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Route 95 stinks and other thoughts

POSTED April 24, 2011
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

                                         Route 95 stinks and other thoughts

           Quick enough the calendar tells you that the vacation is over. But if I needed further reminders, the trip up Route 95 (which I might recommend as a test site should we ever need to test another nuclear weapon), from Colonial Williamsburg and Saturday’s raw rain rubbed it in real good.

            Part of reasserting myself in the working world is going through the weekly sports sections to see what I missed. When I left the high school season was just a week old, there was hardly a bud on the trees and Torrington baseball was still undefeated. The season is now rapidly approaching the halfway point, the trees on ready to bloom and Torrington is still undefeated. Oh, and the lawn is looking like it needs a trim, but first I have to find the mower. Another story.

            *I noticed that former Wilby star athlete Jimmy Arline died at the much too young age of 57 in Virginia. I never saw Arline pitch but his arm was legend. Many of the Naugatuck players from coach Ray Lagenza’s great teams of the early 1970s that authored one of the great streaks anywhere, winning 64 games in a row, will tell you about Arline.

            Wilby didn’t end the Greyhounds’ streak but through no fault of Arline. He struck out 21 batters in a game Naugatuck won in 1972, 6-4, in 12 innings. A game the Wildcats should have won if not for a dropped foul pop up.   

            Arline was also a football star and his legend lives on long after his playing days. His arm may have been as good as there was in the Valley. Condolences to the Wilby and Arline families and hats off to Wilby Athletic Director Steve Baldwin for recognizing the Wilby star’s passing with a moment at silence before the Wildcats’ game against Naugatuck.

            *My man Gaffney is doing a great job with his `26 Titans in 26 Days.’ We all should be familiar with Torrington’s new summer college baseball team when the season rolls around. I am glad, however, that somebody like the Michigan football team didn’t call and ask him to do ‘100 Wolverines in 100 Days.’ By the time he finished that, social security would be broke, Gov. Malloy will have taxed breathing and somebody might actually think Charlie Sheen’s one-man show is funny.

            *The often imitated but never duplicated Litchfield Parks and Rec Director Brent Hawkins dropped me a note saying that New York City Marathon champion, 1500 meter Olympic Bronze Medalist and father of KiDSMARATHON, Rod Dixon will by Litchfield Monday to spend some time with the Litchfield High Track and Field athletes who will lead a workout with KiDSMARATHONERS at Litchfield Intermediate School. The KM is an 8-week training program where kids in grades 3-6 run 26.2 miles over that time period.

            Dixon has always been a friend of the Litchfield Hills Road Race and Litchfield in general.  He is a great ambassador for the sports and a lot of fun to talk to. This is a great relationship for the Litchfield running community.

            By the way, the LHRR is only seven weeks away. Time to start training. I have already started by walking up my porch steps in preparation for getting on the press truck.

            *With the league’s top pitcher in Victoria Cheske, Holy Cross was tapped by many to be the odds on favorite to win the NVL softball title. Veteran coach Scooter Zappone, who is in his first season as the Crusaders’ head man after 20 years with Nonnewaug, said not so fast.

            As usual, Scooter knew what he was talking about. Naugatuck roughed up Cheske and the Crusaders, 6-0, Thursday, sending the message that the title is very much up for grabs. And guess who is leading? None other than Seymour.

            The perennially powerful Wildcats handed Woodland their first loss Thursday, 5-0, to up their record to 7-0. Meanwhile, Woodland and coach Loren Luddy are 8-1 while Holy Cross is 7-1. The month of May is setting up to one interesting story.

            *The Torrington Football Letterman’s Club is looking for your support. The group will hold its second annual golf tournament Friday, June 24 at Western Hills Golf Course in Waterbury. Registration is from 6:45-7:45 a.m. with a shotgun start and scramble format.

            All of the proceeds, 100 percent, will benefit the Torrington High football team. The cost is $150 per person with lunch, dinner and beverages on the course included. You can register and pay through paypal online at or mail your registration to TFLC, P.O. Box 1305, Torrington, CT 06790.

            A worthy cause guys. Give it a go!         

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