Jul 132014
 

A benefit dinner for Dennis Gleason, the former athletic director at Ansonia and Wolcott, is planned for July 21 to help Dennis and his family as they cope with his diagnosis of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease). All the pertinent information is below. We wish the very best to the Gleason family.

gleason dinner

One other note: We’ll be on a short hiatus here on the NVL Football Blog as we decide the future of this website. Kyle started a full-time position with the Republican-American this month and Remmy is busy with a change in his schedule, as well. Don’t worry, there will still be a blog come the preseason — we just may be reconfiguring things a little bit. Hopefully we’ll have some more information in the coming weeks.

 

Jun 302014
 
Naugatuck's Veterans Field turf will be the home of the first NVL passing league. (Credit: Kyle Brennan)

Naugatuck’s Veterans Field turf will be the home of the first NVL passing league. (Credit: Kyle Brennan)

We’ve got the schedule for the first NVL passing league, which will be held throughout July at Naugatuck’s Veterans Field. Unfortunately only five teams signed on to play in the league, but it’s a start.

Tuesday, July 1
Naugatuck vs. Oxford (6 p.m., Field 1)
Watertown vs. Derby (6 p.m., Field 2)
Seymour vs. Naugatuck (7 p.m., Field 1)

Tuesday, July 8
Naugatuck vs. Watertown (6 p.m., Field 1)
Oxford vs. Derby (6 p.m., Field 2)
Seymour vs. Oxford (7 p.m., Field 1)

Tuesday, July 15
Naugatuck vs. Derby (6 p.m., Field 1)
Watertown vs. Oxford (6 p.m., Field 2)
Seymour vs. Watertown (7 p.m., Field 1)

Tuesday, July 22
Naugatuck vs. Oxford (6 p.m., Field 1)
Watertown vs. Derby (6 p.m., Field 2)
Seymour vs. Derby (7 p.m., Field 1)

Tuesday, July 29
Naugatuck vs. Watertown (6 p.m., Field 1)
Oxford vs. Derby (6 p.m., Field 2)
Seymour vs. Naugatuck (7 p.m., Field 1)

We’ll make it out to these games when we can, and you’re also invited. The original plan also called for playoffs and a separate tournament in August, so hopefully those come to fruition.

We also want to send our condolences to the family and friends of Joe Deptula. Joe was a good friend of this blog and father to Joey and Ben, and he passed away last Saturday after battling an illness. Joe played football at Derby High and coached around the NVL, including stops at Seymour and Torrington, and we very much enjoyed getting to know him in recent years.

Calling hours will be Wednesday, July 2, from 4-8 p.m. at the Adzima Funeral Home (253 Elizabeth St., Derby) and a funeral will be held Thursday, July 3, at 11 a.m. at St. Michael’s Church (25 Maple Ave., Beacon Falls). In Joe’s memory, memorial contributions may be made to the Joseph V. Deptula III Scholarship Fund to benefit a graduating senior from the Seymour football program.

Jun 182014
 
Tim Phipps. (Credit: Rachael Morin)

Tim Phipps. (Credit: Rachael Morin)

Longtime Woodland assistant coach Tim Phipps finally earned his first head coaching job this week when he was chosen as the Hawks’ new head man. He succeeds Tim Shea, who resigned last month to become the offensive line coach at Post University.

Phipps is a 39-year-old history teacher at Woodland and is the last remaining coach from Chris Anderson’s original staff in 2001. Phipps is a 1993 graduate of Ansonia High and spent two years as a volunteer coach under Jack Hunt before joining the Hawks as the quarterbacks coach from 2001-07. Phipps has been the offensive coordinator since 2008, and he said he will continue to call Woodland’s plays as head coach.

In January 2013, Phipps was the other finalist with Craig Bruno for Naugatuck’s job. Phipps has been interviewing for head jobs since 2009, and he said the times he struck out prepared him for the Woodland interview.

“I couldn’t take anything for granted,” Phipps said. “I started interviewing for head jobs in 2009, and the big thing is that you have to be as meticulous in your planning as you would be for any opponent. That helped me out, especially with the interview for this job.”

Phipps and Anderson were expected to be the top contenders for the Woodland job. A source said Anderson pulled out of the running earlier this month, leaving Phipps as the obvious choice. He has been part of every game in school history.

“On one hand, it’s a surreal moment for me,” Phipps said. “But on the other, I’m very happy. I can’t believe it’s happened to me, but I’ve recognized what’s going on. I know it’s very rare to be able to teach and coach in the same school. I’ve been here since 2001, and this is home to me. I’m living a dream right now, but I’m wide awake to the responsibilities that I’m going to have.”

Phipps’ assistant position will be posted by the school in the upcoming days. He said Chris Moffo will remain as the defensive coordinator and Cody Kingsley will still be the special teams coordinator.

Woodland held its spring game last Friday. Phipps presided over the spring practice session and said there is a quarterback competition between Pat Hale and Mike Kenney, while running back Sean McAllen is set for his junior season. Coby Vaccarelli is rehabbing from his second ACL surgery, and wide receivers Joe Poeta and Dylan Abarzua will return for their senior seasons. In addition, the team will bring back four starting linemen.

“I’m thrilled to death with our offensive line,” Phipps said. “I think it’s rare when you find a group of kids who love being linemen, and that’s what we have right now. Jake Laliberte and Max McSperrin have started for three years, and Alex Varhol and Will Flormann are two-year starters.”

More thoughts from Phipps from the Rep-Am, GameTime CT and WRHS Media.

thomas-jefferson-spartans-cSacred Heart, Kaynor Tech to Co-op: There was good news out of Waterbury last month when Sacred Heart and Kaynor Tech officially teamed up for a football co-op starting in the 2014 season. If not for the co-op, it appeared unlikely that the Hearts would have been able to field a team.

Sacred Heart went 0-11 last year with a roster that hovered around 20 players for much of the season. Head coach Cortez Johnson, who is entering his third season with the Hearts, invited any students at Sacred Heart or Kaynor Tech to email him at cortj07@yahoo.com if they are interested in joining the team. The team’s fall practices will begin Aug. 14.

Schedules Officially Released: We posted a few months ago the skeleton schedules for the 2014 season, but the CIAC released the official schedules — complete with dates and times — earlier this month. We’ll get our blog updated all over the place soon, but here are the links to each team’s schedule. It will be another 11-game regular season for most squads.

Ansonia | Crosby | Derby | Holy Cross | Kennedy | Naugatuck | Oxford | Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech | Seymour | St. Paul | Torrington | Watertown | Wilby | Wolcott | Woodland

Remember, the NVL will split into three divisions with no league championship game next season. It’s still not completely clear how the league will crown a champion in 2014 — we’ll get on that soon. Here’s the divisional layout.

Brass Division: Crosby, Holy Cross, Kennedy, Sacred Heart/Kaynor Tech, Wilby
Copper Division: Ansonia, Derby, Oxford, Seymour, St. Paul
Iron Division: Naugatuck, Torrington, Watertown, Wolcott, Woodland

Fall Practice Start Dates: We totally missed the spring football season that we usually cover — sorry about that. If it makes you feel any better, here’s a list of when each school can start practice at the end of the summer.

Aug. 14: Crosby, Holy Cross, Sacred Heart-Kaynor Tech, Torrington, Watertown
Aug. 19: Ansonia, Derby, Kennedy, Naugatuck, Oxford, Seymour, St. Paul, Wilby, Wolcott, Woodland

NVL Summer Passing League: We just heard from Naugatuck coach Craig Bruno and the NVL summer passing league will indeed start its first season in July. He’s working on the schedule now and will send it along to us when it’s complete. Games will be Tuesday nights at Naugatuck High throughout the summer, and you’re more than welcome to come watch.

17 NVLers in All-Star Game: Seventeen players from the area were selected to play in the 2014 CHSCA Super-100 Senior All-Star Game this summer. The game will be Saturday, June 28, at 4:30 p.m. at Rentschler Field. Team Nutmeg will be led by Sheehan’s John Ferrazzi and Team Constitution will be led by Xavier’s Sean Marinan. The 17 NVL players selected is up from 10 last year.

Six NVL players were selected among the top 30 in the draft. They included Ansonia’s Antone Mack (sixth), Naugatuck’s Ryne Griesenauer (11th), Woodland’s Levi Fancher (13th), St. Paul’s Logan Marchi (17th), Woodland’s Alik Bures (19th) and Crosby’s Myles Goulbourne (30th). The NVL players on each roster are below; you can see the full rosters here.

Team Nutmeg: Alik Bures (OL, Woodland), Levi Fancher (LB, Woodland), Richard Gatling (OL, Crosby), Ryne Griesenauer (WR, Naugatuck), Chris Herrera (LB, Crosby), Desmond Langs (WR, Torrington), Reid Morin (WR, St. Paul), Adam Santopietro (WR, Wolcott), Zach Sirowich (DL, Seymour), Chris Slavin (LB, Woodland), Curtis Wickline (OL, Holy Cross)

Team Constitution: Bryan Ballenilla (DL, Wilby), Myles Goulbourne (WR, Crosby), Antone Mack (OL, Ansonia), Jacob Thomas (DB, Wilby), Trai Weaver (WR, Holy Cross), Parris Wolfe (WR, Sacred Heart)

May 022014
 
Tim Shea (Credit: Rachael Morin)

Tim Shea (Credit: Rachael Morin)

Tim Shea resigned Friday as the head coach at Woodland, leaving to pursue other opportunities.

Shea, the second head coach in school history, led the Hawks from 2008-13. His teams reached the Class S playoffs in three of the last four seasons, including an appearance in the Class S championship game last year. Woodland also won the last two NVL Copper Division championships under Shea.

Shea leaves Woodland with a career record of 44-25. Last year’s 12-3 squad tied the school record for wins. He joined Woodland’s staff in 2002, the Hawks’ first varsity season, as a defensive coach under Chris Anderson. Shea coordinated Woodland’s defense in 2004, which pitched seven shutouts to tie an NVL record, en route to the NVL and Class SS titles. The Hawks repeated both titles in 2005. Shea played and coached under Craig Peters at Naugatuck.

In a text message Friday afternoon, Shea said: “I am taking on a new opportunity. After 12 years in the football program, I’ve decided to move on.”

We will have more from Shea in the coming days. He recently applied for the vacant Newington job but did not get the position. Shea currently lives in Plainville.

Now, all eyes will turn to Woodland’s coaching search. The early favorite figures to be offensive coordinator Tim Phipps, who is the only member of the Hawks’ staff to be with the team from the school’s opening. Phipps is a history teacher at Woodland and was a finalist for the Naugatuck job last year.

Former coach Chris Anderson could also be interested in the job. He took off last season after several years at the University of New Haven, and his son is currently a fourth-grader in Region 16.

Woodland was set to hold spring practice beginning in early June, but that could change without a head coach in place. The position has not yet been posted on the CIAC website or on the Region 16 website.

Apr 142014
 

It looks like we’ve turned the page of winter, so welcome to spring on the NVL Football Blog. Everybody’s been complaining about this being a slow offseason, but what are we going to do? There hasn’t been that much going on around here, with only one head coaching change and not much news elsewhere. There are a few things worthy of updating, though, so here goes.

NVL Sends 17 to Senior All-Star Game

Seventeen players from the area were selected to play in the 2014 CHSCA Super-100 Senior All-Star Game this summer. The game will be Saturday, June 28, at 4:30 p.m. at Rentschler Field. Team Nutmeg will be led by Sheehan’s John Ferrazzi and Team Constitution will be led by Xavier’s Sean Marinan. Players tried out at a combine last month and were drafted last week. The 17 NVL players selected is up from 10 last year. Six NVL players were selected among the top 30 in the draft. They included Ansonia’s Antone Mack (sixth), Naugatuck’s Ryne Griesenauer (11th), Woodland’s Levi Fancher (13th), St. Paul’s Logan Marchi (17th), Woodland’s Alik Bures (19th) and Crosby’s Myles Goulbourne (30th). The NVL players on each roster are below; you can see the full rosters here. Team Nutmeg: Alik Bures (OL, Woodland), Levi Fancher (LB, Woodland), Richard Gatling (OL, Crosby), Ryne Griesenauer (WR, Naugatuck), Chris Herrera (LB, Crosby), Desmond Langs (WR, Torrington), Reid Morin (WR, St. Paul), Adam Santopietro (WR, Wolcott), Zach Sirowich (DL, Seymour), Chris Slavin (LB, Woodland), Curtis Wickline (OL, Holy Cross) Team Constitution: Bryan Ballenilla (DL, Wilby), Myles Goulbourne (WR, Crosby), Antone Mack (OL, Ansonia), Jacob Thomas (DB, Wilby), Trai Weaver (WR, Holy Cross), Parris Wolfe (WR, Sacred Heart)

Northeast Football Showcase Set for May 10

Players interested in attending an upcoming collegiate showcase should check out the Northeast Football Showcase, which is coming up May 10 at Cheshire High. The event says it usually attracts more than 35 colleges and prep schools and will be run by a staff of Connecticut high school football coaches, including Hand’s Steve Filippone and Berlin’s John Capodice. Check out the showcase’s website here for more information. Registration is $115 per player and the deadline is May 2. Each participant will receive a 3-5-minute video of his workout as well as information on recruiting to use for the future.

Valley Dodgeball Classic Registration

Valley Dodgeball Classic logo 2014Kyle is among the organizers for the upcoming Valley Dodgeball Classic, which will be an all-day charity event May 31 at Woodland to benefit three organizations. The event is hoping to attract two dozen teams, including several high school football teams to square off against each other with the winning team getting special recognition right here. Anybody wishing to captain a team can visit the event’s official website here for registration information. The entry fee is $20 per player, and the deadline is still about a month off. A free lunch and T-shirt is included with participation. (Coaches are more than welcome to play, too.) Get in touch with Kyle if you have any questions.

NVL Summer Passing League

Naugatuck coach Craig Bruno is forming the first NVL passing league set to play this summer. The league will be open to all NVL teams (no word on whether other teams will be allowed in) and will run Tuesday nights in July and early August. It will be a traditional 7-on-7 style with weekly results and a playoff in the final week. Bruno also plans on holding the first NVL Invitational 7-on-7 tournament Saturday, Aug. 2. Fees for the events will be $225 for the league and $125 for the tournament. Everything will be held at the Veterans Field turf at Naugatuck High. Hopefully we get plenty of schools involved in this league, because we miss you during the summer and would really like to see you sooner than later.