But the Staples coaches tell me two of their captains, ends Pat Murray and Chris Coyne have committed to play at Yale University.
Archive for August, 2010
Here’s the latest high school football scrimmage schedule from CIAC. Lots of extra dates added from our previous post last week.
Again, this isn’t a comprehensive list and it is subject to change. But, for what it’s worth here you go:
Got this from a brilliant post by Fanhouse
From the post by Ryan Wilson:
“I imagine Brian Billick had this gem buried deep in the playbook back when folks still believed he was an offensive genius*. Either way, it’s a fantastic sequence of events. The play was destined to fail as soon as the quarterback optioned the ball. Turns out, a five-yard loss would have been considered a positive outcome given how things turned out.”
Here’s the video from YouTube:
I’m sure this isn’t the worst play ever, but it’s pretty bad.
Anybody got any gems they’d like to share with us?
Again, not definitive here. Just looking for answers (Thanks to @CurrenSCC for an assist).
Note: One slight edit on the Shelton post, but it’s notable news.
1. Just how good will last year’s state champs be?
If you believe in the few preseason rankings out already, Cheshire (Class LL champ) and Notre Dame (L champ) are the best teams in the state. I’m going out on a twig here and say the official preseason polls will have them 1-2.
Some of my colleagues love to just take last year’s rankings and slot them into their preseason vote.
Bah! We try to do some homework for you and, from what we can tell both teams have many gaps to plug, holes to fill and decisions to make.
At Cheshire, all of last year’s stars QB Greg Palmer, DB/WR Brian Havilcek, FB Dan Sweeney, DB Paul Tuscano, FB, linemen Luke Scinto and Craig Thorne are gone. They *do* have nice QB back in Max Slade, who filled nicely for Palmer. Cheshire also has a stable of backs led by Mike Skibicki. Will throwing be an issue? Havicek’s big-play ability will be missed and we’re wondering how the revamped offensive lines will fare.
Actually, Notre Dame almost has the exact same problem. Their QB is Sean Goldrich, the Walter Camp QB award winner who is attracting all sorts of preseason attention. WR/DB Conor Keniry is gone, RB/LB Justin Willis is gone, but huge RB/LB David Rose returns as does speedster Tirrel Young-Williams. ND will need to fine some good lineman to replace Rob Bowman and Dom Diglio.
Of the two, I’m giving ND (which plays in Class L) the slight nod. Cheshire (LL) should be good, but its schedule is brutal.
Remember, two losses isn’t (quite) a death-knell anymore in the new playoff system.
2. Who are Graham Stewart and Austin Ahern, and are they enough to make Xavier a winner?
They’re two tremendous defensive players and the key components of Xavier’s 2010 season. Stewart is one of the state’s top recruits — he recently committed to Boston College. Ahern is a hard-hitting strong safety.
But, of course, they can’t do it on their own and Xavier defense, while good in spots last season, did surrender 25-or-more points in four of its five biggest games last year. This time, however, the offense might not be in position to bail them out. QB Alex Pace, TE Connor Brownell and, of course, tailback Julian Hayes are all gone. Those are big spots to fill. Ryan Murphy, a nice junior TE, returns and I’m sure there’s plenty of unknown talent waiting in the wings.
We’ll find out about Xavier real quick:
at Notre Dame-West Haven, Sept. 17.
3. Can Shelton contend with the big boys?
The Gaels had the makings of a good team in 2009, but injuries and, well, poor tackling pretty much killed the Gaels during a 1-3 start, including losses to Cheshire, Xavier and Hamden.
Speedster Paul Piccirillo is gone, as is QB Ray Pendagast. But there are plenty of skill guys returning: WR/DB Mike Georgalas RB/LB Ryan DeAnglelis, and LB Cody Kitson. Kicker Jonathan Groth takes over at QB.
Edit: It looks like RB/LB Ryan DeAnglelis is lost out for the year due to a torn ACL in the spring. Already a tough break for the Gaels.
Regardless, the Gaels should be fine offensively. It’s the defense we worry about. Who’s going to step up on the front-seven?
Shelton won’t have time to figure it out. It opens with dangerous Wilbur Cross (which features RB James Ward, QB Dontay Long and more skill guys than an opposing coach cares to count — speaking of which, look out for Cross) and Sheehan at home before a big match at Notre Dame. Home vs. Xavier and away vs. Cheshire also loom.
(On a side note, I haven’t seen the Shelton coaches, but how’s that new $400 student activity fee affecting the team? Can’t imagine very well.)
4. So what’s Hamden’s story now that Scott Benoit’s gone?
Well, all-league back Jordan Teague is returning. And, with the Green Dragons looking for a new QB and (both new and former) coach Tony Martone back a the controls, could we be seeing Hamden circa 1998? Instead of Horace Dodd carrying the ball 50 times a game, maybe it’ll be Teague left, Teague right, Teague up the gut?
Outside of Teague, Hamden lost pretty much everybody from last year’s team. You name the player, he’s gone.
5. Will we ever hear from Fairfield Prep again?
Well, we’ll hear from them again, it’s just a question of when. It’s a school with nice tradition that has violently fallen on hard times. But like the fight song says, “We will laugh, we will cry, but we’ll never say die.”
We’ll see. So, what’s in store for this year? Prep brings in a rookie head coach in Tom Shea, who’s a 1973 alumni and knows his Prep history. He played for Earl Lavery and coached in and around the program for years while running successful technology companies.
He inherits a very young team that didn’t just get kicked around the league in 2009, it was battered and bruised. Returning are C.J. Donahue, the quarterback, RB/S Kyle Vignone, TE/LB Brian Golger and OL/DT Hayden Collins. They’re not names, but they’re kids who no doubt remember the beatings they’ve endured.
But can they play ball and do something about it? No idea. The last time I actually saw a Prep game was the replay of their 49-0 loss to Hamden. So far, I haven’t heard a word about Prep yet. I don’t know Shea’s philosophy. They are truly a big question mark and a team that will be dismissed until they accomplish something.
Non-pressing (yet): …Are there any good SCC Division II teams out there? Foran has Tucker Schumitz but an absolutely brutal schedule. North Haven? Hillhouse? Law? How about the Wallingford schools? … Now that Nick Merullo’s gone in Madison, what’s Hand got? Amity isn’t quite starting from scratch, but close enough, especially with new coach Bert Mozealous. West Haven is another mystery and have been for awhile.
We’ll take your questions, comments and ponderings …
Edit: An original story had Xavier tight end Ryan Murphy’s name wrong. It has been corrected.
Same drill as last time. I’m short on details but here’s what we’re looking at so far on August 25th.
1. Masuk’s the favorite, right?
At this point, we should think so. The SWC runners-up were 10-1 9-2 last year, clearly one of the state’s best teams. But they were also one of three that never got a chance to prove it in the playoffs. Masuk brings back a star in all-CTPost junior QB Casey Cochran, a top back in junior Colin Markus, Senior WR/DB/K Jon Testani and lots of other kids back from what was technically a pretty young team last season.
2. What’s Pomperaug got left? And will it be enough? (this counts as one question)
Well, the big 3 — Andrew Clements, C.J. Elser and Ben Crick — are gone. So’s linemen Dean Samuelson and DE Dan Reel and Wade McNamara and (whew) …quite a few others. What’s left are fine players in RB/LB Kevin Maxen and your usual ready-for-primetime linemen led by Zack Polk and Willie Maxen. The new QB is junior Kellen Croce, son of offensive coordinator Steve Croce and younger brother of former Holy Cross all-state QB Mike Croce.
Short answers: Plenty and Probably.
3. Can Newtown build off last year’s finale?
Newtown is a team to keep an eye on. It’s always good and, aside from finding a replacement at QB, the Nighthawks should at least be a contender. They bring back some firepower, particularly at receiver with Sean Devaney, Rory Noonan and Ryan Korth. Lou Fenaroli returns at fullback So whoever becomes QB will have plenty of options. Defensively, Newtown will miss Connor McNamara, Tory Deakin and Jamie Bowers. But they have a nice core with LB Max Nacewicz, S Colby Summerlin and DE Eric McCabe. They open with Brookfield and then take to the road for four straight games.
4. Hey! Whatabout the Stratford schools?!?!
Yeah. We haven’t heard much about football out of Stratford lately, unless you’re talking about former Bunnell and UConn standout Marcus Easley‘s foray into Bills camp (and it wasn’t good. The Bills put him on IR. He’s done for the year.) Anyway, I’m sure both coaches will be happy to know their teams are complete mysteries at the moment. Stratford lost quite a few seniors, particularly Jeff Miller. They’ll be learning from a new coach, but a familiar one in Stratford resident, Bunnell teacher and former ND-Fairfield coach John Svatik. Bunnell lost their QB and top offensive threat. But there were a lot of underclassmen. I’m told we could be in for a surprise … from both teams.
5. Who will be this year’s Bethel?
Erm, well … The Wildcats, who rode their massive line and Peter Gallagher all the way to the Class M state title game, lost many of their horses. Huge lineman Chris Valenti, who’s one of the best in the state, returns. So do playmakers Randy Lowenadler and Brandon Schmidt. But there are lots of questions. Right now, it would be a stretch to say they can do it all over again. But I’ve been wrong before.
As for the others: Brookfield’s still reloading. As is New Fairfield, which lost a good class including QB Bobby Wood. The Rebels have a new coach from New York State in Anthony Fata. It’ll be intriguing to see where Oxford goes from here. The players who built the foundation are gone, particularly catalyst Deven Diaz, Mike Giordano and Matt Hovan. …Immaculate’s starting over with offensive-coordinator-turned coach Gary Bellagamba. …I’m lost on New Milford. …Don’t know much about Weston. …Notre Dame-Fairfield bears some watching. It lost hulking LB/FB Brody Brandstatter. But there were a lot of juniors on last year’s club. OL/DL Kevin Harrigan is back and, as an added bonus, the Lancers picked up transfer QB Nick Chacho from Masuk, who was the QB-in-waiting in Monroe until Cochran came to town last season. (In case you were wondering: No, Masuk and Notre Dame are not scheduled to play each other this year).
ADD (8/27): Whoops. We forgot to throw Barlow in there. The Falcons lost their man Tyler Colby and Sam Niedenbach moved out of the country. Might be trouble…
Hmm… I kinda answered the questions there, didn’t I? …and in a lot more detail than I would have liked. Half of these kids could be out for the year for all I know.
Again. The phone lines are open.
By no means is this a definitive list, and I’m still short on specifics …but here goes.
1. Does New Canaan have enough horses to reload (especially at QB for the fifth-straight time) to win their fifth-straight state championship …in Class L this time? Bringing back 6-4, 305 OL/DL and Notre Dame recruit Conor Hanratty and 6-1 WR Kevin Macari is a good start. Their gunslinger-elect this year is junior Matt Milano. And, no, there’s no word on any exotic transfers… yet. ;)
2. St. Joseph returns a stud in Tyler Matakevich, and the most experienced team in the league. But how will the former Class SS champion Cadets handle their new-found fame (complete with a rather large bull’s eye on their backs), the loss of big WR Jason Mawicke to Staples and much of their defense?
3. Is the winner of Ridgefield-Staples in Week 3 a lock for the FCIAC championship game? Ridgefield – which has a name in Florida recruit DT/OT Tommy Jordan, but many starting spots to fill — or Staples — which is in the same boat, especially on an offense that recently lost back Ryan Burke is out with an ACL injury.) Still, outside of that game both teams have primrose paths to the postseason.
There is, however, a wildcard…
Will Trumbull have anything to say about that half of the FCIAC draw? The Eagles bring back a green squad led by RB/DB Frank Gaines and DB Phil Terio, but lost their QB and have some linemen to replace.
5. Is it rebuild or retool at Greenwich? Lots of new faces in starting places on a team that lost three games by a combined 4 points? (I think this is a softball.)
And, now the non-pressing questions: Where does Darien fit into all of this? The Wave were an opening-day loss to Warde from reaching the playoffs. …Will the Norwalk schools be any good this year? McMahon has a new coach in former Darien defensive coordinator A.J. Albano. …What does Central do without catalyst Christon Gill? Is Shabazz McIntosh going to be enough? …Who’s boss in Fairfield? Lots of new faces at both Warde and Ludlowe. …
Oh… and one more thing: and like many of you, I was caught by completely by surprise when Trinity Catholic receiver Shawn Robinson started showing up on recruiting radars. I think my response was something along the lines of who????
The problem here is A) I rarely get to see Trinity Catholic since it generally hasn’t been a serious force in the FCIAC and B) They run a Wing-T offense. He caught 12 passes for 250 yards last year. It’s tough to shine as a receiver when your playbook is a sheet of paper.
But there the 6-foot-1, 190-pound senior is, narrowing his choices to Rutgers and UConn in recent recruiting stories.
Here’s his recruiting tape:
Comments? Questions? The phone lines are open.
Another Connecticut high school football team hit the fields Wednesday a lot more than football on its brain.
Maloney of Meriden began preseason camp just as its players and coaches were coming to grips with the loss of junior wide receiver Tashawn Bromfield who, according to the Record Journal of Meriden, was killed in a random drive-by shooting in New York City on Saturday.
Tanner Grove, who coached Montville to the Class SS title game vs. St. Joseph last season, has been suspended four weeks by his school district following his arrest for driving under the influence last Friday, according to a report in The Day of New London.
From the article:
According to a press release from Montville Superintendent of Schools Pam Aubin, Grove will be reinstated after Montville’s first game, scheduled for Sept. 17 at New London.
High school football practice throughout the state begins Monday, meaning Grove’s suspension will span four weeks.
This means, of course, Grove, who has been the coach at Montville for four years, will be unable to participate throughout the team’s preseason camp.