Over the last three years, Xavier High School’s football program has been without peer in Connecticut.
It has won three straight Class LL championships — the first program to accomplish that feat in the history of the state’s largest playoff division — and four overall since 2005.
For three seasons, it has gone 38-1 and was the No. 1 ranked team in the state in 2010 and 2011. It only lost the No. 1 ranking in 2013 because it lost an epic state battle with league rival Daniel Hand at Palmer Field, a game that brought several thousands to Middletown on Oct. 12.
It has sent a bunch of players to play in college, most notably RB Amarie Spievey (Iowa, Detroit Lions), LB Graham Stewart (Florida, now UConn) and QB Tim Boyle (UConn commit, was previously a Boston College recruit).
Xavier has become synonymous with greatness in Connecticut football.
It’s been a blessing if you’re coach Sean Marinan.
But it’s also become a curse.
Xavier owned the series, winning 12 of the last 13 meetings. It usually wasn’t pretty, though both Xavier AD Tony Jaskot and Middletown AD Michael Pitruzzello insisted the results weren’t their reasoning. “..It’s fair to say that both of us wanted out of this game,” Jaskot told the Middletown Press.
Anyway, when the series’ termination was announced in February, Jaskot told The Press he was hoping to play St. John’s-Shrewsbury (Mass.) or Mount St. Joseph of Baltimore.
Now it’s June. Connecticut’s tentative schedules have been released.
Middletown is playing Class L runner-up Windsor on Thanksgiving.
Xaver is playing… nobody.
That means the three-time defending state champions will play just 10 games in an 11-game schedule. Worse, it will have more than three weeks off before the 2013 playoffs begin.
Marinan said he has made some inquiries. So far, there have been no takers.
“There aren’t a lot of teams in Connecticut lining up to play us,” he said. “Maybe if we start getting our teeth kicked in again, that’ll change…”
Marinan said he looked beyond the Connecticut border, to Massachusetts, New York or New Jersey. But because most states begin their playoffs well before the end of November, out-of-state teams that can play the week before Thanksgiving are scarce.
“We would have to play them early in the year,” Marinan said of the possibility of an out-of-state game. “We’d have to move (earlier opponents) around to make it work. There’s really nothing in it for other teams to do that, especially in the SCC, which is pretty much locked in to it’s schedule.”
If someone were to step up and play the Falcons, Marinan said it would probably have to be the weekend before Thanksgiving, November 21, 22 or 23ish. Otherwise, it probably won’t work out.
Connecticut has found late-season games before. In 2007, eventual Class LL champion Greenwich traveled to Florida to take on eventual 3A State Champion Naples (it lost 31-12).
“I’d like to get a game,” Marinan said. “I’m not really looking forward to that long layoff.”
So, how ’bout it America? Anybody want to play Connecticut’s three-time defending state champion Falcons?
We still have a few months left before football season. Plenty of time.
If you’re down, drop the good folks up at Xavier High School in Middletown a line.
Here’s Xavier’s 2013 schedule. See if you can work something out.
Xavier High School
181 Randolph Rd Middletown, CT 06457
Here’s their resume: