Friday, October 19, 2007

The Fat Lady Never Sings by Steve Reilly

Since 1976, Steve Reilly has coached baseball in Connecticut's Lower Naugatuck Valley. He has coached Babe Ruth, Senior Babe Ruth and American Legion teams and has spent the last 20 years assisting high school coaches. He assisted at Derby High School from 1986-1995, assisted Emmett O'Brien Regional Vocational Technical School in 1996 and will be coaching in his 11th season at Seymour High School in the Spring of 2007. He continues to coach a summer Senior Babe Ruth team and fall league team in Derby.

A practicing Attorney since 1980, with an office in Oxford, Connecticut (, Reilly and his wife, Suzanne, live in Seymour, Connecticut.

You can visit his website at


On Friday nights in the fall, all around the country, scores of fans gather to support their local football teams. The town of Derby, Conn. is no different. In The Fat Lady Never Sings, author and former assistant baseball coach Steven M. Reilly tells the story of the downfall of the Derby Red Raider football team after 28 years of winning seasons, and how three seniors on that team seek redemption on the baseball diamond.

Every boy in this blue-collar town dreams of playing football for the Derby High School Red Raiders. The city doesn’t have much else going for it, only the pride in its successful high school football program. After the fateful game that ends the Raiders first losing season in nearly 3 decades, seniors Gino DiMauro, Ben Bartone and Donny Shepard know that nobody will remember this game’s score, but no one will ever forget they lost. Although the three had given everything they had on the field, they know it won’t be good enough, not in Derby. In a few short minutes, they will forever be labeled as losers—unless they can prove otherwise during baseball season.

The smallest school in the league, Derby qualifies for the state baseball tournament and ultimately advances to the championship game. Under the towering lights of Middletown’s Palmer Field, Gino, Ben, Donny, and the rest of the Red Raiders face off against Terryville. But in the last inning, the Raiders trail by two runs and are down to their final at bat. With one out remaining, the "fat lady" prepares to sing—or so they think.

A feel-good story of perseverance much like those in the classic sports movies "Friday Night Lights" and "Hoosiers," The Fat Lady Never Sings provides an intriguing look at the "never give up" attitude of high school athletes, and the pressures they face from parents, coaches and members of the community.

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