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.

Huzzah!

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