Get ready: New Canaan vs. Chicopee Comprehensive (…???) in Week 6!

The 2012 Chicopee Comp High School Football team.

The 2012 Chicopee Comp High School Football team.

Chicopee Comprehensive's football team gathers during the 2012 season (Joel McAuliffe / Springfield Republican)

Chicopee Comprehensive’s football team gathers during the 2012 season (Joel McAuliffe / Springfield Republican)

So New Canaan announced yesterday it had filled out its 11-game schedule.


OK, so who’s the lucky contestent in this midseason date with the Rams?

And the winner is… (drumroll)

Chicopee Comprehensive!

The game is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 18. in Week 6 at New Canaan’s Dunning Field. The schools have agreed to a home-and-home series with the Rams hitting the road in 2014.

Wait. …Chicopee Comprehensive?

Er… are they in the Pequot Uncas? The CSC?

No, actually, it’s a medium-sized high school in Chicopee, Mass., which is just outside of Springfield. It’s enrollment is approximately 1,300, the same size as New Canaan.

It’s a school whose most notable attendees have been 80s television temptress Victoria Principal (she attended briefly) and science fiction writer Evelyn C. Leeper.

Ah, but what about the football team?

Well, in a short interview with Dave Ruden on the subject, New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli says he has no clue. All he knows is a) “they have a good football program” and b) New Canaan needed to find an opponent for Week 6 due to the FCIAC’s biennial rotating byes between the largest and smallest schools of the league.

“I didn’t want to not have a game,” Marinelli says.

OK, so lets pull up our sleeves, dig around and see what we can unearth:

  • Nicknamed the Colts, Chicopee Comprehensive is one of the town’s two major high schools (alongside Chicopee High). It played in the Western Mass. division of the MIAA playoff system until the organization revamped its playoffs to incorporate both sides of the state and produce true state champions.
  • It is a relatively recent Western Mass. state champion. In 2006, the program won its first MIAA Super Bowl, 8-2 over Auburn in the 2006 2A final. It was the Colts’ first Super Bowl appearance since 1985.
  • Until last year, however, they hadn’t reached the state playoffs in two seasons.
  • But what a year 2012 was. Though Chicopee Comp started the year 0-4, and was outscored 165-43, the team rallied to win its fifth game of the year and went on a run.
  • The Colts went 4-1 to win the Suburban League and qualified for the the Western Mass. Division I playoffs for the first time since 2009.
  • In the semifinals, the Colts lost 21-14 to perennial Super Bowl contender Longmeadow, a team that had beaten Chicopee Comp 46-0 on opening night.
  • It sounds like Chicopee Comp has some holes to fill. It graduated its quarterback (Tom Duffy) and tailback (Kyle Soja). The team recently switched from a power-I to a spread offense when it promoted school hall-of-famer Tony Couture to offensive coordinator. His uncle, Bill Couture, who coached with the team during its 2006 championship, was the defensive coordinator last year.
  • The team is coached by Marc Schuerfeld. He was named one of the Springfield Republican’s Coaches of the Year for 2012.

I’ve reached out to friend (and fellow Syracuse grad) Jason Remillard of the Springfield Republican to see if we can get a more comprehensive scouting report on the Colts for 2013.

For now, here’s the Chicopee Comp page on MassLive (The Springfield Republican)

Here’s the school’s MaxPreps page.

Chicopee Comp has also dealt with tragedy over the last few years. Two athletes were murdered a year apart, including a freshman football player.

Sean Patrick Bowley

24 Responses

  1. swcinsider says:

    Lou can you get any softer of a game I have seen them not good to play in the swc

  2. NVL boys says:

    swc, yes, they could play an SWC schedule which would make them softer. How I wish Torrington would have brookfield or Masuk’s sche3dule each year.

  3. Josh Boone says:

    SWC, I’m sure if any of your big boys in your Conference had the same open week, Lou would have made the home-and-home happen, and would be disposed of easily. This’ll be a nice walk in the park for this NC team before they go to Staples

  4. swcinsider says:

    hay Lou man up and go play Everett Mass

  5. JB says:

    Very odd. Why would a “patsy” drive 120 miles (~2hrs each way) to fill in a mid-season open date? Are they getting an appearence fee like in college? All kidding aside, this team might have more game than Lou expects …

    Check out this 2010 vintage video footage … looks like a good program with some strong athletes:

  6. @JB – Great get on the video. How’d I miss that? (I’ve added the embed code so we can all see it here).

  7. Pat McGroin says:

    Well judging by Lou’s comments, he expects a good football game. “they have a good football program”

    But it’s hard for teams to fill Bye weeks especially success programs. Look at Staples and Greenwich last year, no one wanted to play them in their bye week, New London and their new Head Coach backed out on Coach Al last minute…

    Hats off, I heard they reached out to Florida, Jersey, and California schools to no avail… Unless it’s the first week of the season, it’s very hard to find open dates from other teams.

    This whole thing could have been avoided if the mighty SCC committed to their agreement, Amity refused and it threw the entire schedule out of wack for in-season games between the counties.

  8. @Pat McGroin – In fairness to Amity, they’d scheduled their Seymour game a full year before the SCC-FCIAC thing was put together. According to AD Paul Mengold, he didn’t think it honorable to back out.

  9. JB says:

    Also, that open week is not an every year thing in the FCIAC and does not relate to the SCC Challenge games. Its just NC’s turn to have an open date. I think it is great that Lou added some spice to the year and invited this MA team down to CT for a game. And this Comp program doesn’t look like a cupcake either. Shows that Lou has some high expectations for this year’s Rams given the risks. Tough start with Hand in week 1 and then Greenwich in week 3, both on the road. But I sense Lou is feeling confident.

    Sean, does this MA tilt count towards NC’s CIAC playoff points?

  10. It would count. And they’d probably be classified as a Class L.

  11. fan07 says:

    look for trumbull to be a sleeper in fciac there backkkkk

  12. perspective says:

    Trumbull considered a program they have tradition but hardly any continued success.

  13. FCIAC Fan says:


    Can you confirm that Riis Lane (Stamford High’s former offensive coordinater), is now coaching at Trumbull?

  14. fan07 says:

    trumbull always good except last two seasons

  15. perspective says:

    Except last two seasons + what ta about the years between the fciac champs in 2005 and the Terio era in 2010?

  16. The Dude says:

    Trumbull has been good once every three years or so since McDougall left. With that being said they should be pretty good this year. A borderline playoff team.

  17. Observer says:

    Any word on how they will handle the cut block/no cut block situation? Will cutting down field be allowed? As far as I know, MASS permits this practice but Connecticut doesn’t. This could be a major influence in the result of the game.

  18. fciacfan says:

    When the game is in Massachusetts in 2014, NC will have to play by Massachusetts rules. This season, Chicopee will play by Connecticut rules.

  19. @observer, @fciacfan is correct.

  20. swcinsider says:

    Who is Trumbull they play football, program is dead

  21. Don Bosco says:

    Let’s be clear about New Canaan playing Chicopee, Eastern Mass is where great high school football is played, Western Mass (which includes Chicopee) may be more evenly matched with a CT power. No offense to CT but it is hardly a HS football mecca. New Canaan reaching out to Cali, Florida and NJ is a joke, the New Canaan coach has a responsibility to the parent’s of his players, scheduling teams in Cali, Florida and NJ would be irresponsible, the kids would be physically overmatched, even against the lower tier programs. I won’t even mention catholic high school powers from Eastern Mass because I strongly believe even public high school teams from Eastern Mass ie Everett, Brockton are physically superior to CT high school elite and would not be challenged. New Canaan had no option other than a team from Western Mass.

  22. Don Bosco says:

    Following up on my last comment, I recently saw video on Ansonia football, you guys have got to be kidding, that is one of the premiere programs in CT? I think pop-warner teams would be a stretch however there are definitely freshman teams from NJ that would beat Ansonia by double digits. I’m afraid even Western Mass may be difficult for New Canaan, perhaps they should focus their efforts on Rhode Island and Vermont high schools.

  23. Don Bosco says:

    I apologize if my last comment was harsh, but come on Ansonia is one of the best programs in CT?

  24. Don Bosco says:

    I’ve apologized on the other blogs for my comments pertaining to Ansonia football, they were unfair. Other than what I have read online, I know little about the program and should not make assumptions.

    Additionally, I think it is great New Canaan has reached out to play a school for Mass, I did think the comment about New Canaan attempting to schedule teams in Cali, Florida and Jersey a bit ridiculous. Before I challenge those states I would attempt to take on an Eastern Mass program and see how that goes.