2010 State Football Divisions

So in case anybody hasn't checked them out yet, the playoff divisions for the new, four-class system have been finalized. You can check them out by going here and clicking on the "divisions" tab. Here's a quick rundown of where the NVL teams fall and some of the major players in each division.

Class LL

Bridgeport Central
Fairfield Prep
Hartford Public
New Britain
Norwich Free Academy
West Haven

Class L

Bristol Central
Bristol Eastern
Daniel Hand
East Lyme
New Canaan
Notre Dame-West Haven


Class M

Bacon Academy
Derby/O'Brien Tech
Joel Barlow
Jonathan Law
Lyman Hall
New London
St. Bernard/Norwich Tech

Class S

East Catholic
Granby Memorial
Holy Cross
Hyde Leadership
North Branford
Northwest Catholic
Notre Dame-Fairfield
Old Saybrook/Westbrook
Sacred Heart

St. Joseph
St. Paul/Goodwin Tech
Trinity Catholic

Remember, eight teams make the playoffs in each class this year. Quarterfinals are the Tuesday after Thanksgiving at higher-ranked teams' fields, followed by semifinals on the Saturday of that week at neutral sites. Finals are the next Friday and Saturday at Rentschler Field. Thoughts on how the divisions break down?

Derby Spring Game

The Red Raiders held their spring game this morning. The squad consisted of nearly fifty young men (I counted 47).

What I was looking for first were the attitudes of the Derby players with Coach French at the helm. The kids were all pumped - all game long. I saw Derby last season and I can already sense these kids want to play harder this year for Coach French.

The white team started the game on offense. Krieger (their QB from last season), who will be a junior, looked a bit rusty all morning. I've never seen him make this many bad decisions with the ball, but as I heard, he just came off of baseball and has not practiced with the football team much. The kid played awesome last year for a sophomore. I expect him to ditch this rustiness and come out slinging once the NVL season begins.

I was also very eager to see Jacob Tomczak. Krieger tried to deliver to Tomzcak on the first play, but was sacked. So much for that. Tomczak didn't seem to get many chances to catch the ball this afternoon, but made some sick open-field tackles on defense from the free safety position. He's absolutely fearless. Word on the sideline was that he has been nursing a shoulder (pinch nerve). To be honest, he didn't look like he was all there today - I think that injury definitely had something to do with it. He's A LOT better than that. If you guys haven't seen this kid, go see a Derby game or two next season. He's the real deal.

Overall, I thought the starting offense looked very rusty (as expected by some). What impressed me was the play of the back-up QB, #6. Although this kid will be a senior next season, with Krieger as the starter, I expect him to play RB or in the slot. He was making plays with his arm and his legs all morning long.

The Raiders have some very good size at WR. Big kids.

Derby's line didn't look very big at all. This will be the key to their success. It could be their achilles heel, though.

I don't think the Raiders will be a playoff team next year but the Derbyites are hoping for a better year than last.

Good luck, Raiders.

Ansonia Spring Game

The Chargers played their spring game on a great evening here in Ansonia in front of a crowd of roughly 150. [equivalent to two or three of Wilby's home games]

The contest began with about half of the field covered by sun. Fifteen minutes later, the field was very cool without the sun beaming down on it. Very pleasant conditions to watch the game in.

Dobbs did most of his damage early, during the sunshine. I saw three of his TDs today. One was a 45yd burst down the far sideline. It was awesome. His last TD, however, was the most electrifying. He took the hand-off and immediately took a shot from the defense, but managed to shake-it-off and juked five additional defenders en route to the end zone from 25yds out. I cannot wait to see this kid versus NVL teams this season. His line, led by sophomore Tyler Williams, put in work today. The Chargers have a decent-sized line going into the 2010 season.

The Chargers looked a lot more balanced than I expected. Chudwick threw the ball well and Lester, as expected, made some very awesome plays out of the pocket at the QB position. I won't get into too many details, as I am an Ansonia fan, but don't be surprised if Ansonia lights-it-up through the air this season. It won't be Masuk-like, but just remember I mentioned it.

Matos also showed signs of being a great player. The kid is only a freshman. He doesn't look or play like one, though. Finney, another freshman, looked good out there, too. He's long and athletic. LaRovera, a sophomore, also gives Ansonia an option through the air with his size at tight end. He's tall and is very athletic. He made a couple of nice grabs today, including a bomb for a TD from Chudwick. With these guys and Tyler Wood returning from injury, the Chargers have a lot more firepower on the squad than I thought going into this season.

The chatter at Nolan Field today was whether or not the Chargers were a .500 team. If the team completely flops, then yes, .500 is a possibility. But based on what I saw today, I expect them to finish 7-3. Of course, I hope they make the states. That's expected in this city. What makes me wonder isn't the lack of talent on this team...because they have some players...it's their experience. This squad is very, very young.

We'll just have to wait and see.

Overall, I was pleased with the execution and the support shown by the parents, former players, and Ansonia residents that came down to watch the game. It was a great evening of football.

Spring Game up in The Woods

I headed a few exits north on Route 8 to catch this evening's Woodland Spring Game where White and Black squared-off.

The first thing I noticed was DeBiase's hard running right off the bat. This kid will be putting another hurting on defenders this season when he has the rock.

In terms of Woodland's line, I didn't see very stellar play, but it's very early of course. They will gel. Their secondary looks decent and almost came up with a couple of INTs in the first half. As for the quarterbacks, the starting job remains up-for-grabs. They have a sophomore and a junior battling for the spot. Neither really impressed me this evening. I don't expect Woodland to pass the ball much this season no matter who is taking snaps. Look for a heavy dose of DeBiase all game long.

Woodland's other RB and co-captain, #3 Jake Pinho, might be the the x-factor for Woodland this season. However, Woodland's season goes as far as DeBiase says so. If he runs out of steam or gets hurt early, it will spell disaster for the Hawks. He's a really, really tough player, so I don't expect him to ever come off of the field, even if something is bothering him.

Good luck to the Hawks. What more motivation do these guys need with Ansonia visiting The Woods to start the season?

Spring Game Schedule

Here's the info we have so far on NVL Spring Games.

Wilby - Friday, June 11th, 2pm - Wilby HS

Naugatuck - Saturday, June 12th, 10am - Naugatuck HS

Woodland - Wednesday, June 16th, 6pm - Woodland Regional HS

Ansonia - Friday, June 18th, 6pm, Jarvis Stadium

Derby - Saturday, June 19th, 10am - Ryan Field (Derby HS)

I have info on a couple of other schools but I will post the dates and times once I receive confirmations.

Ansonia Spring Football underway

Spring football has begun here in Ansonia. The Chargers are going into 2010 with a very young squad and many shoes to fill, as always.

I was expecting the offense to be a bit rustier than what I witnessed this afternoon. The passing game looked good for the first time out. Montrell Dobbs looked good at RB for the Chargers. That ankle problem he had last season doesn't seem to be hindering the Ansonia back. Chudwick was throwing some very nice passes today. Lester also took some snaps at QB and hit his WRs with pinpoint passes. He's more of a skill player than Chudwick is, so I expect Lester to get some time in the slot or at RB from time to time.

There were roughly 50 kids at the practice which consisted of various conditioning drills and a few offensive sets. I did not see anything on defense as I split right after the offense took the field.