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Score, hand the ball to the ref. Raiders football rewarded with Sportsmanship Award.

POSTED November 23, 2015
BY Timothy W. Gaffney
Twitter: @TimothyGaffney

TORRINGTON: I saw it after nearly every touchdown the Torrington Raiders football team scored since the start of this remarkable 8-1 campaign began back on a blistering hot practice field in late August.

Score, hand the ball to the referee.

It’s a pattern I watched develop that was rewarded by the men who collected those footballs after the Raiders reached the end zone who late last week named the Torrington football team the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award from the Western Connecticut officiating board.

What a terrific way to honor the players and coaches from THS who have worked hard to become not just a pretty special football team but a pretty special group of young men.

Head coach Gaitan Rodriguez and his staff have worked hard since they arrived here three years ago at doing just what this award signifies, understanding what it means to be part of a community and representing ones school with honor and dignity.

We have seen the changes on and off the field.

Just last Thursday, we had senior quarterback Connor Finn and lineman Eric Mayerjack on our Cable 5 Show which was broadcast live in the Optimum viewing area.

If you were one of the lucky ones to see the show, you understood that these were two young men who do it right, who understand it’s a privilege to wear the maroon and black, not a right.

Both young men have seen their share of television cameras during the season and have lived up to what comes with that exposure.

It’s a family affair with this team, a group of young men who, in some cases have been playing together for a good long time and consider each other brothers.

You know the names. Finn, Marens, Mayerjack, Bresson, Covington, Mancini, Frias, Reynoso, LaForge, Mendiola, Boccio and the remainder of this tough and rugged unit.

Torrington has found the end zone on plenty of occasions this year, they rank second in the Naugatuck Valley League in scoring with 389 points scored and fourth overall in the entire state.

The award is not just given for how teams act after finding the promise land, it also pertains to how teams act throughout the course of the game, making it that much more of a tribute to the actions of the young men on the field.

With 16 seniors on this 2015 team, all of whom will be either on the field or sidelines for the first state playoff game in early December, what better way to go out than with an award that recognizes positive actions by the student/athletes at Torrington High School.

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