OWEN CANFIELD: Torrington football’s future is bright with Finn at QB

Among the All-Area high school football players pictured in Monday’s Register Citizen, was Torrington High’s Connor Finn, sophomore quarterback, A-plus student, vice president of the Student Council, member of the Mayor’s Commission on Youth and . . . well, that’s enough for now. You get the idea.

Connor is the youngest of Atty. Patrick and Carol Finn’s three children. “He’s a member of the varsity basketball team, too,’’ his father informed me earlier this week, from his office in Waterbury. I did not interview Connor, but it was a treat for me to talk to his dad because, as a Hartford Courant sports writer I saw Pat Finn play a good number of games when, in the early 1980s, he was a rock of a nose guard for Coach Don Miller’s Trinity College football team.

Connor Finn’s older sister Maggie is a student at Dartmouth. His brother Kevin attends Holy Cross University. Both were swimmers at THS and both captained their swim teams.
In a brief conversation last October prior to football practice, then first year coach Gaitan Rodriguez lauded his quarterback for his good judgment and field generalship as well as his physical skills. It was high praise for a sophomore, coming from a man who had been offensive coordinator for Sheehan High for seven years and who had played his high school football at THS.

Tuesday, Rodriguez said of Finn, “It’s his demeanor, his conduct and the way he carries himself that is so impressive about Connor. He’s the first to give credit to others and, when something goes wrong, he’s the first to take the blame. Those are things you hope a player will develop by the time he’s a senior. Connor has them as a sophomore. Just a great kid from a wonderful family.’’

THS won three of its last four games last season and Pat Finn said, “I know Connor would tell you one of the most important and impressive things about the team, especially the linemen, and receivers, was the way they all picked up Coach Rodriguez’s offensive system.’’

Rodriguez has been widely received by the team, school and community, taking control as he did of a program that had been jarred to the core by scandal that involved several star players. He established himself immediately as a coach who takes an interest in his players, beyond the gridiron.

“I do,’’ Rodriguez said. “It’s the reason I coach. I love it when a player comes to see me years after playing for me just to tell me what he’s done, what he’s achieved and to thank me. That’s as special to me as any championship I might win.’’

It was gratifying, Rodriguez said, to watch the team develop from week to week last season. “Every week I could see improvement,’’ he said. “We’d be doing this thing or that thing a little better than the week before.

“I’m proud of them. They played hard and practiced hard. And they haven’t really stopped. Right now we’re in what I call an ‘active rest period.’ They’re lifting and staying in shape.’’
Now, here comes basketball and we’ll see exactly where Connor Finn will fit in to Coach Eric Gamari’s scheme of things. Last season, though only a freshman, he saw action in several varsity games.

And the 2014 football season should be very interesting, too, wouldn’t you say?


  1. Petey Pablo says


    Could you spare us with this torrington talk? They won 3 of their last 4 not in dominating fashion against the nvls 3 worst teams. When they actually were decent the last 3 or so years we didnt see any articles.

    Rodriguez has done an ok job. I mean he had 3 players suspended for drinking in the middle of the season. If youre going to keep on insinuatingthat the other coach did not care about that stuff because of two wastes after the season in fact then why not hold that drinking scandal against that guy.

    Spare us these litchfield county articles.

    Litchfield county all star team? Hahahafagahahhahaha

  2. Ron Curko says

    With the type of parental support in that town and fans it will ALWAYS be a perpetual loser program. Get used to 3-8 every year and being an automatic win for all the top tier teams in the NVL. The above poster is 100% right if that was Dunaj he would have been dragged under the bus because all the parents there want to blame everyone but themselves for being awful parents, take along look in the mirror you losers.

      • Casual High School Football Fan says

        It’s sad that such pitiful and hateful people can only fill the blogs with venomous, hateful comments about a very positive article.

    • Casual High School Football Fan says

      Nice positive article about a fine young man and his family and their three achieving kids…look forward to reading about Owen in the future and his positive impact on the program.

  3. J7 says

    Typical Torrington article. Not focusing on winning, because the team didn’t this season because they got away from having winning coaches. Dunaj did a great job up there, because people wrote articles about how well his players did on the field. Two of his players were selected to the first team register all-state , but no one ever wrote an article about those players being selected, or any of their on the field accolades Don’t waste our time with articles about Torrington football players that do this and that off the field. Jaffe wrote a story about a Senior linemen and his goal to fly helicopters one day. Well, it appeared that he shoud have spent more time aspiring to block. This isn’t boy scouts Litchfield County.

  4. Dan says

    I’ve been living here long enough to have seen everything by now. One thing for certain is this, all these comments about what a great guy he is and all this stuff from other coaching staffs means one thing, they are kicking your —. The minute you start beating them if you ever do here, they won’t think your such a great guy anymore. The thing about this year was the honeymoon year go 3-8 next year and you’ll see the ugliness real fast here. Every coach that’s ever been here it’s been the same crap. MERRY CHRISTMAS.

  5. Casual High School Football Fan says

    Thanks, Dan. That’s an interesting and sound perspective about the Town and its past support of coaches. Appreciate your point of view and will watch the Team’s progress next year.

  6. a knowlegable THS football supporter says

    2013-THS Football

    the 2013 varsity (starting ) squad consisted of 4 returning starters ( two of which were returning freshmen!)and 15 sophomores – a new head coach and staff, and a new pass oriented offense- each week the team made significant improvements

    At least 3 of their opponents participated in post season play ( Ansonia and Woodland played in the championship game)

    FOCUS ON THE POSITVE-THS has a coach that stresses character,personal accountability and academics!!!-this isn’t Ansonia(players are not moving from Waterbury , Brideport or New Haven to play football here)THS is a public school in CT-not Florida or Alabama —

    i look forward to reading more articles about the character of the Coach and players as well as the teams continued improvement on the field

    • J7 says

      Try not to talk about being an offensive coordinator at a sub .500 school like Sheehan, means anything. Rodriguez took over a program that had won no less than six games for the last four seasons and only won three. Dunaj went 30-21 and never won less than five games. Before Dunaj took over Torrington football was doing what they do best, lose. Todd Thompson went 1-9 in 2007 and went 3-7 the two previous years. G-rod was on a few of Thompson’s coaching staffs and it’s apparent that he showed G-rod the way; the way to lose 70% of your games.

      Torrington people keep talking about the last coach, as if his teams winning games meant that the players had no character? Let’s get this straight, Torrington likes losing because it means that their kids aren’t bullying and are showing great character.You need to face the facts. The old coach wasn’t your cup of tea, because he won and worked hard. Torrington loves losing and feels uncomfortable with any other results. If you wanted a losing coach from Torrington than they made a great hire. Finn played for Dunaj last year and WON a big game against a defending state championship team from Holy Cross . He must have had high character, great grades, and excellent family back then too, but no one acknowledged that back then.

      Torrington supporters, parents, and as usual administrators (take a look at whose running the Bloomfield school system into the ground) are certain that winning football games falls far behind handing out sportsmanship awards and talking about how a Defensive Back on a 3-8 team, may have given up 20 touchdowns on pass plays, but he also is heavily involved with ROTC, band, and National Honors society.

      G-rod took what Dunaj had built and flushed down the toilet. Any momentum that the staff before Rodriguez built, was gone the minute the BOE decided to hire a losing offensive coordinator. He’s changed the character of the program alright, from winners to LOSERS.

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