Jack Cochran to Wilby?

Could the famous/infamous Jack Cochran be Wilby's next head football coach?

We heard this rumor first starting up last month after Chris Eckert resigned but the story gained new legs recently with strong rumors recirculating that he had been offered and accepted the Wilby job.

The last reliable rumor I heard was that Wilby Athletic Director Steve Baldwin had been calling around to coaches in the area to gauge their opinions on bringing in Cochran to be the Wildcats' next head coach. That was going on as early as last week.

Still, the New London Day reported Tuesday night that Cochran wasn't considering the job. "It's simply not true," Cochran told the Day. "I hope to get back into coaching again at some point, but have been busy looking at schools with Casey and haven't made any decisions yet."

That's the answer I expected from Cochran, whether it's a truthful response or not. His son, Casey Cochran, was the Gatorade Player of the Year and is being recruited by a number of nice Division I schools, including UConn, after leading Masuk to a perfect season and a Class L state title.

Then, Joe Palladino of the Republican-American tweeted that Cochran was among six or seven candidates that interviewed for the job on Tuesday.

For those not familiar with how big a name Jack Cochran is, here's a summary:
  • He's won eight state championships in 16 years of coaching high school football in Connecticut, having won four in Bloomfield (1997-2000), three in New Britain (2001, 2003-04), and one in New London (2008).
  • His overall record in 16 seasons as a head coach: 160-24-2 with 15 state playoff appearances, 15 league championships, and six runner-up finishes with his eight state championships.
  • His teams achieved the No. 1 ranking in the final Hartford Courant poll four times and were twice named the top team in New England by NESN.
  • He's been an assistant coach at Central Connecticut State University and the University of New Haven.
  • He's coached 59 Division I college football players and 10 NFL players, including Dwight Freeney.
  • He's coached over 100 all-state football players.
  • He's worked with coaches including Urban Meyer, Steve Addazio, Kirk Ferenz, Kevin Gilbride, Tom Brockett, and Chris Anderson.
Sort of a big deal, but he was also fired several times for "Bobby Knight-like reasons," as columnist Michael Guerrera noted in this 2009 piece, and running impermissible baseball practices. He also is basically single-handedly responsible for the CIAC 50-point rule (nicknamed the "Cochran rule") after repeatedly running up the score on opponents. In fact, his teams won by at least 50 points four times in the 2005 season (the last season without the 50-point rule), including a 90-0 defeat of Griswold.

Still, this is very interesting and I think there is a foundation to this, as opposed to some of the other rumors we see posted on this blog. We haven't heard the last of this, I don't think.

Spring Practice almost here

For those schools electing to hold practice during the spring, practice is just about six weeks away.

Last season, I did not get to any spring practices, or spring games for that matter, other than Ansonia's. Spring practice didn't look so good. Even some of the Chargers' preseason scrimmages didn't look too promising. The team had plenty of questions to be answered. But, as we saw, the team came around nicely and exceeded many of our expectations. It was a very exciting year in Ansonia.

I plan to visit many of this year's spring practices to get a grasp on how each NVL squad has come along and who will be a force to be reckoned with. I will be around the league a lot more this year, in general.

So, who's the dark horse in the NVL this year? Will it be Sacred Heart? Wilby? Derby? Sacred Heart has Coggins. Wilby's head coaching job is still up in the air. And Derby has Kreiger and Tomczak. But is that enough?

T-Town has arguably the league's best RB in Brenden Lytton along with a fired-up coaching staff. Ansonia and Woodland are always solid. And Naugy is looking to defend its league crown after last year's impressive victory at Jarvis Stadium.

Do Torrington, Ansonia, Woodland, or Naugy have what it takes to win the NVL? Will the winner be one of these teams? You make the call.

Spring Football Elections

Earlier this month, the CIAC released the list of schools that elected to have spring football or add four extra days of practice prior to the official start of fall practice. Here are the selections each NVL program made:

Spring Football: Ansonia, Crosby, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Naugatuck, St. Paul, Torrington, Wolcott, Woodland

Fall Practice: Derby, Sacred Heart, Seymour, Watertown, Wilby

Make of it what you will.

Meet the Bloggers

Howdy, everyone! Remmy and I hope you're all enjoying the start of spring and whatever the season is bringing to you before football practice starts late next month.

We have been listening to all of your requests for interviews with coaches and the like, and we've been working on putting together a plan to do some neat stuff as we get closer to the season. We'll keep everyone updated.

In the meantime, we added a page last fall entitled, "Meet the Bloggers." You can check it out by clicking on the item all the way to the right in the bar above. We'd like to get as many short bios of our bloggers there as possible. We're not looking for names (unless you want to), but a little something regarding your allegiance and football background would be pretty cool.

Since this is still the quiet season here on the blog, I figure this is a good time for everyone to post a comment on the "Meet the Bloggers" page with a little something about yourselves. Have fun!

Spring Sports Start Today

Yes, I know this is a football blog, but spring sports season starts today.

I know for a lot of us, baseball is our favorite or second-favorite sport, so there will be plenty of you keeping track of that and others. Plenty of football players play baseball or track and field, so we have a lot to keep our eyes on.

While we'll still be the spot to discuss everything NVL football, including the pending coaching hires, feel free to post regarding other sports, as well. This should be an extremely exciting baseball season worth watching.

And for those who can't wait ... spring football will be here before you know it.

NVL Weightlifting Competition

As most of you know, the league's weightlifting competition was held today. Here are the top five:
  1. Wolcott: 12,800 lbs.
  2. Torrington: 12,465 lbs.
  3. Ansonia: 12,410 lbs.
  4. Woodland: 11,840 lbs.
  5. Holy Cross: 11,220 lbs.
  6. Seymour: 10,590 lbs.
  7. Wilby: 10,005 lbs.
  8. St. Paul: 9,600 lbs.
  9. Derby: 8,535 lbs.
  10. Kennedy: 1,255 lbs.
Wolcott's win was its fifth-straight NVL weightlifting championship. Individual winners included:

- Squat: Mike Flammia, Wolcott, 365 lbs.
- Bench: Dennis Danley, Ansonia, 290 lbs.
- Power clean: Will Quarles, Torrington

- Squat: Walter Lewis, Torrington, 445 lbs.
- Bench: Tyler Woods, Ansonia, 285 lbs.
- Power clean: Walter Lewis, Torrington, 265 lbs.

- Squat: Dave DiGiorgi, Holy Cross, 425 lbs.
- Bench: Nick Pastore, Wolcott, 280 lbs.
- Power clean: Jacob Tomczak, Derby, 285 lbs.

- Squat: Arek Kashuba, Ansonia, 460 lbs.
- Bench: Tucker Chicano, Wolcott, 305 lbs.
- Power clean: Dave Alves, Woodland, 265 lbs.

- Squat: Nick Stone, Wolcott, 575 lbs.
- Bench: Ryan Peloquin, St. Paul, 385 lbs.
- Power clean: Thomas Hawthorne, St. Paul, 285 lbs.