It was a very bad weekend for the Naugatuck Valley League. It’s probably not a stretch to say it was the worst weekend in the 83-year history of NVL football.
The South-West Conference obliterated the NVL in the Week 6 crossover schedule. Eleven matchups went to SWC teams; only Naugatuck’s destruction of Joel Barlow went into the Valley’s win column — one of many jokes swinging around in the social media sphere was that the NVL needed an SWC guy in Craig Bruno to gain that win. The two-year final score in the NVL-SWC Challenge was 19-7 in favor of the Fairfield County guys.
Several coaches felt embarrassment for the NVL in the immediate aftermath of the weekend’s chaos. It’s pretty easy to see why. The NVL did as much last weekend to further the Non-Violent League moniker than anytime pretty much ever. Four NVL teams with winning records — Holy Cross, Torrington, Crosby and Kennedy — lost to SWC teams with losing records. Woodland, a reigning state runner-up, only managed a touchdown at home against a Weston team that is among the lower half of the SWC. Seymour got shut out on its home field against a Bethel team that had recently posted a 42-0 loss.
And, of course, the Newtown ended The Streak.
We’re going to try a little bit to pick up the pieces. We like the coaches and players in the NVL, but we can’t shy away from what was just a horrible performance across the board. As one Twitter user said over the weekend, “You (guys) put in work for the blog. It is really the best in CT. But for god’s sake, these teams don’t show up for you.” So let’s face it — we’re almost as embarrassed as it seems the coaches were.
Remmy’s Reaction: I’m not sure I really have a reaction. It’s more of a shock to me that the NVL played so poorly against the SWC when I thought each NVL team would give its best shot (who knows? Maybe they did) when it finally had a shot to play out of conference. I can’t get over the fact that most teams got throttled.
Kyle’s Reaction: I’m glad some coaches texted me with the word “embarrassing” before I went ahead and put it out there myself, so clearly most folks are on the same page here. It’s just a shame. The NVL-SWC Challenge is a great thing. This year we got a few awesome games — Ansonia-Newtown and Holy Cross-Pomperaug top the list — and they were closer across the board than they were in 2013. But jeez, the physicality that marked pretty much every legitimate NVL team during the league’s glory days doesn’t seem to exist much except for a team or two. I’ve always put the NVL and SWC on equal planes, but for the time being, it’s pretty much impossible to do that. I don’t know what the problem is. There are depth issues all over the state, so that cannot be a legitimate argument. I’m sure kids are trying hard, and I know the coaches are well respected by their peers. But man, if this week didn’t cause for some self-examination, I don’t know what will.
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