I am absolutely crushed to report tonight that a good friend is gone. Popular News-12 sports director Bill Gonillo was found dead at his home in Woodbridge this afternoon. He was 44 years old.
As of Sunday night, there was no word on the cause of death, although it must be noted that Bill was a diabetic.
I heard through email late Sunday night that News12 opened its 10 p.m. broadcast with an emotional announcement of Gonillo’s death. Stunned, I immediately called Mike Quick of the Madison Square Garden Network and News 12′s parent company of Cablevision, who confirmed the terrible news.
“As of 7:30 this afternoon,” Quick said. “Fairfield County sports changed forever. He was the best.”
I thought Law deserved a little better than 42-0. But, as the game evolved, Fairfield Prep just scored, then scored again. After Law failed to respond on three more opportunities, Prep scored twice more before halftime and then put his game away in the third.
It wasn’t a complete destruction, but Prep’s defense was simply dominant against a team that will likely have a shot at reaching the Class M state playoffs.
Watching the Ansonia-Wilby game on CN8 today (between commercials during Syracuse’s 38-35 upset VICTORY! over Louisville! There ya go ORANGEMEN! I still want Greg Robinson out and Coach P back in, but that’s splitting hairs at this point).
First, I don’t know why this game was televised.
Second, Ansonia led Wilby 41-0 with 8:50 to go in the second quarter.
On my way home tonight, I was saddened to hear news that Rob Szymanszek, the former and longtime Maloney football coach, died of brain cancer at his home Thursday at age 57.
Please visit Szymanszek’s hometown paper, the Record Journal of Meriden, which has been hard at work putting together this tribute section. For those of you who knew him, or those of you like me who only talked to him a few times but feel like you’ve known him forever, it’s worth the visit to post your thoughts.
Yes, this wasn’t much of a contest for Coach Dennis Wanzie’s new-look Bassick team. But give them a few years to really build something. Will they win a game this year? Possibly. But they have a long way to go.
Meanwhile, St. Joseph did what it had to do on the day it opened its immaculate new and privately funded field at the Dalling Sports complex. Now if they could just add more bleachers, build a press box and a concession stand (I hear they actually want to put locker rooms beneath old Dalling Field) they’ll have a tremendous football stadium. I’d love for them to get lights, but since I’m still in love with the near extinct art of Saturday afternoon football, I’ll settle for no lights.
Anyway, here’s the first of a few sights of the game I took while hanging out with Wanzie’s former Shelton buddies–a smiling Jeff Roy, with his team fresh off a 49-24 win over West Haven… among others on the Bassick sidelines.
I know how hard it is to get up at 6:30 in the morning. I know because I can’t do it, but also because “The Coach” George DeMaio loves to tell me how hard a time I have getting up to be a guest on his Saturday Morning Sports Show on WELI 960-AM (5:45-8 a.m.) every Saturday.
Usually, by then I’m far off in dreamland (like this week) and I miss all of the interviews and have to hear, second hand, what was said from my buddy who’s up at that hour.
But that’s why I’m all fired up to know that the WELI crew posts Coach’s interviews online.
Here’s The Day’s coaches poll. Again, take out New Canaan and move everyone up a spot and insert New Canaan anywhere below Masuk and it’s an accurate poll, IMO.
I will say, at least the coaches didn’t vote West Haven in 4 like the Media people did. I had West Haven somewhere in the middle 5 in my poll, so don’t blame me like Ned Griffin of the Day did (he’s proud of his little poll).
Anyway, here it is (without formatting, ’cause I’m lazy):
If we had received just a little more space in the preview, you would have seen not just my elite eight players, teams and games, but the elite eight websites of the region.
Birdseyesports.com is one of them. Run by Westport resident Ben Talbott for his video recording/recruiting service, it offers free highlights of some the best high school sports video out there, and on-demand DVDs of the entire games, among much more.
Here’s Big Ben’s tremendous video highlight of the Shelton-West Haven game, and then my video of Geoff Schultz and Co going nuts afterward. They also have video from Northwest Catholic-New London and Staples-Fairfield Warde field hockey.
He gives us a link on our site, so here’s a plug for his site.
If you think I’m nuts with all of my podcast stuff, check out Norwalk’s own Mike Quick a longtime high school sports personality on the Madison Square Garden Network.
Mike was covering high schools when I was a kid (in fact, I saw on MSG recently a replay of the 1996 PSAL City Championship featuring Stephon Marbury and, aside from marveling that it’s been 11 years since I was a skinny little sophomore at Syracuse, I marveled at how much hair Mike had back then!)
Anyway, check out Mike’s new Video Blog (vlog) on MSG’s ‘Game On’ Webpage here and watch Mike answer a phone call right in the middle of his first video blog and then yell at some poor Jersey fan in his second with co-host Jimmy Cavallo. It also has Mike’s Top 10 Tri-state rankings.
Great stuff, guys. When do I get do come down to the studios? I can’t speak intelligently about Don Bosco Prep, but I can give you the info on that big Week 2 New Canaan-Ridgefield game!
I’ll leave the videography to the professionals, but here’s what I came up with in my first attempts to get clips for this website. These vids, captured by my rinky-dink (yet relatively high tech) camera, aren’t the best quality but they at least give you an idea.
Once my bosses decide to hire some real professionals, this will be better.
I’m just going to throw the best ones in here, including a blooper or two from the sidelines.