‘About Last Weekend…’ Week 5: The Changing of the Guard


Hand's Matt Walsh scores the last of his five touchdowns in the Tigers' 40-20 victory over Xavier at Palmer Field Friday night.

With keen and wisened eyes, a number of Xavier High School football alumni grouped together in shallow right at Palmer Field Friday night.

It was a who’s who of Xavier’s recent, glorious past: Ryan Murphy, Jovan Santos, Austin Wezenski, Sean Marinan, Ryan Jacobucci, Graham Stewart.

Their alma mater was leading Hand 20-14 at halftime in Connecticut’s high school football game of the year.

The game was still in doubt. The alumni, all of whom had been the architects, foremen and builders of two state championships and all but last four of Xavier’s previous 30 victories, were edgy, but confident.

“We got this,” said Ryan Murphy, the former all-state end and back. “They’re not going to be able to keep Tim down. …I’m pretty sure (coach Sean) Marinan gave them lashing in the locker room.”

‘Tim’ is quarterback Tim Boyle, the Boston College-bound quarterback who helped Xavier rally twice in the first half to take their lead.

Outside an unfortunate punt snap and, later, a trick play that helped Hand score its two touchdowns, Murphy’s assessment of the second half seemed to be on-target.

But even he and his band of brothers could tell: Their understudies aren’t as polished as they were a season ago. This wasn’t the same Xavier. This was 2012, not 2011.

Someone said they’d love to see Staples and Class LL championship game. “Yeah,” said Santos, his teammates nodding around him.
“But you know what?” he added. “…It’ll be a much closer game.”

This was before Hand turned the game upside-down. This was before the Tigers marched 95 yards in 23 plays to tie the game. This was before Hand’s defense smothered Xavier on three plays and then marched right back down the field and scored again.

Forget Staples-Xavier fighting for No. 1 in a potential Class LL championship game. UConn recruit Matt Walsh and Hand proved what everyone wearing black feared: Xavier’s reign atop the Connecticut football world is in dispute, if not over already.

Hand's Caleb Ewald scores on a touchdown catch-and-run in the third quarter of Hand's 40-20 victory over Xavier Friday night.

Boyle and Xavier managed just eight plays to Hand’s 48 in the second half. Though outsized on the lines, the Tigers weren’t out-toughed, outclassed or out-played. Hand churned its way up the field, converting a pair of huge fourth downs — one on a tipped-pass catch by offensive lineman Cam Gravina, the other a pass-interference call — to score the tying and go-ahead touchdowns.

Then Xavier flubbed the ensuing kickoff. Hand got the ball back and that was that.

“I didn’t have to say a whole lot (at halftime),” Hand coach Steve Filippone said. “It was just a matter of us playing our game and getting into rhythm.”

Hand outgained Xavier 305-39 in the second half and by the fourth quarter, Xavier’s notorious fan section — The Black Hole — had been drowned out by the legions of Hand fans who paraded up Route 79 in a caravan Ray Curren described as “Hickory-esque.”

From the start, their presence reverberated across the complex. The Hand band, not the Xavier band, performed on the field at halftime.

The Hand student body jeered, ‘OVER-RATED’ at Xavier … when it was just 7-0.

Late in the game, they cheered, ‘START THE BUSES!’ … at the home team.


The Xavier student body, meanwhile, sat in stunned silence.

“They call their fans the Black Hole, but it felt like the Surf Club out there tonight,” said Walsh, who scored five touchdowns on five carries before a garbage-time run at the end of the game.

Heh. An an opponent working with garbage time. …At Palmer Field.

“They out-physicaled us up front, on both sides of the ball in the second half,” said Xavier coach Sean Marinan, who tasted defeat for the first time since the 2009 Class LL semifinals vs. Staples, and for the first time at Palmer Field since a 37-19 loss to Wilbur Cross in Week 1 of that year. “We couldn’t get anything going with offense. We couldn’t stop them defensively.”

We didn’t make a pregame prediction, but quietly I had it pegged 35-24, Xavier.

I saw a few Hand predictions floating around. But most, if not all, said Hand would win in a close game.

Not 40-20.

“We know we’re a second-half team,” Walsh said. “We were last year. I don’t know if any of you were at the Masuk (Class L semifinal) game, but it was 14-14 and we came out of (halftime) and we just exploded and we did the same thing today.”

Now we enter new territory as the second-half of the 2012 high school football season.

For the first time since Xavier toppled Notre Dame-West Haven on opening night of 2010, we’re looking for a new No. 1.

It’s a brave new world.

Xavier has lost its mojo — for now. Hand has an extra swagger. Meanwhile, Ansonia is rolling in the NVL. Staples is rolling in the FCIAC. Masuk is dominating the SWC. Windsor, Glastonbury and Southington are taking care of business in the CCC… etc.

Lest we forget the teams we cover southwestern Connecticut, here’s what was what in Week 5. While everyone had their eyes fixed on Palmer Field,  we same some surprising results down in Shangri La:

To wit:

Trumbull coach Bob Maffei pumps his fist as his team scores in their upset of Darien on Friday night.

Whew. Crazy week.

Here are your recaps and links to all of Week 5’s proceedings.



Sean Patrick Bowley

77 Responses

  1. JJJJ4 says:

    Coach George of Newtown is a class act. Stochmal is a sore loser. He was mad Newtown went up by 26 with 1:19 left in the game…Oxford was so mad Stochmal and ALL his assistants would not shake the Newtown coaches hands at the end of the game…. Poor showing of Oxford coaches… Their coaches need to learn what class is before they can teach what winning is all about

  2. Jon says:

    I do believe that staples plays in the FCIAC, which would indicate that they are not rolling in the SCC

  3. Weasel says:

    Look, with all due respect to a very fine Hand program, until someone beats them Staples is #1. No team skipped up during the last several years and this year shouldn’t be any different. That said, Hand-Staples would probably be a great game…that defense against that offense…phew!

    I was at the SF between Masuk and Hand last year, and while recognizing that the teams are quite different, the outcome between yesterday’s game and last year’s SF are eerily similar. This, directionally at least, points to the strength of a fine coaching system, something we understand Hand to have (and others too, see Ansonia, Masuk, New Canaan, Xavier, etc.). Yes, a fine long term strategy can translate to tactical effectiveness. We saw it yesterday – great job, Tigers!

    Last, a hearty congratulations to all those Xavier players who took part in that long, winning streak. Jeez, how great have they been! Great job, X-men!

  4. @Jon – Yes, yes, yes. Typo. Thanks for being a nice guy about it.

  5. Jake says:

    I know Staples and Ansonia will be hoping for votes, but there was a #1 team, and they were beaten handily by the #3 team…if I were a voter, I’d have a hard time not putting Hand #1. Folks who have seen X, Hand, Ansonia, and Staples play in person can make their own judgements, but from a distance (FL) that’s how I see it.

    Weasel, I understand your point, but I can’t quite change my mind. If Hand had won by a touchdown or so, I’d probably agree with you.

  6. fan07 says:

    trumbull going for second upset over staples next week blue wave bye done till next year

  7. Wolfpack says:

    JJJJ4, a class act doesnt throw a TD pass with a minute to go in the game up by 3 scores? I could see a team just running the ball but to throw a pass? come on. I am still surprised to see Newtown was behind 21-12 at the half to a powerhouse Class S team. I guess that is why they aren’t listed in “Who’s number 1″ poll.

  8. Oxford parent says:

    I was at Oxford for the game vs Newtown. Yes Stochmal was upset at George and Newtown, he screamed obsenities at them from across the field. This did cause some tension after the game but what really set things off was one of the most embarassing and disguisting things I have witnessed at a football game. A coach that used to coach for us, Coach Paternoster, was shaking our kids hands and congratulating them on a well played game. Our BOARD OF EDUCATION member, PARENT of a player on the team, and former coach, GERARD CARBONARO, comes running onto the field and runs directly to Newtown’s Coach Paternoster and SPITS on him. That caused several coaches to lose their cool and a physical altercation almost started.

    As a Oxford parent I am ashamed at how our coaches acted at the end of the game and for two of our so called leaders in our school and athletic community, Athletic Director Joe Stochmal and Board of Ed member Gerard Carbonaro, to be the culprits is especially disheartening.

    To all Newtown players, coaches, parents and fans, we apologize for the disgusting acts of Mr. Carbonaro and how our coaches acted. That is not how we conduct ourselves and hopefully we will be able to grow from this.

  9. Football says:

    @JJJJ4 – I do not support Oxford, but calling Coach George a class act does not make him a class act. A class LL school, pilling on a class S school with a minute left in the game is pathetic and the definition of lack of class.

  10. Hasbeen says:

    Staples does have a great team and coach. But they still will have to get by Greenwich. If Greenwich plays a perfect game it will be close.

  11. Sawthat says:

    What’s the difference, if Newtown pounded the ball I’n or threw it in they were going to score anyway…. Oxford played their butts off, their coaching staff did the kids a disservice with their post game conduct!!

  12. Lance says:

    Wolf pack yes they were down at half but the cream rose to the top

  13. Brian says:

    Hand is without a doubt the #1 team in CT until someone beats them. They beat up the number 1 team on their home field in dominating fashion. Staples and Ansonia can argue they are number 1 but with their schedules being so weak there is no way. Even if Ansonia wins out and others end up wih a loss the LL or L team should be 1 based on the comp they will have beaten. That NVL and Class S are pathetic.

    My question of the weekend is how does the #1 team Xavier down seven on their own 30 or so not go for it on 4th down and a foot. If they can’t get a foot with berry boyle or that big O-line they should not have been ranked number 1!

  14. GHS1973 says:

    @SPB…I know this is off the current subject, but how does it work with the CSC (tech schools) in regard to the state playoffs?…I noticed that Platt Tech (class L) and Bullard-Havens (class M) are both undefeated & ranked 6th currently in their respective classes…They play each other soon, and Bullard ends with Bassick (class LL), but Bassick is without a win so far…If Bullard runs the table at 10-0 will they surpass teams like St.Joes, Weston, Berlin, etc. in points for the right to play in the state playoffs?…Just curious..

  15. Weasel says:


    So what happens if Staples runs the table for the rest of the year and beats Xavier in the LL playoffs?

    I know people are emotional here, but I’ll say it again, Staples was #2 and #1 lost. They are then elevated by the traditions of almost any poll, anywhere, to the top spot.

    Hand is a fine team and won a great victory, but that win doesn’t leapfrog them into the #1 spot.

    The only reason I use your post to point this out is that it says “without a doubt.” No, there is doubt, considerable doubt (not the majority by SPB’s snap poll, but doubt nonetheless.

    Furthermore, I wouldn’t call the schedule Staples faces weak. They play two traditionally tough teams and if they win they’ll play in the FCIAC title game too (and even if it doesn’t count for playoff points, if they win it’ll have been against a tough opponent). So the net is, no, this issue is not “without a doubt,” not by a long shot.

    Staples is #1 no matter how spectacular Hand’s win was – and it was.

  16. RAY BROWN says:

    Where are all the X bloggers?

  17. GHS1973 says:

    @SPB…LOL…You don’t mince your words…Short & Sweet…I guess that makes Platt at Bullard, Saturday 10/27 @ Noon a pretty big game then, eh?…Providing they are both still 6-0…

  18. GHS1973 says:

    @ Ray…They are all shell-shocked for now, but they’ll be back, I’m sure…

  19. GHS1973 says:

    I don’t know why, but I’m pulling for the Tech Schools to make the playoffs…Especially Bullard-Havens in Bridgeport…They have tough kids who chose a trade school & the football program, too…I have a feelng that they’re a better team than anyone else thinks…But I really have no idea, or a reference to judge them by…But, I’ll be there for the Platt game…15 bus, no problem…

  20. old man says:

    speaking of classless acts…. amity up 54-27 vs guilford two weeks ago with approx 3min to go in the game threw a play action pass for a td to make it 61-27… also north branford put 70 on old saybrook… starters scoring in the 4th qtr.

  21. JJJJ4 says:

    @football…you apparently have the wrong “handle” as u NO NOTHING ABOUT THE GAME

  22. Kris1 says:

    Let me preface this by saying, I think Hand should be #1. But, you guys make me laugh with the Ansonia shouldn’t be ranked #1 because of their league, their class, their ________(enter an excuse). They have been rank #1 more times then any school in CT. Yes, as a Class S school. That argument has gotten old. They won’t play Hand or Staples or Xavier, get over it. Could they beat those teams? Absolutely!! Judge them for what they’ve been and who they are…a fine football program. They have the most playoff appearances, the most State titles, the most undefeated seasons, and they are on the verge of passing New Britain as the winningest program in CT. That’s pretty impressive for a school their size, with the limited numbers they deal with. While the rest of NVL has taken a down turn, Ansonia has maintained it’s tradition of excellence. Do they play big schools or state powers every week? No, neither does the FCIAC. Look at Staples schedule

  23. Kris1 says:

    Furthermore, other then the West Haven team of the late ’60s, the best collection of talent this state has ever seen was a Class S school. The ’98 Bloomfield team was ridiculous. That team sent 12 players to D1 schools, 6 saw time on NFL rosters, and one will be a Hall of Fame inductee when he retires. Last years Xavier team wasn’t in the same stratosphere.

  24. Ansonia says:

    Ansonia has to hope for a match up against an undefeated Trintiy Catholic in the playoffs. Granted its summer/offseason stuff, but Ansonia and Hand looked very similar. There’s no question that the skill players at Ansonia are better then X’s and please don’t compare RB’s. Congrats to X for a great run.

  25. Brian says:

    Weasel I have no problem that you are arguing for Staples. They are a great team and program. Hand beat the dominant #1 team in convincing fashion in their building and in my opinion beat the refs too. They will have beaten xavier, west haven, hillhouse, North Haven and cheshire and few good opponents in class L.

    Staples will have Joes and Greenwich on their resume along with LL opponents. The harder schedule favors Hand IMO.

    I’m a Greenwich fan and NOT a staples hater but I just watched Hand destroy xavier who had won 30 in a row and no one can tell me they are not #1 until they lose. Which could happen as early as Friday night. I don’t care who says what but there is no way Hand can play as well this Friday as they did this past one. Emotion was so great and execution so perfect it will be hard to repeat vs WH. It won’t have to be as perfect to win this one but West Haven is better off that Hand won that game instead of losing it. If West Haven loses this one send them packing. They will not beat Xavier and the refs at Palmer and will struggle with Prep also.

  26. Brian says:

    Kris u have been posting on here for a long time and I agree that Ansonia has a great program and great talent. But we can’t factor the history of schools into this discussion. The number one team has to be a team that has beaten high quality opponents. It’s unfortunate that the Chargers don’t play ANY of those this year through no fault of their own. Class S is terrible and the NVL is just bad this year.

  27. Brian says:


    Trust me on this one, playing TC in a state playoff will do nothing for u. They are average at best. They have a few good backs but I don’t think they beat st. Joes. If I were a betting man I would lay 20 to TC and put my mortgage on Ansonia.

  28. fan07 says:


  29. Football says:

    @JJJJ4 – I know that Newtown took a class from Jack on score managment, but did not take his second class on how to win a big game.

  30. no eXcuses says:

    Hand dominated the second half. 23 play drive to open. 45 plays to 8. 300 yards to 45. 26 points to 0.

    Nice crowd too.

    1 = Hand
    2 = Staples
    3 = Xavier
    4 = Ansonia
    5 = West Haven
    6 = Masuk
    7 = Glastonbury
    8 = Windsor
    9 = Greenwich
    10 = NFA

  31. Observer says:

    @ Ray Brown, the X bloggers are doing the respectable thing and not making excuses. My hat goes off to Xavier for its 30 game run. They may be licking their wounds, but my guess is this dog has not quit the fight.

  32. MXR says:

    I guess I am one of those X bloggers. I repeat what I posted Friday two hours after the game. Madison is #1. They out-schemed, out-executed and out-toughed my boys. Congratulations.

    For the state picture as a whole, we are right back to the same type of argument we had for most of the last two seasons, since Madison, Staples and Ansonia cannot play each other this season. Assuming they all win out, it will be a fun debate. In my opinion, since those three were so close in the polls going into Friday, Madison has to have the edge by beating #1. They will have to get through three current Top 10 teams (West Haven this week, Windsor and Masuk in the play-offs) to keep it, but they are certainly capable and should be expected to win each of those games.

  33. Steve Sanders says:

    Nice job by Hand, what else can you say. I was one of the pundants that proclaimed Hand loses by 30 but they showed what they were made of and really took it to Xavier. That loss makes LL look more open then it did one week ago. Hillhouse got a good win and will be a force in M. As for all the talk of the post game of Newtown and Oxford I was not there but from what I read Newtown threw the ball on 4th down and goal. Just run it, no reason to throw unless your trying to make a point up 19 with just over a minute left. To me the game is over at that point. Also you have to feel the Oxford Staff frustration they were beating a top tier team in their league and the game drastically swung the other way, now u gotta watch that opponent throw the ball at that point in the game, no class in that move at all. Anything that happened after that was not OK either, no need for a former coach/parent to run on the field and cause a scene. Hence the reason he is no longer on the staff. Joe Stochmal is a great guy that cares about his kids and program and the Wolverines will bounce back.

  34. swc fan says:

    Why are people complaining about Newtown, they did nothing wrong. They are at the goalline and are going to score. It is not like they threw hail mary passes in an attempt to score when they didn’t need to. Too many people are getting soft around here. So a team wins by 26 instead of 19. WHO CARES! Just sounds like some Oxford ppl on here getting pissy b/c they lost. Didn’t Barlow just beat Immaculate 56-0. Where is all the chatter on that? People will complain about anything these days. So sad to see.

  35. SMASHMOUTH says:

    We have a new #1 team in the state. Hand played a great game against a great #1 ranked Xavier. It’s easy math, you have to play great ball to beat great teams. Daniel’s Walsh was unstoppable with 5 TDs and that has not happened to the X-Men in their 30 game run. If I were to rank the top teams now, it would have to start with #1 Hand #2 Stapes #3 Ansonia #4 Xavier #5 Greenwich #6 Masuk #7 Fairfield Prep #8 Trinity Catholic #9 Newtown #10 Hillhouse/ St. Joes.

  36. Northern CT Fan says:

    As an unbiased observer, I have to say that Hand football is #1 until they lose. Last year’s team was as good as Xavier. I watched them completely dominate Masuk in the semifinal. It was domination. This year, their second half performance versus the bigger talented bunch of kids across the field was nothing short of spectacular. Running the ball between the tackles right into the teeth of the vaunted Xavier defense with its massive linemen. Converting repeatedly on 3rd down. It was like watching the bully on the playgrond finally get his comeuppance. Hand punched the bully right in the mouth – repeatedly – and the bully was bloodied into submission.
    A truly great effort by the Hand players. Outstanding coaching by the Hand staff. And, I have to also say, quite nice to see that arrogant Xavier coaching staff(especially that defensive coordinator who acts like an idiot on the sideline most games)standing there helpless as Hand controlled the ball the entire second half.
    Congrats Hand on a great victory. You earned #1.

  37. jeb says:

    I must agree with some of the above posts…if Xavier can’t make a first down on fourth and inches they don’t deserve to be ranked #l in any poll. That was the play that sealed their fate. What would Jack have done with those Bloomfield and New Britain teams. Looking back to last year who is to say that Hand was not better than Xavier. They certainly beat much better teams in Masuk and New Canaan than Xavier beating Norwalk and a good Staples team.

  38. jeb says:

    To my friend RAY RAY BROWN,

    Based on what I have seen of Ansonia, Staples and Hand all three are capable of beating each other. Great skill position players on all three teams. Because of schedule strength one would have to put Hand first on the polls having beaten the top ranked team and such…other than Greenwich, Staples plays no one and Ansonia has not one challenge in the NVL and S states.

  39. Whopper16 says:

    @35..I think what some people are upset about is Newtown has starters making a “stat” TD….Game was over, up 21 with one minute left, ball at 2 yd line. It wouldn’t have killed you to take a knee..or at very least, run a fb dive; if he scores, so be it..but to throw in that situation seems a little bush. The other side of the coin is that if Ox didn’t like it, stop it.., but I don’t think anyone expected a pass in that sitaution. Maybe Masuk will do it to Newtown, though they generally pull their starters in that situation.

  40. Master Legend says:

    After watching the video of Filippone speaking to his team after the game, there is no way that anyone other than Jeff bridges will play him when they make the movie of his life. They sound EXACTLY alike!

    Great game by Hand. They looked a lot like the Patriots, spreading the ball around to different guys, sustaining long drives and stuffing the run. Very impressive, especially when you facotr in their considerable size disadvantage. As an Ansonia man, I have to tip my cap and say that the Tigers are probably 10 points better this year.

  41. swc fan says:

    Whopper, did Masuk pull their starters when they piled on NF last wk? No. Ppl need to understand this is not pop warner and life is not all rainbows and sunshine. 19 point lead is not a clear cut have to put in a JV kid. Like you said, if they didn’t like it, stop it. I don’t have a dog in the fight but it gets ridiculous b/c ppl complain about petty things. Your boys at Brookfield were up 36-0 and threw a 50+ yard pass with your starting QB, that doesn’t fall under you “bush” category? Now let me ask you this, if Oxford or NF were up on Newtown or Masuk respectively, and they threw the TD at the end, ppl would just be commending a win and wouldn’t care. Since it is one of the “big dogs” of the conference, it is a problem. The funny thing is that the most offensive part of the game was not the late TD but the conduct of big fat bald headed dude who spit on a Newtown coach. I saw him at a wrestling tournament once and he was a jack@** and then you hear of this. He is a Board of Ed member to boot. Why aren’t ppl complaining about that?

  42. Lester says:

    The sad part of the whole Oxford situation is the embarrassment this guy Carbonaro is causing his kids. Suspended from coaching the football team for fighting with another coach, then fired from coaching wrestling for verbally abusing a student from another school and now spitting on a rival team’s coach? Dude, anger management?

  43. kris1 says:

    @27 Fair point, Brian. What I meant by my comment was Ansonia has been relevant since, well….Forever. If they had been a program that had a few good years and were relatively untested, then I agree with your point. I’m not saying factor in the history, what the achieved in the past is irrelevant to this season. Ansonia almost has to be judged separate from their NVL foes. They can only beat who they play, true. But as we’ve seen, they are far superior in most seasons. It’s unfortunate, but it happens in any league. Teams trend up and down. You can look at a number of teams: Pomperaug, Cheshire, Shelton, Seymour, and Derby to name a few. I guess my point is, Ansonia is not a flash in the pan. They’ve had one losing season (1986) since the current playoff system has been in place and and they’ve been a contender in 25 of the last 35 seasons.

    I agree with most, Hand has earned the right to be #1. Whether they are truly the best team we’ll never know. Ansonia and Staples, are just as talented, well coached, and play outstanding defense. All are worthy in my opinion.

  44. Ansonia says:

    I think Windsor is being overlooked BIGTIME! Their DLine is as big or bigger then UCONN’s, No BS. if you have a chance check them out on the CIAC network. WOW is all i can say. I can’t wait for the playoffs

  45. HS Sports says:

    Reading through all of this – couple of quick points – Newtown deserves the comments-no reason to pass at that point – anyone who says different never played or coached – no reason to score as game is over. As for a few posts, Staples does not have a weak schedule – Darien, New Canaan, St Joes are teams that not taken lightly. Either Staples or Hand can be ranked #1 based on body of work. How Newtown is in Top 10 I am not sure. Who have they beaten to date? Not Staples Fan or Newtown hater – just voicing opinion based on what I have seen.

  46. Fan says:

    A deserving Win for Stratford over Pomperaug. Both teams played hard!

  47. Brian says:

    Kris I agree and unfortunately like u said we’ll never know. If we put Windsor, Ansonia, Greenwich, Staples, Xavier, Hand, Masuk and probably a few others all in one tourney I think in most years they all would have a shot to win it regardless of size or enrollment.

  48. Brian says:

    #46 Staples does not play NC and yes there schedule is weak compared to Hand.

  49. PatPatriot says:

    Brian – hard to argue Staples schedule is as tough as Hand’s – it clearly isn’t. I wouldn’t say they play noone other than Greenwich. St Joe’s is very likely to win or at least get to the M final and Darien is at least as good as Shelton or Cheshire. Also Staples road through the LL playoffs will be tougher than Hand’s through L. If they were lucky enough to win and beat X in the process would they then leap frog Hand. That’s the point others are making.

    Other than that it’s a toss up between the two and Ansonia. It really is irrelevant at this point – there’s a lot of work to be done before any get to the end game (the final ranking) which is all that matters. Congrat’s to Hand though.

  50. mooncake says:

    Lets talk about boys enrollment to figure out classifications…
    Ffld Prep 908
    X 881
    Staples 894
    Gnwich 1339

    Hand 616
    NC 536
    Windsor 629

    Ansonia 359

    Why is Prep not a LL school?

  51. Who said Prep isn’t LL? It is.

  52. mooncake says:

    Sean, you are right. My apologies.

  53. GHS1973 says:

    Let’s go Bullard-Tech…Oh, and by the way, Greenwich owes some payback to Staples by now…

  54. roto says:

    @Pat Patriot. Cheshire wouldn’t lose to a team that lost to Branford (like Darien did to Trumbull). And I doubt Shelton would, either.

  55. jeb says:

    #50 Not so fast my friend. The Class L semi- finals will be every bit as tough as the class LL. Staples, Xavier, Greenwich, West Haven, Prep etc or Hand, Windsor, Masuk, Middletown, New Canaan. Both divisions are tough…the M is not bad but the S tourney is a lock for Ansonia.

  56. fan07 says:


  57. sawthat says:

    Speaking of schedules and quality wins, who has Masuk beaten to deserve such a high ranking, Milone is great…but lets be real!

  58. JB says:

    @jeb – if you are counting NC in the elite L teams you aren’t making much for your case. They lost to an S level team already. And they won’t beat St Joes either. LL has more than what you listed – like Glastonbury. L is very thin this year with only Hand, Windsor and Masuk up there with a very deep LL playoff list.

  59. Brian says:


    U think u missed your mignight meds saying Trumbull will beat Staples. It looks like they have improved since those Branford, Westhill, and Greenwich woodshed beatings but don’t get crazy here. 45-14 Staples and that’s being kind.

  60. SCC says:

    Masuk is ranked too high. They are physically weak and poorly coached. Look at their record over the last 15 – 20 years versus teams outside the SWC and teams with winning record. It’s under 30%. Hand will beat them this year by 45 points.

  61. Pompy says:

    Hand should have been # 1 last year

    Masuk # 1 the year before.

    X didn’t play the best teams in the state.

    Milone is the states best player sorry Arkeel.

  62. SMASHMOUTH says:

    As far as Milone being the states best player, that is a big statement to throw out there. I would say one of the best all round athletes in the state, yes. Rumor has a number of MLB teams are trying to draft him right out of Highschool including the Red Sox.

  63. @Pompy – Last year’s Xavier was incredible. They were No. 1.

    I’ll go to my grave saying Masuk 2010 was better than Xavier 2010. But the New Haven half of the NHR poll overruled me and the rest of the state.

  64. @Smashmouth – That is correct, but not extremely rare.

  65. Lewis says:

    I know I’m in the minority but I don’t see how a # 3 leapfrogs a # 2 who is averaging 51 pts. a game and has already played a schedule of teams that has a collective 9 wins between them. Plus a team that will be represented in the S Championships in all likelihood. I know beating the powerful Xavier team is a major accomplishment but a lot of that is based on past teams. If someone beats Staples do they go straight to # 2? I’m not buying.

  66. @Lewis – I couldn’t agree with you more.

  67. HS Sports says:

    I agree with Lewis as well and was my point in terms of strength of schedule. We won’t know where the teams stack up until a few more weeks but Staples has done nothing to warrant not keeping them at the top. While I think Hand is just as good, they were not ranked ahead of Staples before and should not be now. I am not sure how you take the team’s history out of the voting process. I agree that Darien has struggled but I don’t think that they should have been ranked that high to begin with based on what they lost. I also am not a big believer in New Canaan but we will see how this works out this weekend against St Joes. Maybe we should start the team rankings after the 5th week this way everyone can base it on what the current team is doing against its current schedule. Maybe Staples would never have been the #2 based on this years results. Thoughts?

  68. Hasbeen says:

    Hey fan 07. Trumbull cannot match up on the o and d lines with Staples. The only team that has a shot against Staples is Greenwich. Staples coach is very, very smart. Last year he out coached Greenwich. If he wasn’t so good everyone could be writing Greenwich in instead of Staples this year. It will be another exciting game on Thanksgiving.

  69. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    If Prep beat Xavier, would they be #1?

  70. Jake says:

    Lewis – you’re holding up the 9 collective wins of Staples’ opponents – do you realize that Hand’s opponents have a better winning percentage(.56 including vs Hand, .70 excluding vs Hand to .45 including vs Staples, .56 excluding vs Staples)?

    I think what you guys are overlooking is the way Hand beat Xavier. I bet if it had been a close win, you’d see Staples at #1 and Hand at #2. You’re also overlooking that in last week’s poll, Hand was 3rd by less than 2% in points. I bet somebody who knows stats would show how that’s a virtual tie. It’s not like Hand jumped from being unranked, or even a distant 4th, to take the #1 spot.

    If Staples wins out, and wins the LL, I do think they’ll have a shot at #1, even if Hand doesn’t lose. It’s in the nature of having your big games throughout the season vs weighted at the end. It could very easily come down to the eyeball test as voters watch each team play in person through the playoffs.

  71. johnny flynn says:

    @SCC I believe that Masuk is 81-13 the past 8 years winning 2 state championships one beating 2 top 10 state teams in Darien and New Canaan. Also beating north heaven last year ridgefield in 05-06 winsdor in 08-09 they clearly dont have poor coaching. thats disrespect to not only coach murph but to all the past and present coaches. weak? as far as i know they are a very tough and talented team that are under the radar. mister SCC why dont you look at hand during the off season and see the supplements they use while they lift or even before state games. there not ranked high there fine right where they are the teams above them are better and dont make the mental mistakes they do but coach murph and masuk will fix those mental errors and come out fighting against brookfield

  72. Lewis says:

    Jake – A valid comment with the percentages but they are too close to validate the jump over Staples. You also raise a good point in the way Hand beat Xavier which was a great win. But my point still stands, this jump to # 1 is based on Xavier’s reputation and not the actual 2012 team because it is too early to tell how good they really are. This is why a big poll controversy is kind of a joke at this point of the season making it logical that # 2 moves to #1 etc. I’m sure Xavier will be awesome like always but we need to live in the present and not the past and don’t base a poll on old news.

  73. PatPatriot says:

    #56 Roto – Trumbull is always one of those weird teams that can shock people, especially at home. They beat Central there in 2009 and Central was maybe one of the top 5 teams in the state that year – sad they didn’t make the LL playoffs – they were the poster child for the 8 team format.

    Jen, match up the top 10 or so in LL and L and they don’t compare. Not even close.

  74. PatPatriot says:

    Sorry Jeb – that wasn’t a dig – fat fingers on an iPad.

  75. jeb says:

    Pat Patriot… I agree, not even close. I was wrong in my assessment of the Class L teams.