January 9, 2011

Steve Solloway: So very like the Fitzy back then

(Continued from page 1)

He spoke from the health and fitness club he runs in Connecticut. He had several college options after Massabesic and chose Springfield and basketball, his real passion. He became captain of the basketball team in his junior and senior seasons. He came off the bench a lot, but never slipped out of that role of quiet leadership.

Springfield went deeper into the NCAA basketball playoffs than it had before O'Tash arrived. Playing competitive football became part of his past.

He did return this summer for the 10-year reunion of the championship football team. It was a bittersweet weekend. Joey Olszewski, the team's running back, had passed after a weeks-long fight with pneumonia and its complications earlier in the summer.

Still, O'Tash and his teammates and their coach found moments to share digs and laughter. Morin thought it was 2000 and he was back in their locker room.

For the first time in years, I received a ballot for the Fitzpatrick Award. But like many autumns, my assignments take me away from the high school fields too often. I didn't vote. I have no horse in this race.

Just an appreciation and admiration for the field, much as I did 10 years ago.

Staff Writer Steve Solloway can be contacted at 791-6412 or at:

ssolloway@pressherald.com

 

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