Happy Holidays

I will be on vacation for a couple of weeks and would like to wish everyone a very Happy Holiday!

The new blog has been great. The football season just ended but I CAN'T WAIT 'til it kicks-off again!!! You have no idea!

Hold it down, Kyle!

All-State Teams

The CSCHA All-State teams have been announced--thanks to SPB at the Connecticut Post for putting these up first. 18 NVL players were selected to the six squads, including:

Class L
Dan Mariano, OL, Naugatuck
Dion Small, DB, Crosby
Class MM
Devon Pruden, RB, Wilby
Byron Jones, WR, St. Paul
Dean Tsopanidies, OL, Torrington
Class M
Rich Gonzalez, DL, Derby
Class SS
Mylo Becker, OL, Wolcott
Jack DeBiase, RB, Woodland
Brandon Fowler, DB, Woodland
Sean Berglund, LB, Wolcott
Chris Wilson, LB, Seymour
Jacob Drozd, DL, Seymour
Tanner Young, DL, Holy Cross
Class S
Marty Lawlor, WR, Ansonia
Dave Coggins, WR, Sacred Heart
Montrell Dobbs, RB, Ansonia
Mike Palmquist, PK, Ansonia
Bobby Kinnebrew, DL, Ansonia

For the full lists, check 'em out here: http://blog.ctnews.com/hssports/2009/12/14/the-2009-chsca-football-all-state-teams/


Derby head coaching job

As many of you may have heard, Carmine DiCenso stepped down as Derby head coach.

The Raiders finished the '09 season with a 4-6 record - definitely not good enough in the eyes of the Derby faithful.

From earlier discussions, I sensed mixed feelings from Derby fans as far as the head coaching job was concerned. Now you guys got your wish. The question is, will Derby struggle even more the next 2-3 years or will they turn it around in 2010?

Things could be getting even uglier for the Raiders.

Where's oldschoolDERBY? We'd love to hear his thoughts on this.

The Blog's All-NVL Picks

Back to the NVL scene (which is no shot to the Class L championship discussion that was going on)... I know the All-NVL votes have already been announced, but what do you folks think? There are plenty of snubs every year.

Post your reactions to the All-NVL team, your Player of the Year, and your Outstanding Senior. While we're at it, go ahead and name the guys you think should be worth of gaining All-State honors (those will be officially announced soon by the CHSCA).

And this week also marks the start of the boys' basketball season. Of course, we'll be following that throughout the winter here on the blog. Feel free to make some predictions in that arena, too.

If we haven't thanked you yet for following us here, thanks again everybody. And keep spreading the word.
Non NVL Video - Notre Dame - West Haven vs. Pomperaug - Class L Title

Here's my footage.

Great game by these two teams on Saturday.

Take a look at the questionable call the refs make at the 6:10 mark of the video.

I was on the Pomperaug sideline for that one and you can hear the frustration coming from it.

Some great plays were made in this game. The fake punt by NDWH on fourth and three was an awesome call and totally caught Pomperaug off-guard.

I'd like to hear what you guys thought about this game if it was your first time seeing these two teams in action this season. I saw each team twice.

Enjoy, folks.
Went to see Coach Croce's offense in action today

Congratulations to Coach Croce for making the state title game in Class L.

It was a very tough game for both squads today. The weather became very nasty just before kickoff.

I thought Pomperaug had this one but the Panthers turned the ball over three times in their own red zone (twice inside of the 10yd line). Notre Dame played a good game, despite not having a huge day on the ground.

I have footage of the entire Class L championship game and will be loading the video here sometime tomorrow, so check for it.

The teams I've seen -

: Injuries. The Cats just couldn't overcome early-season injuries to star players Shugrue and Searles. Things looked a little brighter when Shugrue came back, but it was already too late. Who knows what type of season the Cats would have had with all of their players in there every week? I think they would have finished around the .500 mark this season.

Highlights: Ranked #5 in the state to start the season. Not really much else to say here except for the fact that they played Wolcott tough down the stretch.

Holy Cross: Big win over Ansonia at Municipal Stadium. They looked good and were dominant. They then went on to underachieve the rest of the way, playing close games down the stretch and eventually losing to Naugatuck at home.

Highlights: Shut-out win at St. Paul's, win over Ansonia, NVL Championship win over Wolcott, entered as the top seed in the Class SS field before being clobbered by St. Joe's

: The Chargers surprised me by, yet again, making the state playoffs. I thought this team lacked talent as opposed to the Ansonia squads of previous seasons and thought they would finish 6-4 or 7-3, at best. Next year will be another tough year for the Chargers, especially losing Kinnebrew. Dobbs will be back and he is fired-up for next season, after that horrible loss to NWC. There are a few kids that will be stars on defense, such as Tyler Wood, but the biggest question mark on this team is the quarterback position. I wouldn't be surprised if current freshman Tyler Lester is the starting QB for the Chargers next season. I've seen this kid in the freshman games. He can throw and is a monster on the ground. I'm sure the Derby and Naugy guys can tell you, if they attended any freshman games this season.

Highlights: Big win over Hillhouse in Week 1 at Veteran's in West Haven, 6 TD game by FB Kinnebrew at Seymour, Class S playoff berth

: Another team that was hit hard by injuries. Players were going down like flies, more so during the Derby game than any other. After the win at Seymour, many around the league, including fans from other teams, thought Naugy would be one of the top-three teams in the NVL.

Highlights: Big win over #5-ranked Seymour at DeBarber Field, 8-0 shutout at Holy Cross just before the end of the season.

Derby: It depends who you ask, but Derby was said to be a team that would finish at .500 or better than .500 in the NVL after playing in the SCC for years. But that never happened. Derby started the year by losing a tight game to St. Paul's and winning three-straight after that, only to drop five out of their next six games, to finish at 4-6 this season.

Highlights: Beating Seymour at DeFilippo Field in front of a big crowd, the overtime win at Naugatuck, come-from-behind win at Crosby.

Woodland: This team will make some noise next year with arguably the best running back in the NVL, Jack DiBiase. This kid runs hard every play and will run over you every time if he gets the chance! I've seen him do it at Seymour! It was an up-and-down year for the Hawks. Blown out by Wolcott at home and losing a tight one to St. Paul's. A 7-win season isn't so bad, though. They'll be a contender next season. Maybe Kyle can chime-in with his thoughts on The Woods.

Highlights: Big win at Seymour prior to Turkey Day

St. Paul: A well-coached team that will get better. They had some players at QB, RB, and two really good WRs. I thought they were an exciting team to watch.

Highlights: Finished 7-2 in NVL play their first year in the league, Class MM playoff berth and was one 2-pt conversion away from dethroning 3-time Class MM champion New Canaan.

Sacred Heart: Lots of offense and no defense was the story all year long.

Watertown: Big win at Ansonia.

As far as the other NVL teams go that I did not get a chance to see this season:

Crosby: Not who we all thought they were.

Torrington: Underachieved? I don't know much about what went on there this season.

Wolcott: The big boys of the league that had their shot to make the playoffs and missed it.

Wilby: I saw them play at Ansonia for a couple of minutes. They had some speed and a decent QB but I couldn't tell you much more. I do know that they were very much improved, as their record showed. At least they can call themselves the Kings of Waterbury this season.

Kennedy: Saw them play twice last season vs Ansonia. This season was a dramatic disappointment compared to last season. I would love to show them some love, but I have no more so say about these Eagles.


Feel free to add your own thoughts on any of our NVL teams!

Check them out, folks.

I uploaded a few videos containing highlights of some of the NVL games I've been able to get footage of this season.

Some of the videos have been compressed in size due to YouTube's megabyte limit, but they should still look decent.

Here they are for your enjoyment:

Seymour vs Derby

Woodland vs Seymour

Ansonia vs Naugatuck

Ansonia vs Northwest Catholic

Thanks for viewing them.

First off, here are some video highlights of last night's Ansonia/Northwest Catholic game:

Ansonia vs Northwest Catholic HIGHLIGHTS

Hats off to the NWC coaching staff and players. I mean, really, this team played a great game against the Chargers last night and never allowed Ansonia to get into any rhythm whatsoever.

One thing that I hate to say, but must be said, is how bad of a fan-base Northwest Catholic has. I spoke with three of the NWC parents and they were very pleasant to speak with. However, there were an incredible amount of BAD fans at last night's game. I'm not sure if they are alumni, friends of the players, or even parents themselves, but they ought to be ashamed of themselves for their behavior. Cussing and threatening Ansonia MOTHERS? Shouting at the Ansonia players (words you don't want your kids hearing) throughout the game. Chanting like a 15-year old would after a shut-out win? Give me a break.

About ten minutes after the game, I congratulated NWC QB Jack Murphy in front of his parents as well as Hayes. Both kids were polite and grateful for the win they had just earned. NWC Coach Mike Tyler also showed class by saying how great of a program Ansonia has had and talked about its great football history.

As far as the game itself, Ansonia never recovered after being punched in the mouth on the opening kickoff return for a TD by NWC. And after that, NWC completely dominated in the trenches. Ansonia's o-line rarely got a push.

You know things aren't going well for the Chargers when their star RB gets only 12 touches and the QB drops back to pass 15+ times in a game.

Many, including some of our bloggers here, are quick to point the finger at Coach Brockett. Let me say this - Where was all of the criticism before last year's loss to Cromwell? And after a few losses, we're ready to run the guy out of town? Give me a break. He called some good plays last night and the kids just didn't execute. It was as simple as that.

It's no excuse in saying the field was sloppy. Yeah, it was sloppy for both teams, but I noticed Dobbs, Kinnebrew, and even Sobin having trouble making cuts on that horrible playing surface. What set NWC apart from the Chargers was that the Indians didn't let the field conditions decide the game for them.


St. Joe's vs Holy Cross

Blowout of the year.

I received scoring updates from this game and was shocked to hear it was 21-0...with time remaining in the first quarter! The game was pretty much over by halftime and that's when I stopped receiving scores. What a way to end the season for both HC and AHS.


St. Paul vs New Canaan

It sounded like SP played well based on the score and the chance to actually WIN this game, had SP converted the two-point conversion with under one minute remaining in the game. Gutsy call by Coach Kelly to go for the win on the road. Can you just imagine if St. Paul had won that game 15-14? Coulda, woulda, shoulda - but they definitely showed they could play with a top-tier team in New Canaan. I was quite satisfied with their effort...for the sake of the NVL. They spared us.

Congratulations to all three squads for making the playoffs. I didn't think Ansonia would make the playoffs this season but they went beyond my expectations. I thought they were going to end-up a 7-3 or 6-4 squad.
NVL Playoff Scoring Updates

I will be Tweeting scores to the NVL FOOTBALL Twitter page all evening. I'll have updates from the St. Joe's vs. Holy Cross and Ansonia vs. Northwest Catholic games as they happen.

You may also visit the following link for a LIVE CHAT that will include my Twitter scoring updates - Valley Indy NVL Live Chat.