Of mosquitoes, bowling and singing at Fenway: a look back at H.S. season

Published: April 9, 2020 | Mike DiMauro

A chronological look back at some notable high school sports moments since September:

Aren't UConn fans supposed to know something about women's basketball?

Published: April 8, 2020 | Mike DiMauro

The top 32 players in UConn women's history

Sports are doomed! Sports are doomed! (Or not)

It's early April. I have no idea what sports will look like in the coming months. Neither does anyone else

Playing politics during a pandemic? You no longer matter

This pandemic, if nothing else, has illustrated a few things to me: 1) politics during a health crisis are toxic and destructive; and 2) the unending need to be right about everything is overrated.

Marc Romano finally got the job he deserves: full-time athletic director

Groton needs to reconsider its AD position

We have more reasons than ever to believe in the goodness of people

We are living very conscious days, perhaps examining our lives and values as never before.

Moreland hasn't lost his fastball, even dealing with daughter's coronavirus

Local football official and baseball umpire Kevin Moreland learned Monday that his daughter, Cory Lynn, a nurse at Yale-New Haven, has the coronavirus. She is 24.

East Lyme's Mebus sisters are heroes in NYC ... and need your help

Rachel and Paige Mebus, former athletes and graduates of East Lyme High, work in New York City hospitals, heroically and frightfully fighting the coronavirus.

Game changer: My friend Doris tested positive for coronavirus

It's a relief to know Doris Burke is symptom free. Yet her story is also a cautionary tale.

Depth made selecting ECC All-Decade baseball team a challenge

Nowhere else in the state can trumpet the names O'Neill, Harvey, Varjas, Rousseau, Schiffner, Bidwell, McDonald, Davis, Campbell, Walker, Fordyce, Carignan ... Apologies to the scores of others unintentionally omitted.

If Nocito was in your gymnasium, it was a big game

Tony Nocito retires after 19 ECC championship games, nine state championship games and as the 2017 CIAC Official of the Year.

Life, liberty ... and the fundamental right to birdie 17 at Shenny

Can someone explain why Shennecossett, Norwich Golf Course and Stonington Country Club (for its members) are still open?

We never made it to Mohegan, but we sure can remember

GameDay has compiled highlights of the top 10 state playoff games of the past decade involving schools from this corner of the world.

Noreika the latest example of character rising from crisis

A Facebook site established recently to collect restaurant gift cards earmarked for the staff at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital

This is the perfect time to help out others

The best way we’re going to survive this is together. So how does one navigate such a paradoxical road? Look to our favorite gin mills, of course.

Vermont-Syracuse and Jensen's memories remind us how much we miss sports

It was 15 years ago when a bunch of players from Vermont became the most treasured men in the state this side of Ben or Jerry. The No. 15 Catamounts took down No. 2 Syracuse with Stonington Whiz Kid Alex Jensen in the middle of it.

No need for CIAC to end spring season without giving it a chance

We will know more Wednesday about the plight of the spring high school sports season, following a meeting of league commissioners at Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference headquarters.

Sports suddenly 'don't matter?' They've never mattered more

Sports, the great societal distraction, became the vehicle that ultimately awakened the country to the COVID-19's threat.

Should the CIAC return $29,300 in state tournament entry fees?

We've learned in recent days and weeks that the economic tentacles of the coronavirus have left our better angels indisposed

Cancel sports tournaments but not school? I don't think so

Somehow, educational leadership in our state has concluded that our kids are safer among all their classmates, teachers and other staffers within the bustling halls of a school than they would be playing basketball in a gym without spectators

The CIAC allowed fear to prevail instead of common sense

There was never a darker day in state high school sports than Tuesday. We allowed fear of the unknown to stage a coup d'état on common sense.

Dr. I finds a practical use for Coronavirus

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for bracketology, a case of Lysol to arrive and for the Yankees to get a new medical staff:

The Facchini files: Mercy should temper justice, but when it involves kids?

There is nothing more sacrosanct that protecting our kids from predatory adults. I just don't see justice served in its highest form here when so many people have been hurt, beginning with kids

ECC, Mohegan Sun partnership has become envy of entire state

The Eastern Connecticut Conference has become a beacon for other leagues in Connecticut to emulate. Never has this league been more efficient and of better service to the kids and their memories.

Suddenly, we own college hoops in this corner of the world

It was a little less than 24 hours earlier that the Bears, left for dead a few weeks ago, won their third road game in five days, this one for the conference tournament championship at WPI.

Appointment to Navy caps quite a week for Fitch's Brown

Fitch senior Ajia Brown a different kind of cat. He says "sir" a lot in casual conversation. He actually converses. And he can do so with adults as easy as his friends. Makes you pine for more like him.

Girls from the ECC finally get to play The Big Room

There is no other sporting venue in the country today — none — that does more for girls' and women's sports than Mohegan Sun Arena. #GirlDads everywhere have enjoyed the shapes and forms of Neon Uncasville for many years now.

What's all that jazz about at Coast Guard? A new lease on the season

Basketball practice, perhaps met at moments throughout the season with a sense of dread, never felt as good as it did Monday at Coast Guard.

Courtney Williams: Not here anymore because she didn't want to be

Courtney Williams had a specific target in mind for the summer of 2020. It wasn't Connecticut.

Light: Stonington's 'team of one' who wrestles at Fitch

Sam Light, otherwise a Stonington Bear – his wrestling singlet is brown and white – wrestles with Fitch as a "team of one," the CIAC's option that allows kids to stay in the sport they love.

Is Old Saybrook really looking for a fight with Ellis family over zoning issue?

The town of Old Saybrook's Zoning Commission is suing town residents John and Jane Ellis, who have dedicated most of their lives to helping cancer victims and their families through the Connecticut Sports Foundation.

Orbe is the right guy for the right job at the right time

Phil Orbe wins wherever he goes. He does not tolerate fools. He will hold you accountable. He is fair. He is firm. This job means a lot to him. So does the city.

Third graders at RMMS want to own their words

The idea is that RMMS is teaching kids to stand up for what they believe in – and not care who knows it. I love it. And so should journalists – real ones, anyway - everywhere

I'll volunteer my time to fix a flawed CIAC playoff system

Some years fly us to nirvana. Some years plunge us into the abyss.

Here's a chance for everyone screaming 'sexism!' to actually show up

The voices from the wilderness were heard. The ECC decided this past offseason to move the girls' championship games, Divisions I and II, to Mohegan Sun as well

How about a bipartisan effort to make MGM's sports betting ramblings moot?

What if some (all?) of the same legislators join in a similar bipartisan effort to rewrite state law and render MGM's arguments less applicable?

NFA's Martin reaching new heights

Paige Martin has been setting records all winter, including her school's indoor mark, which stands at 12 feet, 6 inches. And counting. Martin's recent vault of 12-6 would have rendered her the top seed in the ECC Div. II boys' meet Saturday and the No. 2 seed in ECC Div. I.

Play a freshman over a senior? In a heartbeat

I don't care about individuals, their playing time or their stats. I care about the team. Winning the game. Period. And I don't like people who think otherwise.

The sights and sounds of streaming No. 1 vs. No. 2

What an idea. What a challenge. The two best teams in Connecticut, the best current rivalry ... but would GameDay's appeal resonate in another region of the state?

It will take only a dollar for students to become part of a 'miracle'

If we're truly serious now about "making the most of every day," we can perhaps extract ourselves from self-indulgence and achieve true happiness and fulfillment in the best way possible: start helping others. We can begin today.

If you think picking an all-decade girls' hoop team is easy, think again

So much for an all-decade team serving as an amusing distraction. This was hard. And also testimony that the ECC may have been the best league in Connecticut in girls’ basketball — at least at the top — for the entire decade.

Can we all pay attention to Chief Malerba's message?

Alas, the opinions from our lawmakers on this issue are irrelevant. So is mine. I am not Native American and have little concept what is truly offensive. I can surmise, sure. But I have not lived it. This counts.

Courtney Gomez is right where she belongs: NFA

And yet here is Courtney Gomez, with an energy level that could make Eversource take notes, happily following The Guy at Norwich Free Academy

UConn-Tennessee: drama, diatribe, Doral, choke signs and utter humanity

The residual effect of women's sports' greatest rivalry has been greater awareness for female athletes everywhere. Not just in Connecticut. Women's sports are bigger and better than ever because of the history behind what's about to transpire again Thursday night at the XL Center

The world needs more of Mike Fiers and less of Jessica Mendoza

Mendoza's dizzying levels of obtuseness illustrated a fundamental lack of understanding of the media's job, especially in a day and age when anonymity stonewalls progress.

Do you trust the outcome of a Major League Baseball game anymore?

What assurances do we have that the cheating that permeated baseball during the recent runs of the Astros and Red Sox is going to stop?

Doing what we think is right with Killingly

The politicos in Killingly — one of whom once had ties to what the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a "general hate group" — just spit in the eye of all the kids and all their work. The "Redmen" are back. Happy days are there again, apparently.

Dr. I: UConn the 'basketball capital of the world?' More like a suburb

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for pitchers and catchers, March Madness and Gerrit Cole's impending Cy Young Award.

Auriemma says UConn 'not at Baylor's level'

Their voyage of self-discovery turned a bit gruesome Thursday, to the point where by night's end, the man with more championships than everyone else admitted that his team just isn't at Baylor's level.

Through his life lessons, Mortimer has never stopped caring about people

In many ways, this is who Dave Mortimer has always been. Now he's reinvented himself to all the people who perhaps only knew him by what they read.

Hiring of a new AD gives New London chance for an athletic rebirth

New London's athletic department has become a symbol of what ails much of the school system: systemic failure, stemming from a lack of supervision and evaluation of all parties involved. There is not enough — if any — accountability.

ECC basketball: A decade with star power ... and powerful teams

The idea came from the kids on Twitter, asking my opinion about the decade's best high school basketball team here in our corner of the world. I thought: Why not name an all-decade team within the ECC and throw in some other awards, too?

Montville's 'innocent climb' in boys' basketball is underway

No longer is "Montville basketball" an oxymoron. "Montville basketball" is where the undefeated guys go now, all the way to their first home game tonight at 800 Old Colchester Rd.

Don Imus was controversial, complicated and yes, comical

Those of us in the public eye — local, regional or national — should take long and serious pause from not merely reading, but completely absorbing, the national obituary written about Don Imus.

This is a story of purpose ... and discovering ways to find it

This is the story of us. All of us. Any of us. And it's nothing more complicated than the mere suggestion that we all have more in common than we think.

The Harshbergers' Burgers are a thing at Daddy Jack's

And so this past Thursday, there we were in the Daddy Jack's kitchen – me, Jack, Jackson, Jeremiah and camera man Glen Peltier – doing an official cooking show. Title: "The Harshberger's Burgers."

We can't learn from history if people who lived it are muted

The stories Newtown folks have carried with them since 2012 were no less poignant before the outcome of Saturday's game. And sadly, had the football team not won, we would not have heard them.

Final home game hit all the right notes for Eli Manning

It wasn't merely a victory Sunday at the Meadowlands. As Paul Schwartz of the New York Post aptly wrote, "it wasn't a perfect 10, but it was perfect for '10.'"

A genuine graciousness permeates Killingly's football program

Maybe Killingly's graciousness in losing came from once having known the euphoria of winning. Maybe it's just a nice bunch of kids. Maybe it's the culture of the program. More likely a combination of the three.

Adults have turned our kids into pawns again ... this time in Killingly

And so, the latest episode of "You Can't Make This Up" comes from Killingly, where some newly elected politicos have ensured the high school football team, playing for a state title Saturday, will do so without a nickname or mascot.

New London's Dillon leaves BC as its humble statesman

It was fun to watch A.J. Dillon throw away tacklers, run them over and then sound like a diplomat explaining them to the media after games

Hammerin' Harshbergers have made Waterford football cool again

Jeremiah: senior lineman. Jackson: junior linebacker and fullback. Know that song "Country When Country Wasn't Cool?" Here are two kids from the country who were playing football when football wasn't cool in Waterford.

The moment Waterford became Tuscaloosa

The universe hit the cosmic pause button for a moment Wednesday night at Waterford High, a scene we might have thought reserved for only what we see on TV instead of wondrous reality.

Agripino's path to sobriety through boxing is worth celebrating

Marcia Agripino's road not taken was more akin to Bourbon St.: parties, good times and booze. Her true path on the higher road, although perhaps quieter, has been considerably more rewarding.

Waterford's Bakken a beacon for playing multiple sports

Waterford's Ryan Bakken is a renaissance guy, a throwback three-sport connoisseur who only enjoys every millisecond of being a high school athlete.

Of Muck, Sully, caring and the potential of more history in Lancerville

Waterford cam become the first CIAC school to win football, basketball and baseball titles in the same calendar year

The NFA kids never quit ... and look at them now

There have been teams with better records in NFA lore and legend. Just never one that ever taught its participants — and the rest of us — more enduring lessons.

Note to CIAC: Schools of choice do not belong in Class S

I've written about schools of choice and their inherent competitive advantages for a while now.

Will the adults allow the NL-NFA football game to be played?

Officials still not in agreement

Metal detectors at the game our kids play: The end of our innocence is here

None of us are immune from the tentacles of violence.

Fitch needs to ban certain fans from Thanksgiving Day football game

Fitch coach Mike Ellis needed a police escort off his home field last Friday night.

A happy retirement to an utterly good man

Coast Guard Academy's Bill George knows there's no fighting time.

Empty seats at Gampel looked like (gulp) a UConn football game

Wednesday night at Gampel Pavilion offered little proof that, as the analytics geeks like to say, fan interest in UConn men's basketball is truly trending upward.

A cruel ending to a great season for the Fitch boys' soccer team

Soccer deities not kind to the Falcons

The day they sent some demons away at NFA

The time was right for this moment at NFA.

Dr. I: New London Legion now has an Oscar winner and a World Series champ

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for Thanksgiving, more RPO (run-pass option) and less RCS (Road Construction Season): ● Dr. Idle, Dr. I to his close friends, has a question. (And thanks to old friend Hank Cormier for bringing this to Dr. I’s attention.) Has there ever been...

Unless Westbrook goes public, NCAA can hide in privacy

Unless specifics surface about the NCAA's alleged callousness toward Evina Westbrook, the former Tennessee women's basketball player seeking a waiver to grant her immediate eligibility to play at UConn, the NCAA can hide behind its esoteric canons.

Ostrowski discovers new, bright outlook in sunny Florida

Dev Ostrowski, among the most popular young men to ever hit our corner of the world, the East Lyme whiz kid whose basketball career ended long before it should have, is over the moon in Miami now, healthy and happy and hopeful.

This alliance thing is working, but it can be much better

The whole EEE consternation has mostly denied us the concept of Friday Night Lights.

It's time to reverse roles and be there for Chip Jessuck

They will gather today at Filomena's not merely to honor a man, but his calling. And Chip Jessuck's 51 years with us so far have been the best validation yet of Ziggy Marley's line, "people treat you according to the energy of what you put out there."

I would rather lose than tie ... and the St. Bernard girls agree

A wise guy sportswriter once said that soccer is the only game where the coach can get his (or her) 100th tie before the 100th win.

Turnier, now coaching cross country, knows what it means to be a Whaler

Norwich — This is the story of why New London still has a pulse, despite recent (and not so recent) headlines about the 06320 that ought to carry their own background music. Like “Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves.” This is the story of a good guy named A.J. Turnier, a...