MIKE DIMAURO - RECENT COLUMNS

Mt. Holyoke picked the wrong time and the wrong place to make a statement

Published: April 25, 2019 | Mike DiMauro

News item: Several members of the Mt. Holyoke College women’s lacrosse team chose to kneel during the national anthem before last Saturday’s game at Coast Guard Academy.

At East Lyme, James has become the real McCoy

Published: April 24, 2019 | Mike DiMauro

One look at him suggests East Lyme's James McCoy would have few problems commanding attention. Kind of a big kid. Looks like he could bench press a Subaru.

Let games be decided by humans ... it's the earthy thing to do

Technology has a burgeoning place in sports. Instant replays and stat casts are all the rage now. They're supposed to be more informative and improve accuracy, but I'm not sure if it's what is best for our games.

Stewart's injury creates unrealistic salary comparision

We as a society must be mindful that inequity exists and vigilant to protect against it. But inane rhetoric that's a byproduct of a knee-jerk reaction to an unfortunate injury gets us nowhere.

We could learn a thing or two from these Rhode Island folks

And now for Rhode Island’s latest bout with efficiency: Its governing body for high school athletics recently passed a rule change allowing coaches to work with their players out of season.

Successful night at Sun will benefit all future ECC games our kids play

News item: After all the bills were paid, the Eastern Connecticut Conference said it made $31,240 from its boys' basketball tournament at Mohegan Sun. That's roughly $18,000 more than it generated in 2018.

Virginia's greatest adversity fueled its greatest triumph

Virginia's national championship Monday night, the year-long rebound from humiliation to jubilation, is one of the greatest sports stories ever told. Because it had everything — and nothing — to do with sports.

Everybody else is finally catching up to the Huskies

The evolution of women’s basketball has become a counterintuitive illustration for the UConn Huskies, whose history is of legend, but whose present has become more delicate.

McGraw's words have people talking ... and that's a good thing

Notre Dame coach Muffet McGraw's words here at the Final Four this week have made people uncomfortable. She has people talking. She has already affected change.

We've heard the good ... and bad ... from Muffet in same week

And so once again, sports offer us a window into humanity, this time in that "men are from Mars; women are from Venus" sort of way.

This was the day UConn flew on Katie Lou's aching back

When it was over, Crystal Dangerfield leaped into Katie Lou Samuelson's arms, the kind of bounce and joy normally reserved for family members at the airport returning from overseas.

The season's turning gives us all a chance to change

We meet centrally, this time at Sliders in Middletown, about a sacrifice fly away from where I grew up.

Father-son chats have become a lost art

Not everybody gets this opportunity, what with busy lives and wavering spans of attention, to just sit and chat with dad. About this and that, growing up, sports and life, whatever dads and sons talk about.

The life and times of Casey Cochran are shipshape right now

And this is the story of Casey Cochran, a young man whose age, 25, belies the wisdom he’s gained and subsequent courage summoned to conquer mental health issues.

Time, it appears, was on NFA's side

Here we are, essentially at the end now of NFA's conflict, and at least three administrators, including head of school David Klein, have taught a seminar on how to use the statue of limitations to your fullest advantage.

If you think nobody wants to play in Buffalo, you don't know Jack

We know of good wings, the Bills and baby, it’s cold outside.

Can this Huskies team give old State U the pickup it really needs?

And so they turn now to the women of Storrs for a glimmer, a reason to trumpet the present, a reason to thump a few chests again around here.

The kids I write about, unwittingly, came to my rescue over the weekend

Last week was one of the worst of my life. And a group of high school athletes unwittingly helped me through it.

For the CIAC, it was another great weekend of fun at the Sun

Turns out that Mohegan Sun is the greatest blessing ever rendered upon high school sports in Connecticut. The annual state basketball championships get better with each rendition.

Yes, they did it again ... with a huge lift from 'Oak'

They did it again, the Lancers did, adding another banner to the crowded walls of the Francis X. Sweeney Fieldhouse. Waterford High, once the basketball punchline, is the state champion again.

Sometimes, in the spotlight of a major venue, we forget they're just kids

It was easy to forget this was a high school game. The greatest blessing of the state's high school sports revolution — increasing interest, awesome venues and seemingly higher stakes — is also its greatest curse.

Kenny Hill is on the top of the mountain, but has seen the bottom too

Kenny Hill: known to the community of Waterford as the point guard of the basketball team that goes for its second straight state championship this weekend at Mohegan Sun Arena.

Whalers' all-female coaching staff is proof that empowerment is real

Introducing New London head coach Holly Misto and the rest of the gang: Arianna Dolock, Missy Parker, Sue Beil and Danielle Ferraro. They are the lone team among the eight finalists to trumpet an all-female staff.

Waterford folks team up to keep their Hoelck Tournament alive

The 40th rendition of the Neil Hoelck Memorial Tournament hit every note at the Francis X. Sweeney Fieldhouse and the auxiliary gym up the hallway. Sixty-four teams, boys and girls of all ages and from surrounding towns, back to honor tradition.

It's time for rational rationale to fix CIAC's divisional inequities

After screaming about inequity in the state high school boys' basketball tournament (and all state high school sports) for years now — and dousing the CIAC in Frank's RedHot — we come today with a sack of Domino.

Band adds some pep to the New London experience

Whalerville has another hit on its hands, aside from girls' basketball, in pursuit of its third state title in six years. The pep band punctuates the home games with, you know, a certain peppiness.

Kudos to Montville for proposing to reinstate middle school sports

All levels of education are voyages of self-discovery. This is why middle school sports bear such significance, surely belying their frequent perch on so many budgetary chopping blocks.

Samuelson has one final chance to change the script

Here's the part of the fantasy that is UConn's reality: Impossible expectations in which anything short of a national championship engenders all the "what happened?" questions.

Gov. Lamont can solve the sports betting issue by himself

Gov. Lamont may need to channel his inner benevolent dictator if sports betting is ever going to happen here.

The ECC and Neon Uncasville are a perfect match

Two basketball games were played at Mohegan Sun Arena and nary a word was necessary to tell the story.

After running on empty, Mitchell quickly got back up to speed

Coach Todd Peretz's energy ran like a current through his players, who outlasted Newbury in overtime, earning Mitchell its second New England Collegiate Conference title in the past five years.

Bill Scarlata: A coaching icon with an understated touch

It is with a sense of bittersweetness that we bid adieu to Bill Scarlata, the greatest coach in the history of Norwich Free Academy, and one of the true greats in Connecticut basketball history.

New London marks the spot for X

Bacon coach Dave Shea alluded to Colchester resident Xariya Melendez, a senior at New London High, named the Eastern Connecticut Conference Tournament Most Valuable Player, following the Whalers’ 54-40 victory in the championship game.

It's Casey Flax's hope that everyone gets to dance, and she's seeing to it

Casey Flax’s angelic voice, a staple at recent New London Youth Talent Shows and the mellow background ambiance at many local establishments, shared an idea recently that’s consistent with her sphere: It truly sings.

We might be small in stature, but we're a basketball state

Perhaps it’s the size of our state that gives us the inferiority complex. Maybe we just lead the league in miserable. Whatever the reason(s), the sporting rhythms of Connecticut rarely mobilize into esprit de corps for our kids. Nah. We’re always quite guarded when grading their...

Dev's proof that we don't always get the ending we want ... or deserve

We've learned through East Lyme whiz kid Dev Ostrowski that the Great Unwritten Script — the reason sports captivate our attention — can leave us shaking our heads sometimes.

ECC wrestling tourney at Fitch has become a community affair

In the pantheon of massive missions, running a high school wrestling tournament belongs in anybody's starting lineup.

Berger has Fitch on the rise and a new outlook on life

And then D.J. Berger’s world changed, two life-altering events six months apart, proof that the guiding hand of the universe is benevolent, but counterintuitive sometimes.

Local programs learn the hard way that hitting "send" has its consequences

In recent weeks, high school athletes from the region and their regrettable pregame forays with social media have resulted in the suspension of a player at one school and an increased police presence at another.

It's time for NFA's faculty to stand up and be heard

NFA faculty will finally get an opportunity to be heard.

Old Lyme-Old Saybrook: A night that proves community trumps all

At times, it felt as though Friday night's basketball game between Old Lyme and Old Saybrook, was a mere backdrop for what the gym had become: the town green, the place to be seen, a meeting place for both towns.

The Rams Club of Southeastern Connecticut has this thing down pat

We have an official Rams Club here in our corner of the world, a dozen or so guys who gather every Sunday to cheer a lot, eat a lot, drink a lot, scream a lot, wear Rams garb and totally revel in their favorite team.

ECC enhances its reputation by broadening its horizons

The two marquee H.S. events in the state Saturday belonged to us. That's because Holly Misto and Mark Jones, the respective coaches, understand the necessity of elite competition and the lift it provides the ECC, too.

Notre Dame of West Haven solves problem with ingenuity

Notre Dame of West Haven just became a solution through finding a creative way to rid itself — and perhaps others who may follow — of a problem in state high school basketball.

Quinn's greatest strength at T-More is his ability to turn 'no' into 'yes'

There's just something mystical and fulfilling about St. Thomas More, Jere Quinn and the synergy between its mission and geography: back to basics amid the serenity that allows it.

UConn athletic success is good for state, but I don't see it happening

UConn officials will be left with some difficult decisions. I don't see a happy ending. Hope I'm wrong. UConn's success is good for us all.

Virtual 5K is latest creative gesture to support our CGA friends

Our corner of the world has never stood taller than in recent days, rallying to support Coast Guard Academy employees — suddenly Un-persons in the eyes of Big Brother — pay for life's basics.

We're proud to play a part in growing popularity of H.S. sports

They will start selling tickets around 5 p.m. Friday at East Lyme High for the most anticipated high school basketball game of the season to date in these parts: No. 6 Waterford at No. 7 East Lyme.

Flag football can serve as a safe haven for the game we love

New London — They appeared on television during last weekend’s divisional playoffs and they’ll appear again this weekend: infomercials from the National Football League encouraging parents to check out the burgeoning popularity of flag football, maybe the last bastion...

NFA's hierarchy, somehow, continues to walk between the raindrops

Not only was NFA's recently concluded independent "investigation" a sham, but patently irrelevant. Law enforcement and the legal system are the ones — the only ones — who get to be Mr. Klein's judge and juror.

We are all the better for seeing ... and knowing ... Steve Percy

This much we know about Steve Percy, one of the great humanitarians in this corner of the world: He lived the good life, using, as the old line goes, every single color in his box of crayons every single day.

ECC basketball tournaments need to be logistical ... there's nothing unfair about that

The residual effect of the recent announcement between the Eastern Connecticut Conference and Mohegan Sun, an agreement sending the boys’ basketball tournament championship games to Neon Uncasville next month, has produced mad props and bon mots from across the region and state. The...

Overall H.S. experience outweighs quick fix of prep school

There are an appreciable number of kids throughout the state that decided to forgo the remainder of high school careers to attend a prep school somewhere. It's all the rage now. And it's really sad.

Plenty of room to join the revolution of local high school sports

Something’s happening here, as Buffalo Springfield once reminded us, and the reasons ain’t exactly clear. But this much we know: There’s a high school sports revolution afoot in our corner of the world, the residual effect of which is for the everlasting betterment of the...

Everybody can't agree on most things, but Rivera should be an exception

Among the first litmus tests of 2019 for the sports media comes Jan. 22 when the Baseball Writers’ Association of America reveals its Hall of Fame class. The question du jour is not whether Mariano Rivera gets inducted. That’s a surer bet than when Rivera was on the mound...

Black Wolves, marketing department get passing grades

The challenge for New England Black Wolves vice president Amber Cox and her peeps at Mohegan Sun ... go sell this indoor lacrosse thing.

Fred Levesh, perhaps unknowingly, helped bring out the best in me

There are two people in this world who have made me a better dad. One of them: Fred Levesh. And even though Fred and I had lost touch in recent years, his wisdom and impact remain with me forever.

In dismissing him, UConn did Billy Crocker a favor

The words of UConn football coach Randy Edsall from earlier this season, Sept. 26 on the podium, to the assembled media: “I'm the head coach. I'm the guy responsible. If things aren't going the right way, then fire my ass. It's as simple as that. I'm the leader. And that's just the...

Deans Mill second graders apply school experiences to real life

It began with a book. And what followed was an inspiring use of practical education, a basketball game, an enduring lesson and the unexplainable joy that giving imparts.

Shame on Kevin Ollie for comparing his plight at UConn to true racism

And so comes another apocalyptic growl from Kevin Ollie and his mouthpieces, this time resorting to the odious practice of using racism as a negotiating tactic. Per an emergency injunction request filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court, Ollie claims UConn, from whom he’s...

Brennans are 1-2 on their own Top 40 list

Can anyone else recall a brother and sister each eclipsing 40 points in games two days apart?

Sons of G's have learned their lessons well

The kids of G's Fitness and Nutrition learned what the adults haven't merely taught, but lived at Mr. G's Restaurant: If you run a business with no sense of community, your business will swirl the bowl sooner, not later.

Coast Guard must continue to build on Fitzpatrick's positive work

And so Coast Guard suddenly finds itself with a significant hire to make, the position of athletic director, otherwise known as the person overlooking the wing of the institution that generates perpetually positive headlines.

Cactus Jack Foundation continues to spread holiday cheer

There is a certain mystique that belies the simplicity of the phrase: good people doing good things. And that's not only the vocation, but ought to be the slogan for the Cactus Jack Foundation.

Roach's words are a reminder how H.S. coaches influence, inspire us

It's hard to imagine another fraternity that logs more hours and fields more complaints for pay that makes minimum wage Rockefeller-like by comparison than high school coaches.

It will take some earnest discussion to modernize the XL Center

And so the carousel spins, round and round we go, honestly no closer to an answer than four years ago when Mike Freimuth suggested that the bandages needed to keep the building functional would soon turn the XL Center into the New Haven Coliseum. Thus giving the state’s major cities...

Everybody should have a teammate like Tyler Peretz

Todd Peretz had a moment with his now college-age son, Tyler, a few years back, coaching sonny on an eighth-grade travel team. Ah, but Tyler was off to high school and college soon enough, playing for other coaches, rendering the whole father-son experience to kitchen table discussion.

Parents should be outraged after NFA blames victim to protect its image

Is there a more heinous example of institutional image protection in the history of the universe? Norwich Free Academy just blamed the victim.

Sunday turned into a day to be thankful for sports

But if you blew off life (as I did), you enjoyed one of the great remote control days in recent history here in our corner of the world.

Relax folks, the numbers don't usually add up with prospects

Yes, we speak in hyperbole. The daughters of Geno ain’t dead yet. But this stuff about UConn’s recruiting woes reeks of absurdity.

NFA protected its image before its students, which is reprehensible

Can someone on the NFA Board of Trustees, whose curious silence thus far belies the gravity of the charges, explain why it's business as usual on campus?

Can UConn beat Notre Dame or not?

There have been many iterations of UConn vs. Notre Dame, just not many like this, when the Huskies have something other than the better team.

Poetry through music leads to book deal for Ostrowskis

Oh, those Ostrowskis. Wordsmiths, all. Their idea — correspond via poetry — has turned into a collaborative book of poems, "Penultimate Human Constellation," drawing five-star reviews on Amazon.

Dr. I is happy to report he survived a sunny Thanksgiving Day

Idle Thoughts, while waiting for New Year's resolutions, the Celtics to realize the season has started and wondering if Santa has the proper launch angle on his sleigh:

I (seriously) can't wait to root for Tom Brady on Sunday

Sports are not as complicated as the analytic crowd — and most other crowds — purport. Football is about blocking and tackling. You do that better than the other guy, you win. Period.

Warren Swanson caps off his career with a big honor

They were making a video to commemorate the occasion Friday afternoon, a pensive Warren Swanson walking about the lawn he once cleared to make what’s known as Spera Field.

Why does the CIAC allow this to keep happening?

Straight up: choice school Immaculate of Danbury and public school Old Lyme should never play for the same trophy. In any sport. But they will at 3 p.m. Saturday. If history repeats, Immaculate will defeat Old Lyme in the post season for the 10th time since 1992.

ECC basketball, deservedly so, has state's attention again

More than 20 years after Harold Pressley and Tyson Wheeler graduated, basketball has become our marquee sport again. Talent levels aren't near the Pressley days. But the interest sure is.

Colette, the final Dreher sister, leaves her own mark at Stonington

Stonington's Colette Dreher, the last of eight in the extended family, was on the turf of Wethersfield High in Tuesday's state Class S field hockey semifinals.

Coast Guard's George and his staff have worked a modern-day Military Miracle

In the pantheon of miracles, there are, in no particular order: Herman Edwards, Lazarus, beating the Russians at Lake Placid, Flutie, the water-into-wine thing and Bill George.

Failure never fails to be one heck of a teacher and Stonington's Fernholz learned from it

This is the story of Peter Fernholz, the all-conference goalie at Stonington High. It’s been a difficult, yet enlightening, past six days, a wonderful voyage of self-discovery, teaching us all over again to have faith in our failures.

Election Night ... when politics become a sporting event

And so here we are, my favorite night of the year, Election Night, when it all becomes ... wait for it ... a sporting event.