Updated: Mar 12, 2022
Good Morning! With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.
I Bleed Red and Black......and Blue and Gold, and Maroon and White!
I couldn't have been more proud when watching the Hartford girls basketball team win the Section II Class D girls basketball championship at Hudson Valley Community College last Saturday. Jason Johnson's team got off to a slow start, but rolled in the second half in a 73-63 win. I will always be a Hartford fan, but I got to thinking one night this week. I bleed red and black and always will. However, the love and affection that I have developed for some other schools through my full-time job as an educator, and my work for NYVTmedia has made my body flow with a bevy of other colors as well. I not only bleed red and black, but there is a little blue, gold, maroon and white flowing through my veins as well.
Hartford has been a integral part of my life for now 56 years. I graduated from Hartford. I have been a manager for the Tanager basketball teams under Bruce Thoomas and baseball team under multiple coaches. I played basketball, soccer and basketball. I had two different stints as the girls varsity basketball coach in the 80s and 90s. I also coached JV soccer and baseball and recently one year as the varsity softball co-coach. My stepson attends Hartford and runs cross country for the Tanagers.
The Granville Golden Horde has also become a big part of my life. I cover Granville sports for the Granville Sentinel. I have gotten to know football coach John Irion very well. I have known AD and coach Justin Nassivera since his high school days and have worked closely with him the last few seasons. When Grant Sharrow was coaching boys basketball he went out of his way to make me feel like part of the Golden Horde family. With Ben Hover stepping into the girls program this year I got to know him better, and I have known wrestling coach Steve Palmer for years.
Many of the Granville players know me well enough that they are friends on social media and we talk from time to time. When they see me around they always greet me in a friendly manner. We know each other on a first name basis. They all read my work.
Then, there is the other blue and gold in my life. The Poultney Blue Devils. In don't get to see the Poultney teams play as much as I used to due to all my obligations but they are always in my mind and heart. I have taught in the Poultney district for over 25 years. I coached the 2003 softball state championship team and have been on the coaching staff for a pair of basketball state titles and multiple MVL titles. Dave Capman and I used to spend a lot of time together back in the day. We were good friends and he always had my back.
Most of the kids who play for Poultney are former students of mine. Once you are in my class you are always part of my family. It keeps my bond close to the program and will always be a part of me long after my retirement.
Finally, recently I have become much closer with the maroon and white of Whitehall. I cover the Railroaders for NYVTmedia. I have know Keith Redmond for years. He has always been very helpful whenever I went their to broadcast games for the now defunct Lake Regions Radio. I have always had the utmost respect for Keith. This past year I have gotten to know girls soccer and basketball coach Boyd Hunt much better. Boyd is a great guy who I always enjoy hanging out with and speaking with. He is a great coach and a very entertaing guy. I have also known Pam Putorti and Chris Bascue or a long time. Coaching against them in softball was always a great challenge.
Now when I walk onto a field or into a gym in Whitehall the kids know who I am. One player once told me that now when they see me they says, "Hey, Keith is here!" I must admit. That's good for the ego. Once night at a Granville football game Ava Ruby and Jayden Hughes talked me into going to one of their soccer games at Lake George that I wasn't scheduled to be at.
Yes, I still bleed red and black and always will. But there is now a lot of blue, gold, maroon and white flowing through me as well. And I love every minute of it. The only thing I don't enjoy is when they play each other. Those games fray my nerves. I want them all to be successful. I am happy for the team that wins and suffer for the team that loses. My fandom for them all runs deep inside me.
With the Border Country Sports Blog, I'm Keith Harrington.