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Ansonia’s going to be your preseason No. 1, isn’t it?

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Ansonia-Title

It was almost a year ago when I wondered aloud on Twitter if Ansonia, then the defending 14-0 Class M champion, was going to be the best team in Class S in 2012.

Well, that challenge was accepted. And 14 victories later the mission: accomplished.

And, yea, I heard all about it amid jubilant celebrations of a state championship at Rentschler Field.

Now, as we sit just two scant weeks away from the first official practices of 2013, and with a spirited discussion raging on another post, and because we’re bored, we figured it’s time to start preliminary prognostications again.

[Spoiler alert] It’s looking like you’ll get no bulletin board material here, Chargers.

Ned Griffen of Polecat Inc., actually jumped the gun earlier this week with a pretty comprehensive breakdown of some of the state’s top teams. (Check it.)

What jumped out at us was Ned’s assertion that Ansonia will be the preseason No. 1, at least in his Day of New London’s coaches’ poll.

“Meet the top team in the 2013 Day state coaches’ poll,” he writes.

Now, despite the fact the Day’s poll doesn’t typically begin until Week 2, it seems like Ned has already gazed deep into his crystal football.

But what about the NHR Media Poll? Will the state’s media mavens hop from the Hand/Xavier/SCC bandwagon back into Ansonia camp for the first time in five years (or so)?

Or is there someone else lying in wait?

At a very (verrry) preliminary glance, I’m inclined to agree with Ned. Granted, we have much to learn in the coming weeks. But as we sit here in late July/early August, Ansonia can’t be far from consideration, right?

The back-to-back Class M/S state champions bring back QB Jai’Quan McKnight, FB Saiheed Sanders and (of course) tailback/DB Arkeel Newsome, four starters back on the offensive line, six guys on D.

Is there anybody even remotely close to matching that in the NVL? Class S? …Anywhere?

The mere mention of Ansonia as the state’s No. 1 is bound to rankle plenty of folks, especially those fanboys in the “State Championship Conference” and the jilted FCIAC.

But what fun would this be if they weren’t rankled?

So, Ansonia will be your Preseason No. 1, right?

No? Why not?

Yes? Do tell.

By all means: Discuss.

Do you expect Ansonia to be the preseason No. 1?

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Sean Patrick Bowley

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128 Responses

  1. Ryan says:

    Put this comment in the “Grip it and Rip it” thread on accident. Meant to put it here, sorry for the duplicate.

    I think they should be considered number 1 to start the season. They return the states best backfield, and 4 starters on the offensive line. Not to mention they have 6 players back on defense. I am in no way an Ansonia fan or supporter but, I do go to see them play at least 3 times a year. I make it to at least one of their scrimmages, either the Naugatuck or NVL title game and then again in the State Championship if they are there. If you can go and sit at a Ansonia game, watch them play and say to yourself “they couldn’t hang with Hand or Xavier, etc.” then your lying to yourself. I think if they were in the SCC they would still be one of the top 2 or 3 programs in the state. They would compete for league and state titles every year and dominate plenty of teams. Would they go 2 years without losing a game? Probably not, they may not be as dominate as they have been but they would have plenty of 9 and 10 wins seasons and consistently make deep runs in the playoffs (and I mean in L or LL, hypothetically).

  2. JB says:

    @Ryan – I kind of want to agree with your analysis, but can’t get there on the conclusion. Why? Ansonia doesn’t play any top teams in the state, not ever. Not there fault. Highly respected football program. But #1 in the state? I think the #1 team has to have a tougher schedule with a chance to prove it at least in the playoffs. Not happening with S level competition, so how can any one vote them state-wide #1. Scrimmages? Ugh … Ok, then, how did Ansonia do at that Yale camp last month? Are those full contact scrimmages? I wasn’t there but folks on this blog said every team there was better than Ansonia.

  3. Cousin Dupree says:

    JB-

    A couple things. You are correct in stating that it is not Ansonia’s fault that they do not play the state’s other top teams. Schedules simply prohibit that. I am sure that they would, and coaches over the years have stated “any team, any time, any place”. I’m certainly not saying they would always win, but certainly would never duck any team in this state.

    Regarding dismissing their talent simply because they are Class S. Does it really matter if they have 80 plus players lining the sidelines like some schools? What really matters is the 11 players that are on the field. The best high school football team I have ever seen is the 1999 Bloomfield team. A Class S team. Bloomfield put out some other extremely good teams in Class S in addition to that one, but that has to be one of the top 5 ever in state history. Again, a Class S team.

    The Yale camp: it was a FCIAC homer (Prep I believe) that completely dissed Ansonia. It was discussed in that post that Ansonia did not play all starters, many JVs mixed in. Some did not suit at all, and Newsome did not even attend the camp. Ansonia only brought about 20 kids to that camp. Not making excuses, but you can’t judge Ansonia by that camp. Others who were there have stated on this blog that the four teams were pretty equal. I agree with that. If I had to single teams out, I would say that the Hand defense was most impressive, and Prep overall was the least impressive of the 4 teams. Very big, yes, but has a lot of work to do. Personally I would like to see Prep return to it old days of being a powerhouse.

    Finally, yes, Ansonia does deserve the # 1 ranking to begin the season. Returning one of the state’s best backfields, with the state’s #1 running back along with plenty of experienced players riding a 28 game winning streak. This year they have to be considered the top team. That said, there are years that they have finished undefeated and even as a fan I would not have called them the best team in the state. They definitely were in 2006 and 2007 when they were in fact voted #1, and should have been in 2003, but it was given to New Britain that year, I would confidently say that those 3 Ansonia teams would have beaten any CT team those years. Not every undefeated year they’ve had, but those 3 in particular. I also believe that this is also a year that they will go undefeated and deserve the #1 ranking.

    Lastly, all these debates, while interesting and amusing to read, may become moot in the very near future. I see the the “Open” division in the playoffs becoming a reality sooner rather than later. At least I hope so.

  4. Observer says:

    @ JB — I completely agree. Ansonia is a fun team to watch, and they certainly have pedigree. That being said, in order to be considered the best, you have to at the very least, play common opponents with the best. This provides the ability to measure. No doubt Ansonia is legit. I remember scrimmaging them in the late 90′s and getting trounced by a team that fewer players than we had.

  5. PrepFan says:

    @CousinDupree Not sure if you were referring to me but I believe Ansonia deserves the #1 ranking. They have a ton of talent coming back and the state’s #1 backfield and O-line. Plus, their schedule is not as soft as people think, though certainly not North Haven 2012. Woodland and Wolcott were both playoff teams last year and I expcect Naugatuck will be a Class L playoff team this year.

    As I wrote in another post, the Chargers have Class L size and athleticism, but not Class L depth, meaning a 2012 North Haven schedule could wear them out, but I like their chances against any team in the state for one game.

    P.S. I know people think I am an A-Town fanboy, but my 5-year-old daughter starts Seymour Tigers Pop Warner Tiny Mite cheerleader practice tomorrow and she IDOLIZES the Seymour High players and cheerleaders.

    Go Cats! Beat Ansonia!

  6. Weasel says:

    Hand is #1 until they show that they aren’t. This is silly.

  7. swcinsider says:

    correct me if im wrong didn’t Hand beat Ansonia last year

  8. Cousin Dupree says:

    PrepFan-

    No, I was not referring to you in my post, I was referring to someone who posts by “fciacjr”. We had a discussion of sorts in another thread. I believe that you give a very fair, unbiased analysis of Ansonia.

    I hope your Seymour Wildcats do well this year. I would love to see them return to be the program that they used to be. I know it’s tough with the loss of the Oxford kids, but it does seem like Seymour is making some positive strides. Looking forward to the Seymour-Oxford games starting next year. That should be a heated rivalry right from the get-go.

  9. Cousin Dupree says:

    Weasel-

    It is “silly” to rank Hand #1 just because they were last year. I am not knocking them in any way. They are without a doubt one of the state’s premier programs. However, they lost quite a few players and are just not what they were last year. That does not mean that they don’t have the potential to be #1 again, they do, but’s let’s not annoint them this year’s best based on last year.

  10. I can’t stand that transfer of No. 1 from one season to next. The next season is — how you say? — the next season, not the previous season.

  11. JB says:

    This thread is very helpful, especially Cousin Dupree’s analysis – seems very well informed. I like Ansonia football and they do things the right way. And I totally believe you when stated that they are game “any team, any time, any place”. it just can’t happen for them and thus they could never demonstrate they are #1 on the field of play. They should be free to play up in the state playoffs – why not? Not sure about an Open division. I would prefer to see L and LL combined and expand the playoff to 16 teams. Allow any S or M team to play up by electing that prior to the start of each season. We would then find the true state champion.

  12. Tommy Boy says:

    This is what is wrong with CT football! A team that plays zero competition for years and never is challenged makes it tough for the poll writers especially preseason football rankings.

    JB, I disagree with you on the yale camp. I have film on all teams during the scrimmages since we will be facing 3 of them. Ansonia did not look sharp at all. I would have liked to see arkel as he is a big piece of the puzzle but if he gets hurt, they are in big trouble. Hand will be very good against and pretty much convinced me they should be #1 to start the season. WH and Prep were even against each other and ansonia was definitely in over their heads with the team they showed up with.

    Hand dominated WH and scored from 40 yards out 3 of their first 5 plays. Hand 3 TDs to preps 2, prep 2 TDs to WH 2, hand 3 to ansonia 0, prep 3 to ansonia 1.

    So what you will, but this is how it went down.

  13. Bubba says:

    Hand is preseason #1 until someone beats them. How does anybody know that they won’t be as good as the last two years. They finished #1 5 different times in school history, and according to many sources close to the program, they have never been picked #1, which Filippone has no problem with. Ansonia is a quality program,however they play an inferior schedule to the SCC. Go undefeated in the SCC, Win the State, and then you could put up the number one sign.

  14. fciac jr says:

    Bubba,

    they all said the same thing with X last season, that they lost a lot of players.

    Dupree, I am not saying Ansonia is terrible, but their team they showed up with couldn’t match up to the others at the Yale Camp. I am sure the other 3 teams were missing players due to sports and vacation. I was just not impressed especially how the preseason polls are now saying they should be #1. I would love to see Ansonia jump up a division or two in order to get the comp they deserve, just like St Joes does in hoops. But understand the rules for football and also the enrollment.

    As I mentioned months ago, get rid of the 4 divsiions and make a class LL/L and S/M and possibly have an open division. Who knows, but it would be more exciting in a state that finally has a lot of excitement with the SCC-FCIAC cross over.

    Still contemplating on which game(s) I will attend. Would love to see Hand/NC or Greenwhich/X but choosing which one will be tough.

  15. My PT says... says:

    My physical therapist believes when there is a problem area on my body that I should build up the surrounding muscles around the problem and strengthen that area. This will in turn relieve me of the pressure, stress and pain.

    Well I say the NVL should focus on strengthening all the schools outside and around Ansonia in order to relieve Ansonia of the grief and pain they receive from the bloggers and media for not playing a quality opponent.

    Naugy with Bruno is a step in a very good direction; Woodland seems to be on the cusp every year; Holy Cross is either in it or way out of it; Torrington, and Wolcott are perennial middle-of-the-packers; Wilby and Sacred Heart need to get it together; and Seymour needs to rebuild that great tradition.

    Ansonia is GOOD! They have good talent and great coaches. People move their families to towns that have good football programs. If you don’t like it, then work harder and win more football games.

  16. High School Football Fan says:

    It is sometimes very intriguing to compare a “Rebuilding” 9-1 Ansonia team to a 10-0 Ansonia “Team of the Decade”{Again} squad.In other words to the Casual Fan or Uninformed Sports Writer the Ansonia mystique is very over rated.The Open Division,if it comes to fruition will prove to be Ansonia’s downfall most years as being the dominant Team in terms of the State’s on field #1 team .Xavier and Hand for example have proved without any question on the field of play defeating the very top teams in all major conferences,basically playing the Open Division type competition already in the LL and L division playoffs.

  17. Steve Sanders says:

    Can’t agree with PT more. The L and LL schools in the NVL are just not good. The athletes are in Waterbury. Someone go get em like Jack is gonna do at Harding. And I LOVE the talk about Yale Camp. We talking about camp! CAMP? Camp. Hand is really good, there is no doubt about it. Im not gonna listen to any talk from Prep. They have improved, and I think they have a great coaching staff, but when u can have kids from all over the state why aren’t you good all the time? Also Whats up with filming other teams at camp? I mean we talking about camp right, camp!

  18. Steve Sanders says:

    I also feel with Bruno at Naugy they will return to their mid 90s form and not take any years off from being a 9-1 10-0 team year in and year out.

  19. Bubba says:

    Its not just playing in an open division in the State Tournament format, its the everyday grind of playing a playoff caliber team every week. It will kill you or make you stronger. Ansonia goes to the tournament barely bruised and battered. thoughts on that point.

  20. MXR says:

    Bubba’s last point is correct. Which is why someone who can go through the meat grinder and run the table should and likely will wind up #1 at the end (see last three years). Which is why pre-season polls, let alone arguments about them, are pretty silly. If West Haven, Madison or Xavier were to knock off both of the others and finish undefeated through the play-offs, that will be your number 1, regardless of who starts the season there. That is not poll bias, that is reward for a total body of work.

  21. PrepFan says:

    “Im not gonna listen to any talk from Prep. They have improved, and I think they have a great coaching staff, but when u can have kids from all over the state why aren’t you good all the time?”

    Ummm…because not every kid from all over the state is a good football player?

    As best I can remember, when I applied to Prep, NDFairfield and St. Joseph, “Can you play football?” was not one of the questions on any of the entrance exams.

  22. jeb says:

    Most years I get annoyed when they put Ansonia as the #1 team preseason because you know they will never be tested and will run the table. But, this year is an exception..they are the best team in the state period..and I’m an FCIAC fan.

  23. JB says:

    Hopefully, someone will emerge out of the real competition to be that #1 team. Ansonia just coasting, undefeated yet again, is the wrong choice for CT football. To be a champion you need to play a championship schedule. Period.

  24. JB says:

    Pre-season top 10:
    1. Xavier
    2. New Haven
    3. Hand
    4. Staples
    5. NFA
    6. Southington
    7. Glastonbury
    8. Prep
    9. Ansonia
    10. New Canaan

  25. Bubba says:

    Thank you JB. That’s what folks in the NVL don’t quite understand..

  26. Steve Sanders says:

    That New Haven team will be tough to beat let me tell you JB. Did Cross, Hyde and Hillhouse Co-op? I’ll assume you mean Hillhouse. Take a look at the NFA schedule for a minute. I’m not sure if Cranston West is a power house, I’m pretty sure they will enter the playoffs rather healthy. When some of those teams in the SCC and FCIAC miss the playoffs we will see alot of comments like “at least we played the best schedule” I doubt it! I can’t see prep finishing in the top 10 at 6-5 this year. Ask that #2 “New Haven” team if they exhale every time they see that Ansonia is in S not M. @PrepFan they should add that question to the entrance exam, it could help.

  27. Bubba says:

    Greenwich

    1. Greenwich
    2. Ansonia
    3. Hand
    4. Xavier
    5. Glastonbury
    6. Hillhouse
    7. WH
    8. Hillhouse
    9. NC
    10.Staples

  28. Interesting couple of fan top 10s…

    Anyone else wanna take a crack at it?

  29. GO NOLES!! says:

    Interesting comments for the most part.

    But “Tommy Boy” trying to divine the quality of teams from a summer camp, and stating that Ansonia was “definitely in over their heads” was comical. Good luck with that camp film, Tommy! I’m sure it will make a big difference in your team’s success this season! ;)

    JB, ranking Xavier and Hand among the top 3 is sensible-both have enough returnees and talent to be very good until proven otherwise. But ranking Ansonia 9th just demonstrates your bias, especially when you rank NFA 5th, given the ECC is a weaker conference, comparable to the NVL.

    The problem with rankings is how one approaches them. Certainly, anybody who has seen Ansonia can attest that last season (and probably this season) they were as good or better than any team in the state, and were capapble of competeing with and dfeating the likes of Hand or Xavier. Steve Fillipone, who I regard as the best head coach in the state, declared as much.

    So if you are ranking teams according to their talent, athleticism and ability to compete in a single game against any other team, you have to rank Ansonia at or near the top. Great teams are great teams, no matter what conference they are from.

    But if you look at the overall top-to-bottom strength of conferences, and take into account the weekly grind of a very tough schedule, then you have to give consideration to the best teams from the power conferences. We can only speculate how Ansonia, a team with less numbers and depth than larger schools, would survive such a schedule in terms of injuries and fatigue.

  30. JB says:

    Ansonia hasn’t played a decent team in years … NFA did well in the playoffs last year against solid competition. Outlow injured in the first series against Xavier really was a bad break, could have been a better game – he is a huge difference maker. My view is that Outlow is a better all around player than Newsome and will be back to make a statement this year. NFA will likely make the LL playoffs and so will have the chance to prove how good they are coming out of a weak conference. I just wish Ansonia could do the same and play up to LL, it would be exciting.

  31. GO NOLES!! says:

    JB-
    The latter part of your post is reasonable.And any high school football fan wishes that they could watch Ansonia square off against the likes of Xavier or Hand.

    But when you make a statement that “Ansonia hasn’t played a decent team in years”, you lose all credibility and expose an unfortunate bias that clouds your opinions.

    It is also a disservice to some very good football teams that Ansonia has beaten over the years. I’m not going to dissect each and every game over the many years Ansonia has been successful, but they have faced some “decent” opponents, to say the least. Ask Jack Cochran if his huge Jordan Reed-led New London team that was humbled by Anssonia in the state title game that season was “decent”, for example.

    Look, nobody on this blog, least of all me, is trying to pump up Ansonia’s schedule. But they are a great program, in the midst of a great run, and can compete with any team in the state.

    Finally, I don’t disagree with your comments about Outlow. He is a big, talented back with D-1 size. But Newsome is a surprisingly strong runner, in addition to possessing speed and elusiveness. Don’t dismiss his potential to succeed at the next level.

  32. JB says:

    @Go Noles – good points and I was not trying to dis the NVL … most conferences are a mix of team talent, the NVL has a lot of small schools that are not like Ansonia. I guess my point was more related to the last few years, especially dropping down into the 2012 S level playoffs. Facing a Hillhouse or Berlin or other top M teams would have been better tests. But that still isn’t like facing Xavier or Hand or West Haven.

    I am not an Ansonia hater, I just have a strong view about what type of competitive season should qualify a team to be the state-wide #1. By the way, I agree Newsome is a special running back and hope he does great at UConn. Will be cheering for him.

    Have we seen where the school size lines are being drawn this year … will Ansonia stay in S or at least move up a level in M?

  33. jeb says:

    Top ten:

    1. Ansonia..not even close this year. One great team.
    2. XAVIER
    3. St. Josephs..do not sleep on this team. very talented
    4. West Haven
    5. Glastonbury
    6. Greenwich
    7. Hand
    8. New Canaan..Hand-NC winner will go a long way. tough schedule
    9. Staples..not nearly as talented as last year but still very good.
    10. Prep…schedule might get them.

  34. PrepFan says:

    @JB The CIAC has set Class S at 390 and below.

    Ansonia (323) is nowhere near moving up to M.

    List of schools by division:

    http://ciacsports.com/site/?page_id=952

    List of enrollment numbers by school:

    http://ciacsports.com/site/?page_id=137

  35. johnnyribbs says:

    Let’s not forget ladies….Ansonia in the SCC would play a D2 schedule. Anyone who thinks they wouldn’t see yearly results for those 8 games similiar to their NVL success is lying or ignorant.

    Yes once per decade they may hit the North Haven crossover nightmare schedule. Most years I like them @ 9 wins at worst.

  36. I’m sure, if Ansonia was in the SCC, they’d petition up and Wlbur Cross or someone else in D1 would gladly drop in their favor. It’s what Hand did.

  37. JB says:

    If Ansonia was D1 in the SCC, they would lose 2-3 games most years. The “mystic” would be gone and that is kind of the point. Ansonia is a great, dynasty-level small school program. With the big boys? Still competitive but only in the upper middle of D1 most years, top 4 this year with Newsome. They would give West Haven a good game, but likely not win. Then struggle to beat Prep in a close game, but get thumped by Hand and Xavier. Likely 2-3 loses this year in that SCC D1hypothetical and clearly not #1. Still like the Ansonia heart and it would be great to see them play up. Ansonia vs West Haven this year would be a sell-out classic at Ken Strong.

  38. PrepFan says:

    Speaking of North Haven, I just looked up their 2013 schedule, and it’s downright sadistic. Possibly even tougher than last year’s.

    Xavier and Hand again, plus Hillhouse and non-conference games against Central and Darien.

    North Haven might have been the second or third best Class L team in the state last year and didn’t even make the playoffs.

  39. @JB – “mistique”

  40. HS Fan says:

    1. Hand
    2. Southington
    3. Ansonia
    4. Xavier
    5. NFA
    6. Greenwich
    7. West Haven
    8. Naugatuck
    9. St. Joes
    10. Glastonbury

  41. JB says:

    Sorry, Sean, was a math major.

  42. @JB – No worries. I was pretty awful at that, so…

  43. fciac jr says:

    Preseason Tops

    1. Xavier (3peat LL champions, nuff said)
    2. Hand (Dominated last season, 2 until someone beats them.
    3. Ansonia (no comp but has dominated last few seasons.
    4. NFA (wont be challenged again but like last season, they have best back in the state)
    5. Greenwich (will be short lived in top 10 after week one, but will climb back during the season)
    6. West Haven – Ervin and their monster LBs will make noise this season.
    7. New Canaan – May have surprise upset in week 1. Best 7 on 7 passing team in CT, and have some boys getting recruited from D1 teams. Really wish week 1 would be pushed to Dunning.
    8. Prep – we all know they are big, but watch out for their skilled players on O, size and speed. I don’t think it will be the same offense as last year.
    9. Southington – Barmore and company, need to get passed Glastonbury in week 1. pretty tough schedule for a non fciac/scc team.
    10. Hillhouse (Cooper is another amazing back but they play Hand and X 2 of their first 4 games. Not a way to stay in top 10.

    Questionable –
    St Joes (lost their stud RB to Stratford who will tear up the SWC if they use him right)

    Newtown – lost all their skilled players from last season, not much speed but will get by in the swc.

    Staples – lost a lot of size on the line and skill players. Could be a long year for the wreckers. Need to compete with X in week 1.

    Ridgefield – not many people mentioning Ridgefield, but this is possibly a very good team, talent wise. This is the youth team that went to national championships for a couple years in a row. Yeah, it is youth, but you don’t get there by not having some talent. we will see I guess.

  44. GO NOLES!! says:

    Don’t want to ruin a good argument, boys, but it’s “mystique”.
    Apparently JB thinks Ansonia’s remarkable success is mythical.
    Really, JB, while I respect your right to an opinion and perspective (this is, after all, a blog for discussion and argument), you are so far off the reservation with your last post, you’ll need directions to find your way back. Not worth replying to your specific comments.

    HS Fan, that may be one of the more thoughtful preseason Top 10′s I have seen. Good to see you giving Southington some props. Huge school, lots of depth and talent,well-coached, and on the cusp of a greatness.

  45. HAHA IT IS* MYSTIQUE!

  46. SOMEBODY’S A WRITER!!!!!

  47. GO NOLES!! says:

    “SOMEBODY’S A WRITER!!!!!”

    Nah, I’m a physician….but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! ;)

  48. Lil Joe says:

    Top 10
    1.Ansonia
    2.Xavier
    3.West Haven
    4.Hand
    5. St Joes
    6.Greenwich
    7.NC
    8.Glastonbury
    9.Southington
    10.Staples

  49. Lil Joe says:

    11.Newtown
    12.Prep
    13.Hill House
    14.Masuk
    15.NFA

  50. The Dude says:

    1) Xavier
    2) Hand
    3) Ansonia
    4) West Haven
    5) St. Joes
    6) Greenwich
    7) Southington
    8) NFA
    9) New Canaan
    10) Montville

  51. What says:

    I guess everyone is drinking the St. Joes koolaid. There is NO way they are close to the top ten at the end of the season. QB looks good but not many people to catch his passes.

  52. Rob says:

    So who gets their 20th State Title first? Ansonia Football or Ledyard Wrestling?

    Additionally, Ansonia’s team the last two years and likely this year as well are why arguments start about playing a Top 4 or an “Open Division” Championship. A chance for the small school to go head to head with the LL boys to see who’s who in the Zoo. I Ansonia would have had a better showing against The Falcons than NFA did.

  53. perspective says:

    People are really showing their bias and lack of objectivity ranking Ansonia not even in their top ten, like others have said, the 1998-99 Bloomfield squads were the best I’ve ever seen, and weren’t they Class S? By some people’s logic on school size then Danbury, Hamden and Westhill are powerhouses! My preseason top ten:
    1 Ansonia 2 New Canaan 3 NFA 4 Hand 5 West Haven 6 Windsor 7 Newtown 8 ND West Haven 9 Southington 10 St. Joe’s

  54. fciac jr says:

    perpective,
    no Xavier in top 10? speaking of not showing bias and lack of objectivity.

    Are you from New Canaan?

  55. Wildcats03 says:

    The problem I have with Ansonia is that they would rather beat up on the weak teams, go 14-0 and claim to be #1 rather than schedule a tough opponent and earn it. Every team in the NVL has an open week to schedule an outside opponent. This year they scheduled ND West Haven, a team coming off a poor 4-6 season, and the last 2 seasons they scheduled an in league opponent in Torrington. If you know your going to be a power house and you also know your league doesn’t provide top notch competition, go look for some. Instead they sit back, beat inferior opponents by 40, then claim to be #1.

  56. Xhs says:

    Guys I told you last year we would be a step down from the great and I mean great team we had the year prior. Still good enough to be LL #1. This year the X-men will be 8-2 at best. Talk about a tough schedule, Staples, West Haven, Hand, Prep, North Haven, Shelton, Amity, Hamden, Hillhouse and ND. If there is a tougher schedule I would like to see it. Looks like a step down but a strong junior class will bring us back next year. Even at 8-2 I would still like our chances playing 1 game against Ansonia. Not enough depth to compete with the big boys.

  57. GO NOLES!! says:

    Wildcats03-
    If you are going to trash talk on a blog, at the very least have your facts straight. This year-with the 11th game added-Ansonia is playing Masuk in the NVL-SWC challenge.
    ND-West Haven is usually Ansonia’s first scrimmage every year. Where the hell did you come up with them as a regular season foe this season?

    A few seasons ago, Ansonia opened the season against Hillhouse. Scheduling non-conference opponents works both ways; teams have to be willing to play the Chargers, also.
    I doubt Tommy Brockett and company would ever turn down any opportunity to play any opponent.

    Sorry to rain on your rant.But facts are such pesky things, aren’t they?

  58. FFLD-NH says:

    Don’t sleep on SJ. Big team with some talent. Tough schedule makes it hard to rank them at this point. However, the lion king has been reinstated to the school….

  59. Lil Joe says:

    Herd the same .SJ has their RB back

  60. fan07 says:

    trumbull big line and there QB will be good they should be right in the thick of things

  61. fciac jr says:

    SJ could be a sleeper making the Joe vs Prep game even bigger in week 2. I thought SJ lost most of their skilled guys from last season? who will be stepping up and making an impact for them?

    The lion king is back? Hasn’t he been practicing with Stratford the whole last 6 months in passing league and captains practice?

  62. Gaels says:

    Don’t sleep on the Gaels. That’s all I’m saying. QB has a hose, D-line has size across the board, D-1 TE, and LB’s that hit everything.

  63. Weasel says:

    Sean,

    I dunno where else I should notify you of this, but none of the individual post “comment” buttons/sections are visible anymore on post title lines in Safari or Chrome (and haven’t been for roughly a week +/-).

    It’s only possible to get to comment sections by clicking on the “Recent Comments” section on the right hand side of the page; on lines beneath the post title lines, the only options are “tweeting,” “g+1″ and “email.” If a post has scrolled beyond something “recent,” well, based on what I’m finding in Chrome or Safari, readers are SoL. :-)

    Sorry if this is a hassle, but I thought you might like to know. Finding comments is not as turnkey as it was before and I’d gather you’d want as much participation as possible.

    You do a terrific job, BTW, and I’m looking fwd to an entertaining season in no small measure thanks to you.

    Cheers,

  64. ??? says:

    When does the “real” football coverage start?

  65. Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

    We’re on the case. In the meantime, see if you can use other browsers.

  66. Weasel says:

    OK, thanks, SPB.

  67. ??? says:

    SPB,

    When will we start to hear from coaches and their thoughts on the season. A lot of new coaches out there and it would be nice to hear what they have to say about their teams/players.

  68. @??? – A week, I think.

  69. Scc homer says:

    How about starting off with the SCC since we all know they will take at least 2 of the 4 championships as usual. Watch out for Prep, they are loaded and ready to rock. Hand will win L again after spanking NC to start the season with a standing room only crowd, lol

  70. Bubba says:

    Hand schedule is the toughest in the State, X is close, but Staples is down in the challenge week. Hand plays NC (they are loaded), Hillhouse arguably H. Cooper best back in State), Cross (one of the hardest hitting teams in the league, according to the Hand players) Cheshire (they will be good, returning alot of experience) Prep (sleeper, they will make noise), WH ( they are a playoff team in LL, one of the best players in CT in Phillips) Shelton (always tough), ND (tucker is very good), Guilford will contend for the best in Div. II, North Haven (potential playoff team) and Xavier is top 3 in State.

    Ansonia: They play Waterbury teams, and maybe two competitive opponents. Masuk won’t give them a game, two years ago it would have been fun. Naugatuck will give them a game, that will be their playoff with their sanctions. Woodland and Wolcott will score a TD or two. That is the extent of their competitive schedule. Tough of the kids to get up for. They are talented and well coached. I would guess they have some good competition for positions in practice, that’s what keeps them flying high.

  71. TigerMania says:

    homer,

    Hand believes they will be there again as this junior class is one of the best classes in the state. Saw Prep at the Yale scrimmage and I was more impressed with them compared to WH and Ansonia.

    I think Prep will be a surprise team in LL. WH is scary good with Ervin. Cant wait until the Hand-NC game. Hand 35 NC 21

  72. Xhs says:

    Hey SB got some tough decisions where you are going week 1 don’t you?

  73. Talk to the Hand says:

    I am sick of all this talk about Hand. SPB’s headline about their new website (yay for them), the pictures of their new field (who doesn’t have a turf field these days?), their world’s hardest schedule (puh-lease), the best Junior class in Connecticut (really?!) all this is makin’ me puke.

    Last I checked this is a FCIAC / SWC / NVL blog. I fondly remember Albonizio saying prior to playing New Britian in the finals one year that he couldn’t name a town in CT north of Stamford.

    In fact we haven’t heard the Fairfield County secession chants in a while. Let’s go and leave these SCC-loving freaks to themselves.

    New Canaan 45 – Hand 13

  74. @Handy Man- Working on it

  75. Rob says:

    I’d like to interject that the teams that do not have a Turf Field are either not in Suburban New York or they actually enjoy the smell of fresh cut grass for a Football Game. #Nostalgia #HeadEast #NotRI

  76. Bubba says:

    Oh yeah talk to the hand, was that the year Tebucky Jones scored 5 touchdowns aganist Greenwich.

  77. Weasel says:

    “Comments” buttons have reappeared. Thanks, SPB! :-)

  78. jeb says:

    Did anyone check out the New Canaan schedule? Hand, Staples, Greenwich, ST.Joes, Darien. ouch!!!!!

  79. JB says:

    NC looks loaded on paper, but how did they get picked apart by Darien in the T-bowl last year? Darien seemed to dominate the game. NC’s issue with this team seems to be consistency … QBs are hot or cold and no real run game. When they face a well coached defense, the offense sputters. Hard hitting Hand and Greenwich may dominate at home and NC could start the season 1W & 2L. How they would respond from there, we would see. That out-of-state tilt could be devastating if they get caught looking ahead to Staples. This year’s schedule is much more of a challenge for NC than last year … and they have to face Darien again in the T-bowl who will have nothing to lose. And they can’t sleep on St Joe’s either.

    The FCIAC is more wide open this year given the tougher schedules for the better programs. There will be a lot more close games each week that will make a difference. Ridgefield has the easier road this year, so just because of that it could back into the FCIAC finals. But who else? – tough to call it at this stage.

  80. fciac jr says:

    Ok, time for the next writeup by SPB on FCIAC. Getting board with these posts. Need football fix. How about a little something on Greenwich or Ridgefield?

  81. Big things in the works, @fciac jr. Big things.

  82. fciac jr says:

    very nice, looking forward to it. I meant bored by the way.

  83. perspective says:

    If Ridgefield actually has strong offense and defense lines that don’t get man-handled they can be really good, when they won states and were good in the early 2000s they had good size and strength, skill kids are always a given it’s their strength and coaching I question. However, Will Bonaparte is a beast and will be a solid back, plus Aidan Mauro was one of the best db’s I saw in person last year, very good instincts and reading of the game

  84. ciacfollower says:

    @84 – The FCIAC doesnt get talked about a whole lot because they havnt been involved in any recent championship games.

  85. JB says:

    @86 – you have a very short memory:

    2012 – correct, none
    2011 – LL: Staples v Xavier; L: NC v Hand
    2010 – LL: Trumbull v Xavier; L: NC v Masuk; S: St Joes v Ansonia
    2009 – LL Staples v Cheshire; MM: NC v East Lyme; SS: St Joes v Mont

    That is pretty involved in state championship games. Deep history in the playoff picture most every year. Had 5 teams make it in 2012.

  86. ??? says:

    Rumor has it that Southington scored on 4 straight plays against Newtown in New Haven. Southington for real or Newtown over rated?

  87. doesn't mean anything says:

    ???,

    Newtown doesnt care about playing teams in a scrimmage. They are evaluating players to see who can give them the best chance to win the SWC and then win the States.

    Southington acted as though it was their Super Bowl while Newtown was all business. Act as though you have been there before.

  88. hmm says:

    i also heard Southington didn’t score on Masuk and Masuk scored once on southington

  89. hmm says:

    And from what i saw the day before they were playing without 2 returning starting recievers both injured

  90. ??? says:

    hmm,

    didn’t hear that…

    and doesn’t mean anything, I beg to differ – these kids want to win and football is a game you need to play and play as a team to be successful. I am sure some straters were in the game.

  91. We’re now judging matchups during camps? Really? I thought judging matchups based on scrimmages were bad enough…

  92. Dr. Von Nostran says:

    The only measuring stick we’re still missing this year is how good the various Pop Warner/AYF teams were.

  93. @Dr. Von Nostran — Yes, because I have a lot of nickels from people telling me how good their freshman team did and how that’s supposed to translate.

    If I didn’t know any better, I’d believe every freshman team was undefeated every year.

  94. Jojo says:

    Saw Friday night scrimmages at UNH. Southington looked best top to bottom. Masuk was second best overall. No one stuck out after that. Scrimmages were more like tag football. Derby, Watertown, seymour all looked average. Mask was chippy and hit people when they asked not too…..looked like they were trying to prove something. Ansonia should beat them handily. Just being objective

  95. FFLD_GUY says:

    Anyone have an early beat/inside to the SWC? From the outside in Newtown looks like the heavy favorites. Is Masuk going to fall back? I have heard Stratford has been good in passing leagues. Also heard Notre Dame and Brookfield have strong soph classes , can any of those teams surprise anyone?

  96. fciac jr says:

    jojo,
    typical Masuk being chippy but they do have a lot to prove as nobody, I mean nobody, thinks they will compete for the swc.

    The swc is much better if Masuk is good. But got a feeling, they will lose by 40 to Ansonia after running the weaklings of the swc and going 5-0.

  97. ??? says:

    Stratford was looking better but the loss of the Lion King will hurt them. ND needs a few years to compete. When a program is down for so long it does not turn around in a year, especially with a new staff. It does look like Newtown is the early favorite but football you have to show up and play every week. Ansonia by 40…we will have to wait and see, week 6 is a long way away.

  98. FFLD_GUY says:

    Who is the Lion King? Does Newtown have Mickey Mouse and Newtown Aladdin?

  99. fciac jr says:

    Ok, maybe not 40, but after hearing from all the Ansonia peps, nobody stands a chance if you are just above avg.

    I guess the question is if Newtown is the favorite, do they still get blown out in states by 5 or 6 TDs as in the past? From what I hear, Southington isn’t even a top mention team and they crushed Newton. Lets hope the SWC isn’t as bad as it has been so they don’t end up taking a spot from the teams who play a tough schedule and deserves to make it.

  100. swcinsider says:

    swc forecast Newtown by default, Bethel could be in the mix, Pomp for sure and NF is going to make some noise
    and Nm will have a good second half of the season
    The rest of them is a crap shoot

  101. Josh Boone says:

    Even if the Lion King is back, its only a matter of time that he’ll forget to do his homework a few times, and be ineligible like he was for Joes’ state game.

  102. swcinsider says:

    doesn’t mean anything!! your right Newtown has only been there once in 10years and got an a#$ whooping

  103. FFLD_GUY says:

    If anyone is taking deserved spots lets talk about that tech league. When is the last time one of those tech school has won a single game and not been blown out in the playoffs?

    There are usually two teams in that league that run the table (or close to it) while probably being equal to middle of the road teams from other conferences.

  104. PrepFan says:

    @Ffld_guy

    But but but … the tech schools can draw from multiple towns and by the logic of this blog are therefore world-beaters with an unconscionable advantage over the poor Greenwich and Hands of the world.

  105. HS Fan says:

    Not sure, but heard that Newtown had some key players leave the team. Bethel’s Daniels, Piatnik and big line will make them formidable. Surprised I haven’t heard much hoopla about Cal Daniels, he’s a stud and possibly the best player in the SWC.

  106. JJJJ4 says:

    HS Fan – Newtown’s TE is head and shoulders above him and he is only a junior

  107. HS Fan says:

    JJJ4 interesting that you avoided the player departures point. Must be some truth in it. Week 2 will be very interesting. Good luck.

  108. JJJJ4 says:

    HS Fan – didn’t avoid the topic since it is not true. A few back up players left who thought they should start but that is the case with every program. No starters have left the team

  109. HS Fan says:

    Not exactly what I’ve been told, but you are closer to the situation. As for Dunn vs. Daniels, line’em up week 2 and see where the chips fall. BTW does Dunn play defense too? Dunn’s an excellent player, but just think Daniels does more.

  110. fciac jr says:

    JJJ4,

    starting OLB left and a player who should have been starting at safety and possibly slot. The OLB is needed even more since your rb is possibly out

  111. fciac jr says:

    HS Fan,

    Dunn is top notch for the TE position so it is hard to think a player from Bethel is just as good on offense. Probably defense.

    jjj4,

    I work with a father from newtown and he also said a bunch of players left that should or could have been starting. but he is disgruntled so his views may be biased.

  112. Hell hath no fury like an disillusioned, disgruntled and delusional parent.

  113. JJJJ4 says:

    fciac jr. – OLB that quit might have been a starter but saw very little varsity action last year. The other one was a very good youth player and expected to be handed a starting position because of this. His cockiness was his demise. Regarding Gold he will be ready if not another DeVellis is waiting to take his spot and may be just as good.

  114. What says:

    DeVellis is NOT as good as Gold…

  115. Football Fan says:

    Getting back to everyone talking about the scrimmages at the New Haven camp on Friday:
    Southington did crush Newtown and Barmore wasn’t even in. He was calling plays from the side as Southingtons backup QB and also starting tight end played QB. Southington also had two additional starting receivers injured on the sideline. As for the masuk scrimmage, Southington and Masuk both scored on each other once.

  116. HS Fan says:

    Sorry What, but anyone with the last name DeVellis has a chance to be “as good” as most. What grade is this DeVellis and how many more are there?

  117. This, sadly, is the last.

  118. HS Fan says:

    Thanks Sean.

  119. newtown truth says:

    jjj4,

    OLB barely played? he had the 3rd most carries on varsity last sesaon behind gold and hebert. he also had 22 tackles as a sophomore OLB.

    This OLB had 25 carries for 198 yards and 2 tds. basically an 8 yard avg. compare that to young D and his 4 yards per carry.

    that youth player could be the best all around athlete on the team.

  120. SCC-Head says:

    The Gaels will compete for the SCC this season, mark my words.

  121. jeb says:

    Where the heck is MASUK RULES? I can’t wait until Masuk plays Ansonia to find out once and for all which program is truly superior this year.

  122. What says:

    Where was that Masuk Ansonia comment 2 years ago. Masuk down a little with new coach not sure if this is the “find out once and for all” game.

  123. RAY BROWN says:

    what do you think the end result would have been whith the alex thomas era ansonia teams vs. masuk,st.joes xavier,hand and any other big boys.it would have been embarrasing for those programs.

  124. scc guy says:

    there has been 19 teams in the SCC for two years now, and for two years Ansonia has has had an open invitation. Nothing more needs to be said, Ansonia clearly has had the opportunity to earn some respect but has blatantly bowed out and cowered away. TIME TO PUT UP OR SHUT UP CHARGERS!!!!!!!

  125. anotherfan says:

    Didn’t Ansonia whoop up on Hillhouse 2 years ago in the first regular season game?

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