St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia rarely makes trips to Ansonia’s Jarvis Stadium. But while attending the Thanksgiving Day game between Naugatuck and Ansonia on Thursday, suddenly everybody who spotted the coach was his best friend.
“People kept coming up to me and I had no idea who any of them were,” Della Vecchia said Friday.
Turns out, inquiring minds all wanted to know two things: How’s his quarterback son Joe Della Vecchia’s leg, and will he be playing on Friday?
The senior quarterback, who led St Joseph to a Class SS championship last season and carried the team’s offense throughout most of this year’s 7-3 season, injured his lower leg during what his father said was a horse-collar tackle in the late stages of St. Joseph’s 38-27 loss to Trumbull on Wednesday night.
Typically senior Della Vecchia’s response to the questions was a guarded, “Who wants to know?” knowing most of his newfound friends would be from Woodland, St. Joseph’s opponent in the Class S semifinals Tuesday night at Fairfield Ludlowe.
On Friday, when contacted by Connecticut Post, Della Vecchia said his son’s injury was similar to the one that sidelined him in for a couple of late-game drives during a Week 3 loss to Darien. Joe Della Vecchia returned to play in the final series of that 13-10 loss.
“He’s day-to-day right now,” said coach Della Vecchia, adding that he communicated the same information to Woodland coach Tim Shea. “We’ll see. He’s going to stay off it for a couple of days and we’ll see how he feels.”
Della Vecchia said senior Joe Burns would be taking all of the snaps in practice until his son felt well enough to return. That might mean Sunday, maybe Monday. “He’s a good athlete,” coach Della Vecchia said of Burns. “He’ll do fine if we need him.”
Senior RB/FB Tyler Matakevich, who hasn’t carried the ball much since returning from a foot injury at midseason, has been begging for more carries to help the team.
“We haven’t really used him a lot on offense,” said coach Della Vecchia, adding that senior L.J. Hunt has developed into a strong starter at tailback. “Tyler’s still tentative. He’s still getting his conditioning back. But we may need to lean him now. He may not come off the field.”