Print this story

Some championship game thoughts and more

POSTED November 03, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson


                              Some championship game thoughts and more


            I was fortunate to cover a couple of title games this past week, the NVL boys soccer championship at Municipal Stadium between Torrington and Naugatuck and the BL field hockey contest between Nonnewaug and Thomaston.

            First of all, congratulations to the champions, Naugatuck who eased past the Red Raiders, 4-1, and Nonnewaug who nipped the Bears, 1-0. Coach Art Nunes has had one of the most respected programs in the state for a long while and his team overwhelmed Torrington in game which was supposed to be much closer.

            On the field hockey side, Kathy Brenner has built the top program in the Berkshire League as a fourth straight title would indicate.

            So congratulations to both programs on a job well done. But, there were a couple of aspects of each game besides four excellent teams and two teams that won titles that left lasting impressions.

            As for the soccer game played in front of several hundred vocal fans which created a good atmosphere how about this – Guys can we bottle up some of the testosterone?

            There were seven yellow cards issued in the game which at one point in the second half didn’t look that far from going overboard and getting out of hand. There was some pushing and shoving a lot of yakking and one Naugatuck player who nearly had his pants ripped off.

            Okay, we know the stakes are high but how about playing more soccer and less head games. One of the most tiresome sights is to hear the whistle blow and the hands go up almost every time to signal, what me? What did I do? He started it. Nobody ever commits an infraction. Go stand in a corner please.

            It is all about maturity and putting your team ahead of the macho, macho man mentality. Consistent refereeing would help, but how about rising above it. I know the respective coaches Nunes and Torrington’s Mike Fritch teach the right way.

            I know boys will be boys but they need to be better boys. As one person said to me this season, he had never heard as much yakking as this year. No good for the team or the game.

            On to field hockey and let me preface this by saying that Nonnewaug knew what it had to do which was win, went on the road and accomplished its goal. The Chiefs came up big with a gritty effort and by the rules they are the champions and earned it.

            So the kicker here is not the game. The stinker is the rule. I’m not a big fan of ties but you can’t decide a title when two teams split their games and finished with the same record which is what happened here. Thomaston beat Nonnewaug in overtime in the first meeting, Nonnewaug won the rematch in regulation.

            In the sometimes crazy  world of field hockey you don’t get assessed a loss if you lose in overtime you actually get a point. What’s the sense of keeping a final score? The title was decided because Nonnewaug beat Thomaston in less time than Thomaston beat Nonnewaug.

            So let’s see, in basketball in we end up with the same record and split our games and I beat you overtime and you beat me in regulation you win the title. In baseball under the same scenario and it takes me extra innings to beat you, you win the title.

            If you want to use the point to help teams qualify for the state tournament which was given to me as part of the reason for the setup, fine. Use it to rank teams. Just don’t use it to decide titles.

            I have heard several people claim that part of the reason here is that once you go into overtime in field hockey and each side is reduced to 7-on-7 it is not the same game. Really?

Then count it as two separate games. It is the same game in which both teams have agreed to play under altered conditions for practical reasons.

            The Berkshire League A.D.’s need to change this one, Quickly. This is no way to decide a title.


            Be happy for coach Gaitan Rodriguez and the Torrington High football team. The Raiders beat Kennedy, 21-0, Friday night for their first win since last season. This is a program that has gone through a lot of unwarranted criticism since the arrest of two high school students last spring that happened to play football at one time.

            A school and community problem became a football problem due to inaccurate coverage from the much of the media.  The off-the-field problems combined with a having a new coach and a very young team have made for a very long season.

            So it was nice to see a lot of hard-working young men enjoy the fruits of victory Friday night. Here’s hoping the Raiders get a couple of more before the season ends in less than a month.


            Tip your hat to the Red Sox even if you don’t like them. They found the big moment from less than big spots. They didn’t get a lot from everybody but a little from a lot of people. They were `Boston Strong’.


            Is the UConn football season still going on?


            Brian Campbell is going to do even bigger things in the boxing world. He is that good. But in one way it doesn’t matter. Heand his wife have already done very big things in his life with his two children. Read Tim Gaffney’s story. Good stuff.


            One friend and Yankee fan wasn’t overly pleased that the Yankees gave Derek Jeter $12 million for next year after missing most of this year and approaching the ripe old age of 40. Okay, this is why I would never be a a good GM. Good for the Yankees. Derek Jeter gets what he wants. He has earned it. An unbeatable combination of talent and grace.  Call it sentiment or whatever, Jeter has earned the right to call the way he goes out. And, who says he won’t have another good year. Good for the Yankees.


            There’s a lot of high school state tournament action out there this week. Grab a chair and a spouse or significant other and get out there and watch. Check game times because many games start at 2 p.m. due to the time change.


For more from Rick Wilson click here