Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CSWA HS FOOTBALL POLL

CT SPORTS WRITERS' ALLIANCE H.S. FOOTBALL POLL
Week #11 (Regular Season Final)
Released November 29, 2010
Rank Team (1st Place Votes)    Rec    Pts    Prev.
T1. Masuk (12)                        10-0    348     1
T1. Xavier (12)                         10-0    348     2
3. Berlin                                    10-0    301     4
4. New Canaan                           9-1    278    T6
5. Norwich Free Academy        10-0    250    T6
6. Daniel Hand                            9-1    203    T8
7. Staples                                    9-1    190    T8
8. Darien                                   10-1    177      3
9. Trumbull                                  9-2    151    NR
10. Glastonbury                           9-1    138    NR

Also Receiving Votes: Naugatuck 9-1 127; Montville 9-1 101; Ansonia 9-1 78; West Haven 8-2 54; Valley Regional/Old Lyme 10-0 50; New London 8-2 27; North Haven 9-1 17; St. Joseph 7-3 14; Notre Dame-West Haven 7-3 7; Conard 8-2 6; Windsor 8-2 6; Bristol Eastern 9-1 4; Hall 8-2 3; Brookfield 8-2 1; Middletown 7-3 1.

Voters: Marc Allard (Norwich Bulletin), Bob Barton (CT H.S. Football Record Book), Bill Bloxsom (Hersam Acorn), Jim Bransfield (Middletown Press), Kyle Brennan (Waterbury Republican), Ray Curren (Elm City Newspapers), George DeMaio (WELI Radio), Gerry deSimas (Collinsville Publishing Co.), Bill Donovan (WXLM 980 AM), Mark Fijalkowski (CT Sports Network), Dave Greenleaf (CCC website), Mike Guerrera (Southington Citizen), John Holt (WFSB Channel 3), Larry Kelley (Patch.com), Bob Lazzari (Valley Times), Greg Lederer (Cheshire Herald), Ken Lipshez (Valley Publishing Co.), Sean Patrick Bowley (Connecticut Post), Dave Phillips (Shoreline Times), Mike Pucci (New Haven Register), Paul Rosano (Meriden Record-Journal), Dave Ruden (Stamford Advocate), Mike Suppe (Hersam Acorn Newspapers), Tom Yantz (Hartford Courant)

Monday, November 29, 2010

MORRELL RESIGNS

While it is no longer my assignment to cover New Britain sports, I wanted to pass along that beleaguered Hurricanes football coach Paul Morrell has resigned.

I haven't spoken to Paul but I feel it is in the best interests of all that he do this and I'm very happy for him.  The horrible message boards posted anonymously after my articles on the games and related circumstances are totally unfair and unnecessary.  I condemn the Herald for condoning the reports and permitting them to stay online.  When it comes to local sports coverage and the assessment of a high school coach, these attacks are beneth the dignity of decent people, let along publications that ostensibly cover the city.  If a critic attaches a name to such barbaric assaults on a man who is simply doing his best to help our youth, so be it.  At least the man can defend himself in a way he sees fit without making it public theater.

Coach Morrell will be visible on a sideline in the area as the able assistant he is geared to be.  Perhaps someday, he will try his hand at head coaching again. 

While my name will no longer appear on Herald pages, I invite my treasured readers who have enjoyed my work for so many years to check out both the Valley Press (Farmington Valley towns) and the West Hartford Press.  I promise there will be no bashing of innocent community-minded people like Paul Morrell there, not by me or anybody else who won't sign his name.

Monday, November 22, 2010

FOUR ROCK CATS ON TWINS' ROSTER

The New Britain Rock Cats didn’t manufacture many wins in 2010 but that hasn’t kept the Minnesota Twins’ developmental machine from hitting its production schedule.

Four players from the team that posted a 44-98 record – the worst in Minor League Baseball – were promoted to the Twins’ 40-man major league roster Friday: outfielders Joe Benson and Rene Tosoni, right-handed pitcher David Bromberg and first baseman/outfielder Chris Parmelee.

Benson, 22, played in 102 games for the Rock Cats, batted .251 with 20 doubles, seven triples, a team-best 23 home runs, 49 RBI, and 12 stolen bases. He also displayed excellent defensive skills and an above-average throwing arm. Earlier this month the Twins named him their 2010 Minor League Player of the Year.

Bromberg, 23, made 17 starts for the Rock Cats before his mid-July promotion to Triple-A Rochester. He is now pitching in the Arizona Fall League.

Parmelee, 22, appeared in 111 games for New Britain. Baseball America recently rated him as one of the top pure hitters in Minor League Baseball and hitting .339 in the Arizona Fall League further reinforced that evaluation.

Tosoni, 24, played in portions of both the 2009 and 2010 seasons in New Britain. A torn labrum in his right shoulder necessitated season-ending surgery in June.

Of the 40 players on Minnesota’s roster, 32 are former Rock Cats.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

GOODBYE HERALD, HELLO VALLEY AND WEST HARTFORD

As most of you probably know by now, I have left the New Britain Herald for the much greener pastures of the weekly newspapers that serve the Farmington Valley and West Hartford.

Aside from the pastures being greener for the obvious reason, I was very impressed that the Valley Press is expanding into West Hartford after enjoying success in Farmington, Burlington, Avon, Canton, Simsbury and Granby. Meanwhile, the Herald evacuated Farmington, Wethersfield and Rocky Hill.

I will miss the Herald, seeing that I gave the New Britain readers 15 years of my professional career, a substantial chunk to be sure. I truly saw myself riding into the sunset of my career with the Herald but I was never so gratified when I discovered that the Valley Press really wanted me.  Everybody knows how great it feels to be wanted.

I join a talented, dedicated crew of people who express their desire to serve the readers of the region through the excellence of their work. 

I cannot wait to delve into a position where I can shape the sports section to my very own contours, an opportunity I was never afforded in New Britain.  I am an extreme proponent of local sports.  I have no desire to expound on major league or major college sports and won't bore you with my opinions on them.  They hold little value since I am not in the press boxes and sidelines of Boston, New York or Storrs.  Readers who wish to stay abreast of the Red Sox, Giants and Huskies can find well-written, detailed observations in daily publications around the state and nation as well as on the internet and television.

My expertise lies in my 20 years of high school coverage and an association with the the Eastern League and minor league baseball for nearly 30 years.  Since over 350,000 of you attend Rock Cats games annually, you will be given periodic inside views of what happens at New Britain Stadium both on and off the field.

My scholastic sports associations range from one end of the state to the other.  My efforts were rewarded last year when I was inducted into the Connecticut High School Coaches Association Hall of Fame and I wear the ring I received with great pride.  They will be rewarded again at the prestigious Gold Key Dinner on April 17, 2011, when I will be presented with the Art McGinley Award for meritorious service to the Connecticut Sports Writers' Alliance.  Now, my efforts have been recognized and rewarded and I move forward with a renewed enthusiasm to inform and entertain with the ability that God so generously gave me.

I hope to hear from my old friends. I look forward to establishing relationships with many new ones.