Dec 182014

This year the NVL selected All-NVL, All-Brass, All-Copper, All-Iron and All-City teams. Here they are.

The 2014 All-NVL Offense. (Credit: Kyle Brennan)

The 2014 All-NVL Offense. (Credit: Kyle Brennan)

All-NVL Offense
QB: Jason Bradley (Naugatuck)
RB: Tajik Bagley (Ansonia), Eli Parks (St. Paul)
WR: Bryan Coney (Naugatuck), Ben Slowik (Derby)
OL: Larry Cafaro (Ansonia), C.J. Falcioni (Seymour), Mike Gugliotti (Holy Cross), Justin Nadeau (Wolcott), Jose Santamaria (Derby)
TE: Witold Gul (Ansonia)
UT: Mike Audibert (Wolcott), Mike Kreiger (Derby)

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Dec 132014

nvl football blog logoAt long last, the final day of the 2014 Connecticut high school football season is here.

Brookfield claimed the Class M-Large championship Friday night with a 14-0 win over Berlin. Today, the other seven championships will be on the line. Here’s the schedule.

Class LL-Large: No. 1 Southington (11-0) vs. No. 2 Norwich Free Academy (8-2), 6 p.m., Willowbrook Park

Class LL-Small: No. 2 Shelton (12-0) vs. No. 4 Xavier (8-3), 2:30 p.m., West Haven

Class L-Large: No. 1 Darien (12-0) vs. No. 2 New Canaan (11-1), 10:30 a.m., West Haven

Class L-Small: No. 1 Windsor (11-0) vs. No. 3 Notre Dame-West Haven (9-3), 2:30 p.m., CCSU

Class M-Small: No. 1 Ledyard (12-0) vs. No. 2 St. Joseph (10-2), 2 p.m., Willowbrook Park

Class S-Large: No. 1 Valley Regional-Old Lyme (12-0) vs. No. 2 Ansonia (11-1), 10 a.m., Willowbrook Park

Class S-Small: No. 2 Capital Prep (11-1) vs. No. 4 North Branford (11-1), 10:30 a.m., CCSU

All three games at Willowbrook Park, including the Ansonia-Valley game, will be aired live on CPTV Sports. There is no radio broadcast or online stream.

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Dec 102014

ciacnew_fbWe’ve finally reached the conclusion of this high school football season. Overall, it’s been pretty bad — especially for those of us in the Naugatuck Valley League. However, the league still has a chance to boast a state champion as No. 2 Ansonia (11-1) looks for its 20th all-time title Saturday at 10 a.m. against top-seeded and undefeated Valley Regional-Old Lyme (12-0) in the Class S Large championship. The game will be at Willowbrook Park.

Overall, eight state titles will be awarded this weekend. Seven of them will be Saturday — Willowbrook Park will host a tripleheader — and one, the Berlin-Brookfield game, will be Friday night. We’ll pick all eight games in this post.

These state championships picks are presented by DiGiorgi Roofing and Siding.

Remmy’s Keys to the Game: Valley Regional comes into this game as the No. 1 seed and with a 12-0 record. The Warriors play in the Pequot, which isn’t known for having great competition on a week-to-week basis. The same goes for Ansonia in the NVL. However, these are two solid football programs that I believe will battle in a close game down to the final minutes. The Warriors have allowed an average of six points per game — SIX. The Chargers are averaging more than 40 points per game, so something’s got to give this Saturday. To make this quite simple, the key will be Ansonia’s effectiveness on defense and how it limits Valley QB Chris Jean-Pierre from making big plays on the ground. Ansonia has enough athletes and big-play ability on offense that makes me confident it can move the ball on Valley. But if Valley can sustain long drives on the ground and keep the ball out of Ansonia’s hands, it has a shot to win this game. I really think Valley has a shot this weekend. Valley has good size and we saw how ineffective Ansonia was last time it faced a bigger team (Newtown).
Kyle’s Keys to the Game: It usually seems as though good defenses translate well from wherever a team plays in the regular season to the state playoffs. Valley’s defense hasn’t been quite lights-out like Ansonia’s 2011 defense — a couple teams have reached double figures this season — but it’s been very good. The Warriors have a very good group on that side with excellent playmakers at all three levels. Valley’s offense is much more of a question mark. The Warriors only scored six points against a Morgan team that doesn’t necessarily have a great defense, and Valley has committed 16 turnovers. (Those miscues have been erased by 42 takeaways.) Two teams this year have used a formula that’s been successful in stopping Ansonia. It’s all about good speed to the sidelines and finishing tackles. If Valley can beat the Chargers to the edge, the Warriors will be right in this game. This one could be a battle of whichever team reaches 21 points first.

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Dec 032014

ciacnew_fbWelcome to the postseason. Naugatuck, Wolcott and Ansonia are your three NVL participants. Of course, this season there will be eight champions as the four classes were split into two divisions each based on enrollment. All semifinals will be Saturday, followed by the championships next weekend.

These semifinals picks are presented by Blanchette Sporting Goods.

Class L-Large
No. 4 Naugatuck (9-2) at No. 1 Darien (11-0), 1 p.m.:
 The Greyhounds fell into the toughest draw of all the NVL teams, and they’ll have to figure out a way to break a defense that many think is the best in the state.
Remmy’s Take: Darien may have the best defense in the state (allowing 12.7 ppg) whereas Naugatuck’s defense really struggles against good teams. If Naugatuck somehow finds a way to win this, it would be the upset of the year.
Kyle’s Take:
 Naugy gave up on Thanksgiving just before halftime. It was disappointing from all angles. If that happened against the Chargers, it might happen even sooner against the Blue Wave. Darien’s front seven will just be too much against a Naugy offensive line that didn’t do much at all against Ansonia.
Picks: Remmy- Darien, 42-8. Kyle- Darien, 38-18.

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Nov 262014

nvl football blog logoHappy Thanksgiving, friends!

Wednesday’s winter weather wreaked havoc on the week’s schedule, as we already know. Two games were played Tuesday night — Woodland beat Seymour, 41-14, and St. Paul topped Oxford, 35-13. All but one of the other games have been moved to after Thanksgiving, leaving only the much-anticipated Naugatuck-Ansonia game on Thanksgiving morning.

Kyle’s WATR crew will have the call of the Thanksgiving game on 1320 WATR at 10:15 a.m. Here’s Kyle’s preview for the game over at the Rep-Am. An Ansonia win gives the Chargers the outright NVL title, while a Naugatuck win assures itself at least a share of the title. The Greyhounds could win it outright with a victory and a Wolcott loss.

Derby at Shelton will be Friday at 5:30 p.m. (it will be broadcast on Ivy Radio), and Crosby at Kennedy will be Friday at 6 p.m. On Saturday, Torrington will host Watertown at 10:15 a.m. (it will be broadcast on 89.9 WAPJ), while there will be a doubleheader at Municipal Stadium: Wilby at Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech at 10:30 a.m., and Wolcott at Holy Cross at 2 p.m.

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Nov 242014

animated-turkey-with-footballIt’s finally time for one of the best weeks on the local sports calendar — it’s Thanksgiving football!

For most of the 15 Naugatuck Valley League schools in action Wednesday and Thursday, this week will mark their final games until next September and the last outings for many seniors. For four teams, though, the playoffs are either an assured destination or a hopeful one. In addition, the NVL championship will be on the line between the Ansonia-Naugatuck and Wolcott-Holy Cross games.

There is some inclement weather forecast for Wednesday night into Thursday, so we will update this post with any postponements.

We all know this season hasn’t been an especially good one in these parts (or anywhere else), but that doesn’t mean these games are any less special. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and best of luck to the seniors who will be playing their final games this week.

Seymour Wildcats (7-3) at Woodland Hawks (3-7)

When/Where: Tuesday, 4 p.m., Woodland
Radio: WATR 1320 AM (3:50 p.m.)
Series History: 13th meeting; tied, 6-6
Series Stat: This is the worst record Woodland has ever taken into its Thanksgiving game
Last Year: Woodland def. Seymour, 22-19
At Stake for Seymour: Joey Salemme’s shot at Seymour’s career rushing record
At Stake for Woodland: 
Five-game winning streak over Seymour

Remmy’s Take: Seymour has had one of the more puzzling seasons in recent memory. We can say the same about Woodland. However, lots of talent graduated and with a new coach at the helm, some struggles were expected. This is one of the better Thanksgiving (eve) games each and every year. Look for Joey Salemme to have a big-time game as this will be the last time he suits up for the ‘Cats.
Kyle’s Take: Salemme needs 222 yards to break Edwin Esson’s school rushing record, but the Hawks have been one of the best run-stopping defenses in the league this season. Seymour was in great position to win this game last year, but Woodland’s defense came up with some big takeaways in the second half of that game. The Wildcats have underachieved this season, while the Hawks have lost four games which they either led or were tied in the fourth quarter. I’ll just take Woodland because I’m still mad about how flatly and softly the Wildcats came out against Ansonia.

Picks: Remmy- Seymour, 28-14. Kyle- Woodland, 14-13.

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