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End of an Era: WAMOGO vs. Litchfield HS

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Image Description: The WRHS Warriors baseball team celebrating their final win against the LHS Cowboys / Eric Warner
LITCHFIELD HS and WOMOGO Coaches Reflect on Final Game Between the Cowboys and Warriors
Eric Warner

On Wednesday, May 22nd, the longstanding athletic rivalry between Litchfield High School (LHS) and Wamogo Regional High School (WRHS) came to an end at the Yard Goats Dunkin’ Donuts Park in Hartford. This game was the last between the two high schools before the end of the 2023-2024 school year and the creation of the new Region 20 school district this summer. LHS will become Region 20’s Plumb Hill Middle School while WRHS will become Lakeview High School.


Image Description: WRHS Warriors outfielder DJ Willenbrock (right) hit a double that earned the Warriors two runs in the top of the fifth inning / Eric Warner


The park was filled with LHS and WRHS alumni, families, friends, and students alike to watch the final game between the two high schools. This is the third time both baseball teams faced off against each other at the park. The game lasted for about two hours and lasted seven innings. Early on in the game, only one run was made by the Warriors before the fifth inning despite several singles and doubles being made between both teams. By the top of the fifth inning, Warriors outfielder DJ Willenbrock hit a double that earned WRHS two more runs. From then on, the Warriors remained in the lead scoring more runs until the bottom of the seventh inning when Cowboys second baseman Chase “Cheeseburger” Reynolds hit a single that got the Cowboys to score LHS’s first and only run of the game. The Warriors continued to score runs until the game ended. WRHS was victorious with a final score of nine to one.


Image Description: WRHS won their final baseball game against LHS at the Yard Goats Dunkin’ Donuts Park with a score of 9-1 / Eric Warner


LHS varsity baseball coach Joshua Orosz spoke about how the Cowboys performed in their final game, “We didn’t do enough strikes. Made a few miscues in the field and they took advantage of it… It’s good to have one [run] on the board.” Despite the loss, Orosz was happy for the team to compete against WRHS in the Yard Goats stadium one last time. “It’s good for the kids to do their last game here and have it at the Yards Goats stadium like this,” said Orosz. “It’s about the love of the game, right? It’s about the joy of playing at a field like this and having that experience.” Orosz thought the Warriors threw a great game. LHS junior varsity baseball coach Andrew Gauvain thought the game was bittersweet. “This has been a moment… that’s been on our minds a lot throughout basketball and throughout baseball”, said Gauvain. “Just kind of the culminating end of Wamogo Litchfield.” An LHS class of 2012 alumni, Gauvain has been helping coach LHS baseball for three years and teaches physical education at Wamogo. Despite the Cowboys’ disappointment over the loss, Gauvain was happy to see the team give it their all. “They gave it everything they had,” said Gauvain. “They left everything they had on the field and you couldn’t ask for more as a coach from your players than to just give it everything they got. Those guys have worked hard since day one in March and it’s sad to see it go but at least they’re working as hard as they can in the process.” Gauvain plans on applying for Lakeview’s baseball coaching position but spring sport positions haven’t been posted yet. All of the Fall sports varsity coaches for Lakeview have already been selected.


WRHS varsity baseball coach Jim Parker thought the game was nerve racking early on until the Warriors started to score runs consistently. “The difference maker for us in the game was definitely our pitcher, John Gilbert,” said Parker. “John had a phenomenal game… He had a no-hitter going for a little while so he was definitely confident out there. His pitches were working well.” Parker is LHS’s Assistant Athletic Director and has been teaching at LHS for 12 years. This was his first year coaching for Wamogo. He will be Lakeview High School’s Assistant Athletic Director next school year. In terms of the schools’ athletic rivalry, Parker thought it was more of a friendly rivalry between Litchfield County peers and is excited to see what both schools will do together in the future. “Litchfield wanted to win, we wanted to win… There’s good years that Wamgo has. There’s good years that Litchfield has and it’s exciting to think about what the two of them now [will do] coming together. I feel we’re going to have an excellent sports program next year and beyond.”


Lakeview High School’s mascot will be a bobcat and feature primarily navy blue with coastal teal and sand yellow secondary colors. Lakeview’s sports teams are expected to face off against the same schools as LHS and WRHS did in the past with the addition of more out of league games due the shrinkage of the Berkshire League. It’s currently unknown if Lakeview will play at the old LHS diamond or if it will be exclusive to Plumb Hill’s baseball team.