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    Sunday, May 19, 2024

    Griswold’s Arremony gets his 300th win, but misses his ‘best friend’ and late brother Bob

    Griswold’s athletic director Steve Cravinho, left, hands a plaque to head softball coach Rick Arremony in honor of his late brother and assistant coach Bob Arremony, during a ceremony April 1 in Griswold. (Sarah Gordon/The Day)
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    Griswold softball coach Rick Arremony, left, grasps the game ball from his 300th career win Wednesday against Norwich Tech in Griswold. The 11-8 victory in the first game of a doubleheader made Arremony 300-110.

    Griswold – Rick Arremony’s Griswold High School softball team surrounded him after reaching a coaching milestone on Wednesday.

    An 11-8 victory over Norwich Tech in the first game of a doubleheader represented the 300th win of Arremony’s career.

    Arremony just wished that his brother Bob, who passed away in January, could have been there by his side, like he was for the first 296 wins.

    Rick, 63, became emotional when talking about Bob, who also was his long-time assistant and best friend.

    “I wish I could have got it last year,” said Rick, fighting back the tears. “When I took over as head coach, I got my brother to come here with me. And he was my third base coach. I wish I could have shared it with him.”

    “It’s tough. When he got 500 wins in basketball (at Plainfield), he fell one short the year before and my mother passed away. She saw 499 of them, and she wasn’t there for the 500th. I kind of feel the same, sort of, like cheated out of him being here.”

    With help from his brother, Rick built a successful program after being hired as head coach in 2006 following four years as an assistant on Jason Gerum’s staff. He also spearheaded the effort to build a new softball field.

    The Wolverines have won or shared 16 divisional titles in 22 years and captured five Eastern Connecticut Conference tournament championships in nine trips to the finals.

    Prior to Tuesday’s second game, Arremony’s overall record stood at 300-110.

    “Since we joined the ECC, I’m just really proud of Griswold softball and how good we’ve been as far as competing with all the teams in the league,” Arremony said. “We came from the QVC and came into the ECC thinking we’ve got all the big dogs here. We’ve been able to keep the program at a high level for many years.”

    The Wolverines have struggled in recent years, but are showing positive signs this season. Arremony is optimistic about what he called a developing team.

    Junior Abby Matheson spoke about what Arremony has meant to the team.

    “He’s very encouraging and he’s always uplifting,” Matheson said. “If we make a good play, he always has something good to say. He definitely knows what he’s talking about. He can be tough, that’s for sure. But in a good way. He’ll say something tough but then he’s always right back at you with a compliment, which is good.”

    After earning his 300th win, Arremony was presented with a softball with the number 300 written on it.

    When asked what he planned to do with the commemorative ball, his thoughts turned back to his brother.

    This is his first high school softball season as a head coach without Bob, who also was an assistant on Rick’s travel ball team for 18 years.

    He’s still getting acclimated to not seeing Bob standing in the third base coach’s box.

    “I think about him all the time,” Arremony said. “He’s not just my brother, he was my best friend. How my life has been different this year and coaching this season is that when tryouts came, the oddest thing was when I got home and I didn’t have him to call to talk about tryouts.

    “And every day, it’s the same thing. I come home from practice and it’s just not there. I have a great family support, but my salvation has been that my daughter, Jess, is now in her first year coaching high school ball at St. James Academy in Lenexa, Kansas. We talk about the game every day.

    “So I’m coaching the coach, so to speak.”

    Someday, Arremony plans to accept Jess’s offer to join her staff as an assistant. But the time is not right just yet.

    He thoroughly enjoy coaching softball at Griswold. He instantly feels better once he steps on the field.

    He knows he can be demanding at times. He believes in holding his team to a high standard and teaching his players life lessons.

    “I like to think that it’s not just a softball game,” Arremony said. “When they get a job, they’ll be on time for that. They’ll show up and compete in that job and try to be the best at what they do. So we try to worry about all the little things and show them how each little thing they do, how important it is for the whole team.

    “I love it.”

    g.keefe@theday.com

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