Arkeel Newsome and a ‘rush’ to history


Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome carries the ball to the endzone for a touchdown.  Photo/Christian Abraham

Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome carries the ball to the endzone for a touchdown.
Photo/Christian Abraham


Last Thursday against Masuk, Arkeel Newsome of Ansonia became the state’s all-time leading rusher when he racked up 396 yards. His mark of 8,385 yards surpassed the previous record (8,279)  set by Alex Thomas who played at Ansonia from 2004-2007.

We checked in with the senior running back shortly after he became the king of Connecticut rushing.

Q: What does it mean for you to be the all-time leading rusher in the history of Connecticut?

A:  It means a lot and it’s a great feeling. I never thought I could get it. Most of the running backs in the state are bigger. I’m a small guy (5’8″) but I’ve accomplished a lot. But winning is more important to me. To be undefeated three years in a row and have two state championship has been awesome.

Q: What’s was the toughest part of the journey to the rushing record?

A: Having a target on my back every game. The defense is always keying on me. I love to get hit, but I’m pretty sore after the games. But after an ice bath it’s usually back to normal. My line has done a great job for me opening holes during my career.

Newsome became state's all-time leading rusher last Friday against Masuk

Newsome became state’s all-time leading rusher last Thursday against Masuk

Q: What player have you tried to pattern your game after?

A: Reggie Bush of the Detroit Lions. I try to mirror his moves and the way he plays the game.

Q: What’s been the best part about playing for Ansonia High School?

A:  We’re like a family and it’s a great environment. The fans really get into it and support us.

Q. What’s the one thing people don’t know about Arkeel Newsome?

A: How hard I work and all the time I put in working out in the off-season with weights, running, and my conditioning. Nobody knows about all the work I put in.

Q: What do you want to accomplish when you get to UConn?

A: I want to achieve a lot and be successful in the classroom and on the football field.


New Canaan linebacker delivers big hit on Warde running back

New Canaan linebacker Cole Harris delivers big hit on Warde running back

In this day and age where everything is captured, posted, and tweeted, there are very few photos that ever make us go, “wow, that is awesome.” A lot of football fans were saying just that after our Bob Luckey snapped a picture of Cole Harris of New Canaan making a textbook tackle on a Fairfield Warde running back on October 4.

“It was pretty cool,” said the senior linebacker. “I never thought a picture would come out that good.”

The picture didn’t go viral, but it was a big hit in the halls of New Canaan High School.

“People were coming up to me and congratulating on the picture and saying how great it was,” Harris said. “I saw it all over Facebook. My parents e-mailed it to their friends and they are getting copies of it to get it framed.”

In the football world, that type of hit is known as a “de-cleater”, a jolting blow that causes separation from shoe to shoulder pads. It’s the type of hit that linebackers live for.

“I was just reading my keys and a big hole opened up and I just made the tackle,” said Harris.

And even though he’s yet to attend the senior prom, Harris is already thinking about what junior is going to see when he comes along.

“I’m going to be showing the picture to my kids and grandkids,” said Harris.


McMahon RB Trey Forney.

McMahon RB Trey Forney.

After beating Stamford last Friday night, the Senators of Brien McMahon are 6-0, the first time they’ve reached that mark since 1994.

“It’s a great accomplishment for the kids, the program, and the school,” said head coach A.J. Albano.  “We have experience, resiliency, and mental toughness, and that has come in handy this year. It’s been fun.”

Everybody on the campus in Norwalk has caught the spirit and supporting a team that appears to be on a magic carpet ride

“The vibe is hot,” said athletic director Joe Madaferri. “It’s very exciting. I truly believe the way the football program goes, the rest of the school goes. The football program is a huge part of the school’s atmosphere and spirit, especially with in-coming freshman new to the school. Attendance to the games is up and everything is going well.”

McMahon is enjoying the bye week before returning to action on November 1 against Fairfield Ludlowe. They know they’re off to a great start, but realize there is a long way to go in the season.

“I challenged the kids on August 19,” said Albano. “I asked them how many times we can go 1-0. Not 5-0, 6-0, or 7-0.  We take it one week at a time. We don’t look behind us or what’s in front of us. If you win, you turn the page. If you lose, you turn the page. Right now, we’re 0-0.”

Paul Devlin