2011 Team Preview: Crosby Bulldogs


About the Team

Class/Division: L / NVL Brass
Head coach: David Jurewicz (1st year, 0-0)
2010 record: 3-7 (2-4 Brass)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 15
Players to watch: Chad Acevedo, Sr., RB; Marcel Lugo, Jr., LB; Doug Oizario, Sr., OT/DL; Tony Beillo, Sr., LB; Ryan Gray, Jr., CB; Brian Gray, Jr., WR; Kaylor Aybar, Sr., QB.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Bulldogs’ Asst. Coach: “This year’s team is different based solely on the leadership. Off-season conditioning drills have given us a peak into what’s to come from our seniors this year, The last great Crosby team had great leadership and we are starting to see much of the same thing.”

The Bulldogs will succeed if…: we can control the ball with our huge offensive line and stand-out running backs. Also, our speed on defense will surprise a lot of people. Turnovers were a big problem last year with the previous regime but we're working hard to change that mentality. Settling in a more basic offensive that's both effective and practical will contribute to that. We're expecting big things out of this group this year. The sense of urgency and the feeling of a new start has everyone focused.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Bulldogs’ Asst. Coach: “The biggest asset is our defensive speed, especially in the secondary.”

2011 Team Preview: Watertown Indians


About the Team

Class/Division: M / NVL Brass
Head coach: Mike Veronneau (2nd year, 6-4)
2010 record: 6-4 (4-2 Brass)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 12
Players to watch: Albion Lumani, Sr., OT/DT; Christian Howieson, Sr., OT/DT; Eric Ford, Sr., WR/DB; Brett Boll, Sr., RB; DJ Ouelette, Sr., OL/LB; Rich DeFederico, Sr., DB; Anthony Avoletta, Sr., RB/DB; Ryan Milo, Sr., OL/LB; Andrew Kalach, Jr., DE/TE; Paulo Villanueva, Jr., FB/LB.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Veronneau: “With the departure of All State/All NVL QB/DB Matt Quatrano, our team will take on a different look. Instead of one or two weapons on offense, we will spread the ball around, and look for some of the younger players to step up. Dedication to the off-season program has been fantastic, and we hope to see the benefits in the fall.”

The Indians will succeed if…: “the quarterback position develops and the returning starters continue to improve on last year's performance. If those two facets happen, and we get off to a good start against some tough opponents, we look to improve on our 6-4 record from last year.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach Veronneau: Our biggest asset is our offensive line. We have two of the bigger players in the league in Lumani (6'4’’, 285lbs.) and Howieson (6'2’’, 270lbs.), and with their hard work and leadership in the off-season they are going to make sure that we can stop the run, and pound the football.

2011 Team Preview: Wolcott Eagles

About the Team

Class/Division: M / NVL Brass
Head coach: Jason Pace (1st year, 0-0)
2010 record: 6-4 (3-3 Brass)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 3
Players to watch: DeVante Bonvillian, Sr., RB/DB; Tom Bochicchio, Sr., K/DB; Jim Nelson, Jr., OL/LB.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Pace: “Opportunity. In 2011 we will be only returning 2 starters. Many of the seniors from last season were valuable contributors at the varsity level since their sophomore year. Their experience will be difficult to replace and it will be a challenge to emulate their leadership abilities. However, this opens the door of opportunity for many our young players to excel. Our players enter the season knowing that playing time will have to be earned through relentless hard work and commitment both on and off the field. Nothing is guaranteed, but there are many opportunities to be earned.”

The Eagles will succeed if…: “we narrow our focus on working as hard as we can one day at a time. Whether it is in a meeting, workout, practice, game, or even the classroom, we must individually focus on being the best student-athlete possible on that given day. No one on this team or coaching staff has proven that we have the ability to look past the task at hand. Those tasks include fundamentals. We will be in a position to experience success if we focus on daily improvements, excel in crucial fundamental areas (decision making, penalties, knowing assignments, and turnovers), and approach each battle one at a time.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach Pace: Our greatest asset is that our program is composed of players that are hungry and determined to prove themselves. Each player in our program has experienced success first hand at the lower levels, and has witnessed success at the varsity level. With so many seniors graduating, the current players know it is their opportunity to carry the program forward, and they are eager to get their chance to do so. They fully understand that with each day that passes that they do not improve or miss a workout, it is an opportunity lost.”

2011 Team Preview: Holy Cross Crusaders


About the Team

Class/Division: S / NVL Brass
Head coach: Michael Giampetruzzi (3rd year, 15-6)
2010 record: 6-4 (3-3 Copper)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 9
Players to watch: David DiGiorgi, Sr., RB/LB; Anthony Jamele, Sr., OL/DE; Zach Brown, Sr., QB; Ryan Bryne, Sr., DB; Mitchell Szyndlar, Sr., OL/LB; Joe Lynch, So., LB/RB; Adrian Brown, Jr., RB/LB; George Smith, Jr., OL/DL; Nick Gambacini, Jr., FB/LB; Tom Rinaldi, Jr., TE/DL.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Giampetruzzi: “Additions to the coaching staff with bringing back Mike Mannetti to work with the offensive line and defensive coordinator. We should be more efficient with the offense as Matt Smolley enters year two as a coordinator. These moves along with our kids having a good off-season to this point should put us in a position to be successful this fall.”

The Crusaders will succeed if…: “we do not turnover the ball as we did last season, which should improve with the year experience our young players had offensively. We need to get much better in our all-around special teams play and get to the ball and make plays on defense better than we did last fall.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach Giampetruzzi: “Our biggest asset lies with our younger kids who have gained a year experience. After going 6-4 last season, they now know what it takes to win in the NVL and be where we want to be as a program, which is compete for the NVL Championship and earn a spot in the playoffs in December.”

2011 Team Preview: Ansonia Chargers


About the Team

Class/Division: S / NVL Brass
Head coach: Thomas Brockett (6th year, 57-7)
2010 record: 11-2 (6-0 Brass)
Playoff result: Class S Finalist/Runner-up
Returning starters: 13
Players to watch: Elliot Chudwick, Sr., QB; Arkeel Newsome, So., RB/DB; Tyler Wood, Sr., LB; Andrew Matos, Jr., WR/DE; Tyler Williams, Sr., OL/DL; Hakeem Martin, Sr., OL/DL; Dylan Vano, Sr., OL/DL; Raeshaun Finney, Jr., WR/DB; Tyler Lester, Jr., UT/DB; Ryan O’Connor, Jr., LB; Matt Hall, Sr., OL/DE; Arek Kaszuba, Sr., OL/LB.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Brockett: “We don't have Montrell Dobbs is the bad news. The good news is everyone else is back and a year older.”

The Chargers will succeed if…: we play good defense and don't listen to people who will try to claim this team a championship before we've even played a game.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach Brockett: “Experience.”

2011 Team Preview: Naugatuck Greyhounds


Senior running back/linebacker Jake Yourison will be key for the Greyhounds on both sides of the ball. Credit: Jim Shannon/Rep-Am

About the Team
Class/Division: L/NVL Copper
Head Coach: Rob Plasky (11th year, 65-43)
2010 Record: 9-2 (5-1 Copper; NVL and Copper champion)
Playoff Result: Class L quarterfinalist (lost to No. 6 New Canaan, 21-12)
Returning Starters: 10
Players to Watch: Jake Yourison, Sr., RB/LB; Nico Cari, Sr., OG/DT; Mike Schebell, Sr., RB/LB; Mike Giugno, Sr., OT/DT; Tim Woodfield, Sr., OG/LB; Dan Morton, Sr., OT/DT; Nick Kosa, Jr., RB/LB; Brian McGrath, Jr., OT/DT; Zack Mercer, Sr., QB; Shariff Grice, So., QB/WR/FS; Nico Rivera, Jr., RB/DB; Ashin Sajad, Jr., WR/DB; Besim Bomova, TE/LB; Devon Watkins, OT/DT; Kevin Ugalde, C/LB

Coach's Corner
NVL Football: How will this year's team be different than last year's?
Coach Plasky: We will be more of a power running team as opposed to being a multi-dimensional, fast, and athletic team in 2010.
NVL Football: The Greyhounds will be successful if ...
Coach Plasky: ... "we can establish a passing game to complement a strong running game."
NVL Football: What will be the team's biggest asset?
Coach Plasky: "Experience is our biggest asset. The player from last year were part of a championship team. They experienced what it takes to win--the commitment and sacrifice of the offseason preparation that last year's team put together to prepare them to compete at the top. The kids experienced what every team wants and strives for, and that is to be the best."

2011 Team Preview: Sacred Heart Hearts


About the Team

Class/Division: S / NVL Copper
Head coach: Chris Ortiz (2nd year, 6-5)
2010 record: 6-5 (3-3 Copper)
Playoff result: Class S Quarterfinalist
Returning starters: 12
Players to watch: Dwayne Ellis, Sr., WR/DB; Jamoire Gregory, Sr., OL/DL; James Careddu, Sr., OL/DL; Jolly Black, Sr., RB/DB; RJ Domondon, Sr., WR/LB; Adam Pitts, Sr., OL/DL; David Coggins, Jr., WR/DB; Javon Martin, Jr., QB/DB; Jaquan Overbey, So., RB/LB; Tony Ortiz, So., RB/LB.

Coach’s Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Ortiz: “First, there will be no Rohan Ifill, Second, we will be an experienced team with only four seniors.”

The Hearts will succeed if…: we continue to believe that we can be successful.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach Ortiz: “Experience.”

Oxford Youth Flag Football

Oxford Flag Football registration has been open since May 1st. Boys and girls ages 5-12 may participate in the program. The program is open to both Oxford and Seymour residents. For more information, please visit the website - http://www.oxfordflagfootball.org

Seymour Pop Warner has registration this weekend at the Seymour Community Center and this includes flag football. (via Mike Gargano)

2011 Team Preview: Torrington Red Raiders


About the Team

Class/Division: L / NVL Copper
Head coach: Dan Dunaj (4th year, 17-14)
2010 record: 7-3 (3-3 Copper)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 7
Players to watch: Brenden Lytton, Sr., RB/DB; Demetrious Daily, Sr., WR/DB; Brad Brown, Jr., OL/DL; Jason Abbott, Jr., QB; Juan Toribio, Jr., ATH; AJ Vecino, Jr., FB/LB; Zach McNutt, Jr., OL/DL; Ernie Tracy, So., OL/DL; Phil Bresson, Jr., TE/LB; Nick Lorenzo, Jr., FB/LB; Dan Schebell, Jr., OL/LB; Kelley Kelley, Sr., OL/DE.

Coach's Corner

NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach Dunaj: “The difference with this year’s team is the work ethic and intensity that they have put in since the end of last season. Although we lost several outstanding players to graduation, I believe this team will pick up where it left off last season. We have a much more disciplined attitude and a better sense of what it takes to prepare for the season.”

The Red Raiders will succeed if...: we become more consistent and grasp our system of doing things better. As many know, our offense will be built around running the ball but we need to become more polished at passing. Our defense must be more disciplined, trust each other, and not try to do more than they are asked. We will also need to take advantage of our speed in the kicking game.”

What is the biggest asset you have on the team?
Coach Dunaj: “Our biggest asset I believe is our coaching staff. We have some of the best young minds around. Joe Deptula, with the help of our OL/Asst. Head Coach, James Burns, have made our offense very productive over the last 2 seasons. Nick Teodosio will take over play calling for the defense and brings not only a great understanding for the game but a lot of energy and enthusiasm. All in all, I believe we have come a long way in 3 seasons and I am very excited about the potential of this year’s team.”

Torrington vs. Ansonia

(Updated 5/16/2011) I have been able to confirm this: Torrington will be facing Ansonia during week one at Jarvis Stadium - game time is set for 6 p.m. It's a Thursday night game!

The info I've gathered points to these squads facing off on Week 1. That still doesn't mean Seymour and EOB Tech can't be the game of the week (I know Kyle is partial to this game!).

This has the potential to be one of the biggest games in the NVL this year. At least on paper, it is. I'd expect a nice crowd at this one. I know that both coaching staffs would be excited to know they will face each other to start the season and it would be even better if the game was at Jarvis Stadium.

Ansonia's Arkeel Newsome has a lot to prove and Torrington's Brenden Lytton comes into the 2011 season as the NVL's top running back. Both teams have size and both teams have two quarterbacks that have improved their games. It would have been awesome to see Lytton face Dobbs, but I'll take Lytton vs. Newsome without a complaint.

Anyone have a feeling these teams might be playing each other the week before Turkey Day...?


2011 Team Preview: Derby Red Raiders



Class/Division: M / NVL Brass
Head coach: George French (2nd year, 5-5)
2010 record: 5-5 (5-1 Copper)
Playoff result: N/A
Returning starters: 6
Players to watch: Ray Kreiger, Sr., QB/DB; Jacob Tomczak, Sr., WR/DB; Brian Dobek, Sr., WR/LB; Luis Casco, Sr., FB/LB; Tim Adanti, Sr., WR/DE; Colin Haydu, Sr., OL/DL; Matt Nicoleri, Jr., RB/LB; Dillon McMahon, Jr., WR/DB; Justin Olenoski, Jr., RB/DB; David Aheam, Jr., OL/DL.


NVL Football: What makes this year’s team different than last year’s?

Coach French: “Experience. We are in year two and the kids have a better understanding of what our expectations are on and off the field. Last year you could see progress with each game. The players, as well as coaches, got more comfortable with what we were doing and it showed each week. Year two should see a significant upgrade to what we were doing last year.”

The Red Raiders will succeed if...: we play stronger defense. Last year, we played very well in games offensively but the defense was inconsistent. This year if the defense steps up and plays stronger, we should have enough ammo to win more games.”

NVL Football: What is the biggest asset you have on the team?

Coach French: "Team speed. We are much faster and more explosive than we have been in the past. We have kids who run well with the football in their hands and that we have kids who can run to the ball carrier to make a play. We could be a lot of fun to watch.”

Cochran will not coach Wilby

I just learned from Wilby Athletic Director Steve Baldwin that Jack Cochran pulled his name out of the running and is no longer a candidate to be Wilby's next head football coach.

Baldwin didn't give a reason for Cochran revoking his candidacy, but Sean Patrick Bowley of the Connecticut Post is reporting that Cochran's potential acceptance of the job was influenced by his desire to have a teaching job in the school system that wasn't available, among other reasons.

Baldwin said he has "a few" candidates left but he has to "start over" and look at everything again. He didn't confirm any other candidates by name, but we've seen reports of potential candidates including Pete Flammia, Dennis Wanzie, and Rico Brogna, among others.

Cochran was definitely the frontrunner and top pick for the job and Baldwin is disappointed that the championship-winning coach won't be bringing his talents (and potentially his all-state son's) to Wilby.

I'll keep you updated when I receive any more news on the situation going forward.