MIKE DIMAURO - RECENT COLUMNS

The moment Waterford became Tuscaloosa

Published: December 5, 2019 | Mike DiMauro

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

Published: December 2, 2019 | Mike DiMauro

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...

Our corner of the world goes national ... with Menhart and Nationals

And so. the World Series begins Tuesday, once again with representation from The Little Region That Could.

UConn leadership has betrayed Edsall yet again

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.

If only New London shared the same passion for politics as sports

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.

For Sun, suffering will make winning all the sweeter

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.

OK ... the written word needs to generate more respect these days

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...

Before we think about Game 5, let's enjoy the spectacular Game 4

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.

Sun still have a chance in a season where the buzz has returned

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.

Star power was missing when the Sun needed it the most

This was the stage where greatness manifests. Where stars embrace the struggle and blossom.

Ledyard loses its Colonel, RIP Bill Mignault

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.

How lucky we are to have Mr. and Mrs. Volleyball (the Bynons) in our midst

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...

Some New London school administrators need to start doing their jobs

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?

'Friday night lights' has nothing on 'Tuesday afternoon decorum'

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: The hardest working woman in show biz

Alyssa Thomas finally came off the floor after 74 straight minutes.

Buscetto, the ECC and Safe Futures show the power of together

This is a wonderful example of how “different” can still produce the concept of “together.”

Nobody thinks the Sun can win, you know

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.

NL football coaches teaching 'coping skills 101'

Engagement after enragement is one of the most difficult tasks assigned to an educator.

Back on the field 16 hours later is the real safety issue

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?

The folks at Coast Guard all need to be in the same boat

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.

Administration is failing the kids at New London ... again

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.

Edsall's emotions on display after a tough day

Hours before UConn arrived at Rentschler Field to play Illinois, Edsall learned that his mother, who had been ill, passed away.

Shekinna Stricklen, the agent of orange, has won us over

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.

Ledyard choir brings the sounds of music to Fenway

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.

UConn needs to make it a little easier for its football fans

We begin here: Any media person in Connecticut who doesn't root in some form for UConn sports doesn't get it.

Why is it so hard to watch a sporting event these days?

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.

For UConn football, forward is forward and a win's a win

OK. Go ahead with the comedy routine. They beat Wagner. Wagner! Wagner?

Columnist Of The People is back to tell you the etiquette of tailgating

A very important season begins Thursday in Connecticut. Football season? Kinda/sorta. It’s actually what is attached to football season. Tailgating!

To those in the media mocking Andrew Luck: You're kidding, right?

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.

Passionate performance by Alyssa Thomas was uplifting

In 16 years covering the Connecticut Sun, I have never seen another player try as hard as Alyssa Thomas did.

You rooted for Lindsay Whalen because you couldn't help it

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.

Nothing bad can come of meeting for Tigers' owner Prentice

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.

Starting H.S. football earlier would be a win-win

High school football has become a de facto four-month sport in Connecticut.

Catch the fever for high school football on Thanksgiving Eve Day

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.

The talent level is on the right track, thanks to people like Kareem Brown

Ah, but there are some people — the few, the proud — who not only want to help, but actually do something about it.

Mitchell and New London need to keep working on this softball field issue

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.

Sun players show some resolve in grinding out another win

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.

Honest mistake results in Little League's death penalty

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.

Boxing's 'Gray Dogs' are as inspiring as they are lovable

There they are: Marco, Groucho, The Fox and The Doc, among others, taking out their frustrations on various punching bags.

Pressure is on Benedict to provide UConn football the tools to succeed

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.

For the sake of equity, Little League must rethink its sectional format

Let's play the Connecticut Little League baseball version of "Which doesn't belong and why?"

Sun are going to need a lot more from Jones down the stretch

A great many folks – 8,249 to be exact – left Mohegan Sun Arena happy Wednesday afternoon.

Honoring the life of Dick Donovan leads to reflective moment

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.

Dr. I is back and he's got a lot on his mind

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.

Vincent will always be a Ledyard guy, even as he retires to Florida

Taking time to appreciate people and their contributions has gone the way of the bunt.

Rollie Pier, beloved, gave life to New London

And so our most unwitting comedian, fabled character and reflexive historian, the man who gave life to our city, has passed.

The underdog (UConn football) has a story to tell

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...

Strecker's trying to drum up interest in football and dispel some myths

Example: A concussion is inevitable, if one decides to partake of high school football.

Taurasi was never as good as advertised ... she's been even better

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.

Trace Morales should be celebrated for showing that 'team' still matters

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..

Change in pay structure catches many East Lyme assistants off guard

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 take your kid crabbin' ... and you won't regret it

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.

Sun, after four straight losses, better start baring their fangs

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...

Phillips returns home to help inject some energy into downtown New London

Occasionally, serious people with serious motivations emerge among us, forgoing barren opinions about New London for energy and earnestness.

Sherry Adams has cooked up quite a following with her business

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.

Next up for State U should be a makeover for the XL Center

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?

I'll always have the indelible memory Bella Olsen left with me

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 set up to fail by people who need to support it the most

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.

We're seeing more progress, and not just anecdotal, in women's sports

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.

Miller and friends lead a basketball revival in Norwich

Happily, Leonard Miller and his friends, despite some recent obstacles, care about their community too much to merely complain. They're doing something.

Griffin, making the most of his second chance, is giving back to New London

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.

Volunteering at Jennings was just what Mr. Mike needed

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.

Brayan Pena's story is one of hope, wonder and intrigue

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.

Rollins has found much to celebrate about our community of New London

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...