Waterford's Ryan Bakken is a renaissance guy, a throwback three-sport connoisseur who only enjoys every millisecond of being a high school athlete.
Waterford cam become the first CIAC school to win football, basketball and baseball titles in the same calendar year
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.
I've written about schools of choice and their inherent competitive advantages for a while now.
Officials still not in agreement
None of us are immune from the tentacles of violence.
Fitch coach Mike Ellis needed a police escort off his home field last Friday night.
Coast Guard Academy's Bill George knows there's no fighting time.
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.
Soccer deities not kind to the Falcons
The time was right for this moment at NFA.
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 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.
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.
The whole EEE consternation has mostly denied us the concept of Friday Night Lights.
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."
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.
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...
And so. the World Series begins Tuesday, once again with representation from The Little Region That Could.
Randy Edsall is not to blame for the disaster that has become UConn football. He was handed a grenade, whose pin was finally pulled in the summer when his leadership — again — set the program up to fail.
There are segments of New London that just aren't in the game. It needs to change. Bonnie Raitt sings, "I can't make you love me if you don't." I can't make people care about this if they don't. But they need to start.
It is either ironic — or entirely fitting — that the Connecticut Sun can look to the man from the old days, the man who built this, as a beacon for the days ahead.
The death of the written word is happening a lot like tooth decay: a little worse every day, so as not to be seen, except for the day reality finally reveals itself. The death of the written word. I’ve seen it in the past few days. I’ve read about it, too. I begin...
From most of the 8,458 fans, anyway, the ones not wearing the red of the Mystics, but the Orange of the Sun. It was near the end of the game, the greatest game inside the history of the arena, with the Sun leading by one.
It wasn't so long ago, when Mike Thibault, the man who will occupy the other bench Tuesday night, built this into an entity that regularly filled most of the seats inside Mohegan Sun Arena.
This was the stage where greatness manifests. Where stars embrace the struggle and blossom.
Mignault's program was a monument to the unspoken incorruptibility of simplicity. He ran seven plays to perfection: 36 pitch, 26 boot, 58 sweep, 29 counter, tailback jet, 23 crossbuck and 19 fade.
New London — Unless you are married to a coach, you have no idea what it’s like to be married to a coach. Streams of consciousness, for example, happen at the darndest times. “Honey, can you please pass the potatoes?” “Sure. But can I tell you how...
The kids in New London need guidance. They are vulnerable. And so is returning an email too much to ask? Is doing your job too much to ask?
This just in: "Friday night lights" has nothing on "Tuesday afternoon decorum," which has only become the most fun part of the week at Waterford High.
Alyssa Thomas finally came off the floor after 74 straight minutes.
This is a wonderful example of how “different” can still produce the concept of “together.”
The underdog Sun represented themselves just fine in Game One, listening to their fans' request to "Beat L.A." and pulling out an 84-75 win, suggesting the underdogs have some gas in the tank after all.
Engagement after enragement is one of the most difficult tasks assigned to an educator.
So we'll protect our kids from a bunch of obscure mosquitoes, but tell them it's permissible to get back on the field 16 hours later, in spite of the requisite bumps, bruises, sprains, cramps and discomforts the physicality of football games produce?
They know this intimately at Coast Guard Academy, where the squeeze of the fiscal year’s conclusion (at the end of September) has caused some consternation within athletics.
Athletics have a mythical allure and charm at New London High. And leaving the programs who have authored all those state championship banners in the hands of a novice is an insult to the proudest athletic traditional of them all around here.
Hours before UConn arrived at Rentschler Field to play Illinois, Edsall learned that his mother, who had been ill, passed away.
Shekinna Sticklen has become perhaps the most popular Tennessean ever here in the land of steady habits. She is among the loudest cheered at Sun home games.
A bunch of kids from Ledyard High, maintaining the choir's 27-year tradition of spirit through song, got to sing the National Anthem at Fenway Park before the Red Sox played the Twins.
We begin here: Any media person in Connecticut who doesn't root in some form for UConn sports doesn't get it.
I got home in time to watch the Boston College football game on Saturday. And I couldn't. And I'm thinking this is becoming an issue for sports fans across the country now.
OK. Go ahead with the comedy routine. They beat Wagner. Wagner! Wagner?
A very important season begins Thursday in Connecticut. Football season? Kinda/sorta. It’s actually what is attached to football season. Tailgating!
I hope the rest of us will turn the channel, unfollow or simply ignore the musings of Mr. Dakitch and Mr. Gottlieb. They didn’t merely question a man for choosing his family and his health over his career. They mocked him. And are still employed. Nice gig if you can get it.
In 16 years covering the Connecticut Sun, I have never seen another player try as hard as Alyssa Thomas did.
Lindsay Whalen was a ball of humor, humility and humanity in her days here as a guard for the Connecticut Sun. You rooted for her because you couldn’t help it.
Here is what I believe: This country works best when we include everyone of all colors, religions, ancestries and orientations who learn with, play with and learn about each other.
High school football has become a de facto four-month sport in Connecticut.
Idle Thoughts, while waiting for the first day of school, AJ Dillon to win the Heisman and for Dr. I’s spin rate to match his exit velo.
Ah, but there are some people — the few, the proud — who not only want to help, but actually do something about it.
It’s too easy here to join in the choruses of apocalyptic growls masked as “here we go again” and “only in New London.” But not this time.
It's a curious thing sometimes, this sports watching thing. We all have our teams. And if we watch them long enough, we can convince ourselves they'll never win another game.
You are about to read a story about an innocent mistake, misapplied rules, a dad's heartbreak and administrative narrow-mindedness that ought to have state Little League officials embarrassed at their callousness.
There they are: Marco, Groucho, The Fox and The Doc, among others, taking out their frustrations on various punching bags.
And so UConn took a major step toward become a de facto basketball-only school late last week, forking over a $17 million exit fee to leave the AAC, thus leaving the football program on purgatory's welcome mat.
Let's play the Connecticut Little League baseball version of "Which doesn't belong and why?"
A great many folks – 8,249 to be exact – left Mohegan Sun Arena happy Wednesday afternoon.
Mr. Donovan, Dick — or "Gerry" as some knew him — was a fixture in the bleachers here in our corner of the world, watching his children, later his grandchildren, play all kinds of games in all kinds of sports.
Best Dr. I can tell, former Waterford High great Kevin Johnson began the custom as far back as 2016. He called his Lancers “savages” after he hit a halfcourt shot to win a game.
Taking time to appreciate people and their contributions has gone the way of the bunt.
And so our most unwitting comedian, fabled character and reflexive historian, the man who gave life to our city, has passed.
Newport, R.I. — It is most counterintuitive to think such a thing. And yet there’s something almost mystical developing right now with UConn football — forgotten, but not gone until a few weeks ago — but now perhaps lovable underdogs all over...
Example: A concussion is inevitable, if one decides to partake of high school football.
Mohegan — The greatest women’s basketball player in the history of the world returned to where it began for her Friday night, Diana Taurasi back in Connecticut, now 20 years removed from the first time UConn fans learned of her — and her cachet. Hard to believe.
Here are three little words about a Mystic Little Leaguer who will forgo the chance of his young lifetime to remain with his team in pursuit of a District 10 championship that should restore some faith: Trace Morales stayed..
There's nothing else quite like learning that what you do just doesn't matter, a lesson several varsity assistant coaches at East Lyme High School discovered recently.
It's time to meet one of the most fascinating gents here in our corner of the world: Gene Wasicki, the brains behind the upcoming third annual "Take Your Kid Crabbin'" on Sunday at McCook's Park.
Mohegan — A crowd of more than 8,000 showed up Saturday at Mohegan Sun Arena. So did national television. And the home team was there, too, a week removed from a 43-point loss in Washington. You needn’t have been a founding member of The Optimists’ Club to think...
Occasionally, serious people with serious motivations emerge among us, forgoing barren opinions about New London for energy and earnestness.
That’s what happens when one of your daughters, Alyssa Hancock, becomes one of the best players in the history of Waterford High. The poor mom becomes a postscript.
How can we in good conscience go ga ga over UConn’s decision to declare itself a basketball school and leave the XL Center in its current condition?
Bella died last week in a single car crash in Rhode Island. She was 19. There are no words. But there sure are memories and an enduring lesson I’ll carry with me forever.
UConn football is over. University leadership has signed the death certificate, now that headlines have emerged about State U's foray back into the Big East.
The facts are facts: men monopolize mainstream sports. This is used as prologue for some recent developments within the women's sports revolution that speak to progress. Not anecdotal progress, either.
Happily, Leonard Miller and his friends, despite some recent obstacles, care about their community too much to merely complain. They're doing something.
And this is the story of Dom Griffin, a former Whaler, class of 2008, who used rock bottom as a means not merely to rid himself of the figurative shovel, but to parlay his second chance into a happy life.
This was Friday at Jennings School, which I like to call my new family. The last day. And so, all the administrators, teachers, staff (and me, the two-day-a-week cafeteria boy) are all out there waving as the kids embark on summer vacation.
If the Cuban government was watching that definitive day now 18 years ago, well, let's just say Brayan Pena wouldn't be managing the Connecticut Tigers today.
New London — This is not an easy time to be a New Londoner. Sordid developments within the schools have turned the city otherwise so full of characters and spirit into a punchline — even nationally — evidenced by Cedric The Entertainer’s one-liners about the...