hawkins will once again look resplendent in some kind of outfit that looked like he robbed the wardrobe room of the old Batman TV show. 4.) Once again, the Murelli’s will have the top gourmet table on the green 5.) Biff Pond will have a fat cigar and still be trying to get the legendary Hot Ethel to perform.

            We could on, but pack you coolers and picnic-type baskets and get there. Have you ever not been entertained by the four-day party with a race sandwiched in between?


            Nice to see Chris Anderson back as coach of the Woodland High football team, a program that he guided two a pair of state titles in the early 2000s.  Class guy, good coach, a solid proven product. Look for Woodland to move back into the top tier of the NVL.


            Thanks and best wishes to a few Athletic Directors who are moving on in the next school year. Nonnewaug’s Bill Nemec is moving up into a different administrative position at the school while Thomaston’s Jen Ewart is going back to full time teaching.  Nice job to both of them.


            I have never been a big Serena Williams fan my tastes always drifting more to Chris Evert or even Steffi Graf in her later years. But what do you say after 20 majors? It is hard to argue that thee has ever been anybody as Williams who just keeps rolling on. Sometimes you have to appreciate what is in front of you.


            Remember when all thought Tiger Woods would not only beat Jack Nicklaus’s record of 18 majors but obliterate it? Tiger shot an 85 on Saturday on the Memorial. His well chiseled body breaks down frequently. At 39-years-old, nobody is willing to say he will never win again. But surpassing Jack? That ship appears to be going, going…….

            By the way, on the same day Tiger shot an 85, Phil Mickelson shot a 78. He hasn’t won in two years and while seemingly not in the same dire straits as Tiger you can’t help but wonder if Phil’s winning ways are done at 45. He did content at the PGA last year and the Masters in April, but he can’t seem to string together more than a couple of good rounds together and rarely a top-10 finisher anymore. Not ruling him out yet, but his performances don’t’ lend themselves to optimism.


            Back to softball for a minute. Good luck to all the teams. Wouldn’t an fourth Oxford-Seymour matchup for the Class M title and a second Holy Cross-Thomaston clash for the Class S crown make for a great Friday / Saturday? Might not happen that way but one can only hope.

            Have a nice week and we’ll see you down the road.

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