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Wilson: A Closer Look

POSTED January 27, 2013
BY Rick Wilson
Twitter: @scribewilson

A Closer Look

                                           So long and thanks, George


            The NVL and area sports community lost a good friend Saturday with the death of former Wilby Athletic Director, George Tirado due to cancer.  Tirado also coached the Wilby baseball, girls basketball and volleyball teams during his 35 years at Wilby. In 1981 he led Wilby to its last girls basketball title.

            In recent years, Tirado was the main guy for the NVL championship tournaments and CIAC tournament events at Municipal Stadium.

            Any site George was at was always a comfortable site. I never walked into the Wilby gym without George being one of the first to greet me. “Glad you’re here, Mr. Wilson (it was always Mr.), what can I do for you,” he said. “Can I get you a chair? Do you need something to eat?”

            George was one of those guys that just couldn’t do enough for you. He became a respected friend and a welcome face over the years. When I was surprised with a plaque for contributions to the NVL several years ago, it was George that led the charge I was told.

            George died much too young at the age of 59. He was an accomplished man in the sports world and well beyond. The last time I saw him was at Muncipal Stadium and it was as if nothing had changed. We exchanged greetings small-talked a bit and moved on.

            I know we lost a good man. I know I lost a good friend. Thanks for everything George. Our world is now a little emptier. But you touched many in your time.


            You may have noticed in the papers this past week that Litchfield has agreed to meet with Thomaston officials concerning the possibility THS students attending Litchfield High.  This is not window dressing here, folks.  Thomaston is looking at the option of closing down its high school due to declining enrollment.

            There are so many facets to this and it is early in the process, but from purely a sports point of view it would be a sad day for Golden Bear fans and athletes who have added much to the BL and area sports landscape for more than 75 years. Stay tuned for this one. 


            You’ve got to love the Berkshire League girls basketball race especially after Lewis Mills downed Nonnewaug, 57-40, Friday night. The Spartans and Chiefs now have two losses while defending champion Thomaston has one defeat.

            Mills and Thomaston lock up Friday night in Thomaston while Nonnewaug travels to Thomaston in the Bears’ next to last game. Oh, and Thomaston still has to travel to Northwestern who gave the Bears their only defeat to date.

            Down to the wire, isn’t that the way it is supposed to be? Sure makes it fun. By the way, hats off to Mills coach Joe Capitani who has brought the Spartans back after a down season. Nonnewaug and Thomaston have been good over a long period of time.


            While we’re on the girls basketball wave length hasn’t Watertown now established itself as the favorite in the topsy-turvy NVL race? The Indians impressive, 45-32, win over Kennedy Friday night has coach Ed Lopes’ team officially moving ahead of the pack with wins over Holy Cross, Kennedy and everybody else except Torrington. Meanwhile everybody else has stumbled here and there.

            There are no super stars on the Watertown team but they seem to have the most balance with five very solid starters. The NVL Tournament will still be up in the air because there is no dominant team like in the past. But, Watertown, barring some kind of slump down the stretch, goes in as the favorite.


            I know nobody is feeling sorry for Holy Cross and coach Ed Generali. But, when was the last time you remember the Crusaders being 4-11?


            I’m sorry but doing flips off of jumps with snow mobiles doesn’t seem very smart to me. Probably not to the couple of drivers who had them land on them either. I’d rather watch Pawn Brokers, American Pickers or Swamp People. A question of taste I guess.


            Was that Shepaug Valley cross country coach Tom Scarola entertaining the good folks at The Corner Restaurant in Litchfield Friday night? Indeed it was. Scarola plays the guitar and sings and does it well. Here’s hoping he has a good run (I couldn’t resist).


            There’s a really neat lady in Thomaston named Patty Kelley. She owns one of those Norman Rockwell breakfast and lunch joints where everybody knows you name and has a heart bigger than our national deficit.

            If you are a regular and don’t show up, she calls or goes looking for you. She donates food and picks customers up. She has employed more than one elderly customer who just wants to help out. She has employed those who need a job.  She visits. She cares. She does it all.

            She was named the town’s Rotary Club Citizen of the Year this week. Nobody has ever deserved the honor more.   


            Super Bowl next week. What do you mean you already heard about it? Where have I been?

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