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Teachers, coaches, ADs: a heartfelt thank you (and other thoughts)

Most teachers, coaches and athletic directors will spit out their coffee upon reading this next two paragraphs:

Thank you for all you do.

And for all you did during this turbulent school year.

I know. Weird. You're used to hearing what you did wrong. You didn't play my kid. My kid deserves a better grade because she works hard too, you know. Must be nice getting the whole summer off. OK, so you have to teach remotely. So what? You get the whole summer off. Why didn't you bunt there? Why do I have to wear this mask?

I'm sure I missed a few.

But now that the high school sports season is over and school is just about to end for most of the kiddies, here is one voice in the wilderness left to say thank you.

It's never easy. But this year? New evidence and changing circumstances almost daily. You navigated it beautifully. I appreciate you.

A few more random thoughts from the recently completed spring season:

• Congrats to NFA's Max Pierre Louis, who won the State Open in the high jump on Thursday. Really good kid. Enjoyed his observations during basketball season. He's also attending the upcoming UConn football camp. Wouldn't be surprised to see him end up at State U. At 6-foot-4, he might be an effective receiver there one day.

• To the person who assigns officials in the state boys' lacrosse tournament: enliven and inhale the Maxwell House (wake up and smell the coffee).

Straight up: One official assigned to the East Lyme-Weston state semifinal game the other night was simply too old to keep up with the play, especially on a hot, humid night. He was often behind the play because he physically couldn't do it. Sorry if this is politically incorrect. Actually, I'm not sorry because I didn't make the mistake of assigning him in the first place. It's a state semifinal. The kids deserve the best you have.

• Expecting big things from Fitch baseball next year. Lots of pitching. Fitch should play a killer nonleague schedule to prepare itself for what could be a long state tournament run.

• Congrats to Coginchaug on its Class S state baseball championship. Now schools of choice have only won four of the last six Class S baseball titles. That Coginchaug beat a Catholic school, by the way, is irrelevant. It is incontrovertible that choice schools have their greatest competitive advantages over small public schools, otherwise known as the inhabitants of Class S. And yet I'm confident the CIAC will continue its Sgt. Schultz act.

• Great work this spring from Ledyard softball and its coach, Brittany Robinson. The Colonels withstood three losses to Waterford entering the state tournament and yet were the last ECC team standing.

• At least the bleachers at East Lyme's condemned baseball field got some use the other night. Seems a dozen or so folks from the apparently destitute 06333 sat there and watched the lacrosse semifinal to avoid paying the 10 bucks to enter Dick North Field.

• Good news for the People's Republic of East Lyme: The coach of the high school summer league team is none other than the Sports Doctor, Keith O'Brien, our awesome GameDay color commentator. Can't wait for next week when the Doctor matches wits with the great Dan Spellman, who will be coaching Waterford in the summer league.

• Best line of the spring comes from Matt Driscoll, brother of Waterford's Dan Driscoll, the losing pitcher in Tuesday's state semifinals. "It just goes to show again," Matt said, "that nothing good ever happens at Muzzy Field."

• Regret of the spring: I didn't write more about East Lyme senior Sujesh Kurumbail. "Goose," as he's known to his friends, won the ECC tennis championship. Headed to Purdue in the fall. Always with a smile and welcoming demeanor. Appreciated talking to him.

• Added to my bucket list: I want to be the umpire at next year's ECC tennis finals. You know. Like the guy at Wimbledon. I can go "quiet please," "out," and "deuce" in an English accent.

• Is it too much work for public address announcers to ask coaches for proper player pronunciations? The idea is to get the kid's name right. Not guess.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro


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