Jun 052015
 

Howdy, everyone! We’re back. We hope you all enjoyed a quiet offseason, because now it’s over.

Let’s see if we can recap what we’ve missed. It hasn’t been a ton, but it’s been enough, especially with the latest news.

Chris Anderson back at Woodland

Chris Anderson

Chris Anderson

Woodland chose its first head coach, Chris Anderson, to become its new head coach Thursday, two weeks after Tim Phipps resigned following one season to become the head man at the Hopkins School in New Haven.

Anderson built the Hawks’ program from the school’s opening in 2001 through the 2007 season, after which he left to be an assistant at the University of New Haven for five seasons. He has not coached in the last two seasons, but he was a finalist for Woodland’s job last spring before pulling out. He’s been a frequent guest on the sidelines at Woodland games since he left, especially over the last two years.

The Hawks went 49-21 (.700) under Anderson as a varsity squad from 2002-07 and were 46-13 (.780) as members of the NVL from 2003-07. Woodland won three division titles (2004-05, 2007), two NVL titles (2004-05) and two Class SS state titles (2004-05) during his tenure.

Anderson was an assistant coach at Shelton from 1995-2000, during which time he mentored quarterback Dan Orlovsky, and previously was an All-State defensive back at Derby High in the late 1980s.

Woodland will begin spring practice June 9 and conduct its intrasquad scrimmage June 18.

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Feb 122015
 

nvl football blog logoHowdy, friends! We’re back. We apologize for being away for so long. To be honest, we needed a couple of months after enduring that season.

There are a bunch of things to catch up with — good job by some of our favorite commenters in doing some of that on their own — so let’s start a list and see what we can remember.

  • The New Haven Register released its 83rd All-State teams. Click on the respective links for the offense, defense and everyone else. Local honorees included Ansonia LB Tyler Bailey (First-Team Defense), Naugatuck WR Bryan Coney (Second-Team Offense) and 17 others on the honorable mention list.
  • The Connecticut High School Coaches Association was the first group to release its All-State squads. Click on the respective links for the First Team, Class LL, Class L, Class M and Class S. Local honorees included Ansonia LB Tyler Bailey (First Team), Naugatuck QB Jason Bradley (Class L), Wolcott QB Vincent Gambino (Class M), Ansonia RB Tajik Bagley (Class S), Derby WR Ben Slowik (Class S), Woodland OL Jake Laliberte (Class S), Seymour OL C.J. Falcioni (Class S), Holy Cross OL Mike Gugliotti (Class S), Holy Cross DE Gerron Pendarvis (Class S), Ansonia DL Larry Cafaro (Class S), Derby LB Ricky Bartone (Class S), and Ansonia DB Jai’Quan McKnight (Class S).

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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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