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The almost annual Hoopy Awards

POSTED March 24, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

            We have traveled up and down and back and forth over the area roads over the last four months watching balls hit the rim, balls miss the rim, balls hitting nothing but net, listening to chants and in general watching the good the bad and in some cases… yes, the ugly.

            We have been to the Sun (Mohegan) and we have glued our eyes open at times. And we know it is not all about wins and losses. So allow me to resurrect an old favorite `The Not Nearly Annual’ Hoopy Awards.

            A look at the different, the inane, the things that maybe we noticed that made us chuckle, raised an eyebrow or two and just took notice of. It has been a blast.

BEST HOSPITALITY ROOM – Okay, you can’t beat Mohegan Sun which offers two TVS, chips, Danish, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, coffee, soda and anything else your starving belly needs. There’s also security to make sure no nefarious characters enter without proper ID.            But on a local level, the honor again goes to Thomaston and its A.D. Bill Ryan. Why, you ask? Certainly the NVL does a fine job at its tournament. It’s all about the shrimp, folks. Ryan gets shrimp. I think he has a secret seafood budget. However he gets it, shrimp is shrimp. Word has it some folks never left the room. Also, Ryan had his own security watching the food. A top notch job.

BEST ORANGE TIE AND SWEATER – Can you say Mark Fowler. The Terryville boys coach has the orangest sweater ever seen and his tie is well, mighty orange. There ought to be a Sunkist contract for him somewhere. By the way, his team isn’t half bad either.

MOST HUMBLE QUOTE – Question offered to Capital Prep coach Tammy Millsaps at halftime of the Class S championship game -  “Coach why is your team so much better than everybody else?”

Answer – “It’s the coaching.”

            Okay, I’ll let you toss that one around a bit.

TV DOES ADD POUNDS AWARD – I chose to wear a very yellow shirt to the Class S girls title game between Thomaston and Capital Prep. Tim Gaffney and I happened to be on CPTV at halftime. Can you say giant lemon? I know I need to shed some cellulite but on TV, well, if Sunkist hired Fowler and me we would have the citrus market cornered. Gee, Richard Simmons where are you?

BEST QUOTE – “ The General Manager of Capital Prep did a helluva a job. They put together a nice team.” – Thomaston High coach Bob McMahon

            Okay, I’ll let you toss that one around a bit.

AL TO THE RESCUE AWARD – When Shepaug Valley girls coach Rico Brogna resigned abruptly with four games left in the season, venerable Al Ciarlo who had been coaching the JVs stepped forward. Ciarlo had enough on his plate to not want to take over a program even for several weeks. He’s seen it, done it, been there. But Al is a professional and Shepaug is lucky to have him.

MOST IMPRESSIVE STUDENT CHEERING SECTION – Thomaston’s `Cave’ was outstanding but St. Paul’s boisterous body dresses up in all sorts of costumes and they are mighty loud. I saw Superman, Santa Claus, a tree and all sorts of other people there. And, the only thing I had to drink was a diet coke. Well done Falcons.

BEST REFEREEING JOB BY A FORMER COACH -  I ran into former Housatonic girls coach Kevin Riley tooting a junior high recreation game recently. As with his coaching, the job was top notch.  

GRITTIEST EFFORT – How about Hope Shevchuk of Lewis Mills? The senior has a blow ACL, yet there she was giving it her best go, big brace and all against Thomaston in the Berkshire League Girls Tournament final. A lot of heart here.

CALMEST DEMEANOR BY A COACH -  The last time Northwestern Regional boys coach Doug Sebach raised his voice was when somebody misplaced his Highlander polo shirt. He strolls the sideline with a comment here and there like he is out on a Sunday walk. Of course it all helps when your team zips through the league with a 22-0 record and has players like John Stevens and Connor Guiheen. Not much to yell about here.

BEST PREGAME MUSIC – Okay, my age is showing here. But Lewis Mills actually has songs you can listen to and actually sing along with. Most just seems to be a ball of confusion. Time to move on here. My age is showing.

BEST COMEBACK – Wamogo erased a nine-point deficit in under two minutes in the BL Boys Tournament semifinals. Never count a Gregg Hunt team out. This one was so god even Hunt’s basketball tie was doing a dance.

BIGGEST COACHING OFFICE – Fred Williams is considering offering out some of his space as a rental unit. Enough said. Stipulation – you have to keep the photos of the horses on the wall.

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