Oct 152012

‘Tis the season for parent-teacher conferences at our local high schools. Since both of us are technically qualified to be (substitute) teachers with our bachelor’s degrees, we figured we would issue our own report cards for each of the league’s teams at the midway point. Then, like any good teacher, we have a few extras at the bottom.

Ansonia Chargers: Everything’s been just fine for Ansonia. Arkeel Newsome doesn’t have the numbers everyone thought he would have at this point, but the Chargers haven’t needed him. Their defense looks as good as it did last year and they’ve added a passing game. They’ll be favored until someone beats them, which may not happen in 2012.
Grades: Kyle- A. Remmy- A.

Crosby Bulldogs: There’s no doubt that there are athletes on the field for Crosby but its defense has been far too poor and its offense has turned over the ball way too much to be in any sort of contention. Roshawn Gainey has played well at running back but he’s been the only one putting up solid stats. As usual, the countdown to the hardwood has already begun.
Grades: Kyle- D. Remmy- C-.

Derby Red Raiders: A list of the NVL’s pleasant surprises has to include Derby, who is 4-1 with its only loss coming to Ansonia. The Raiders also beat Naugatuck, who is one of the league’s hottest teams. Michael Kreiger has been fairly mistake-free, Dillon McMahon has made big plays and everyone else is scrapping together a good year so far.
Grades: Kyle- A-. Remmy- B+.

Holy Cross Crusaders: It’s been a disappointing five weeks for the Crusaders. They have lots of work to do after their struggling offense dug a hole. But there are signs of improvement, particularly when Isaiah Wright and Adrian Brown are on the field together. Plus, Cross’ defense is pretty good and played Ansonia as well as we’ve seen in years.
Grades: Kyle- B-. Remmy- B-.

Kennedy Eagles: The Eagles have one of the youngest teams in the league and it has shown so far. With about a half-dozen sophomores starting on each side of the ball, Kennedy has struggled against some of the league’s better teams (Wolcott, Woodland, Holy Cross). Davon Humbles has definitely been a bright spot for the Eagles.
Grades: Kyle- D. Remmy- D.

Naugatuck Greyhounds: For a team that many thought would struggle to hit the .500 mark with everything that happened in the preseason, Naugy has been fantastic. It was about a play away from being 5-0 right now, and has an explosive offense and a strong front seven. Mick Pernell has been the most prolific player in the NVL through five weeks.
Grades: Kyle- A. Remmy- B.

Sacred Heart Hearts: The Hearts are 2-3 through the first five games, and all three losses came without the services of David Coggins, Javon Martin and Xavier Woods. Now that they’re back, Sacred Heart has a good shot to finish .500 or better. Those guys make as big a difference on defense as they do on offense and are looking to prove themselves again.
Grades: Kyle- C. Remmy- C.

Seymour Wildcats: A soft-as-can-be first three weeks helped the Wildcats to a 3-0 start. They got a taste of two of the league’s best teams over the past two weeks and crashed back to earth. Mike Conlan and Jim Vartelas are good players but Seymour’s defense has not been able to stand up to the better offenses they’ve faced.
Grades: Kyle- C+. Remmy- C.

St. Paul Falcons: The Falcons’ offensive numbers look pretty but they’ve yet to record the only statistic that matters. There’s no doubt that Logan Marchi is one of the best quarterbacks in the league but there’s also no doubt that St. Paul’s defense is one of the worst in the state. The Falcons allow 58.8 points per game with a season-low of 54.
Grades: Kyle- D-. Remmy- D-.

Torrington Red Raiders: The most enigmatic NVL team over the last few years has upheld its reputation this season. The Raiders lost a 20-point lead at Wolcott and followed it up with an upset win over Holy Cross. Then, with their Copper Division destiny in their hands, they laid an egg against Naugy. They need some rhythm on both sides.
Grades: Kyle- C+. Remmy- C.

Watertown Indians: It’s tough to find a more disappointing NVL team than Watertown. We thought with the speed the Indians had on offense they would at least be a competitive team. That hasn’t been the case. The lack of consistent quarterback play has really hurt although the running game has been OK. Maybe they’ll have another second-half run.
Grades: Kyle- D. Remmy- D.

Wilby Wildcats: The Wildcats looked like they were trending upwards after an early-season, two-game winning streak. But their defense has been lit up by a pair of good offenses in Derby and Wolcott and Wilby has sunk back to 2-3. Still, Gino Capuano has done a nice job in his first year on short notice. They have a shot at .500.
Grades: Kyle- C-. Remmy- C-.

Wolcott Eagles: A 5-0 record speaks for itself. Mike Nicol has been as good as anyone in the league and his most recent performance–a 245-yard, five-touchdown rushing effort with a passing score to boot–is good proof. He’s shown plenty of passing ability, too, and the game plans have been sound. But Wolcott’s toughest games are yet to come.
Grades: Kyle- A. Remmy- A.

Woodland Hawks: The Hawks have beaten up on three bad teams (to the tune of 147-28) but looked bad against Ansonia (although they were shorthanded). Nobody is crowning Woodland yet because the beef of its schedule starts this week and lasts the rest of the season. But the Hawks have an underrated running game and a great quarterback.
Grades: Kyle- B+. Remmy- B+.

The only way to appeal these grades is to do better in the second half of the season. We’re tough teachers.

Quickly, here’s a few quick hits and how we think the second half will play out:

Biggest Surprise
Remmy: Ansonia has been a surprise the way it has been able to pummel its opponents. Wolcott looks like the second-best team in the league based on its first-half performance. Still many games to be played so we can’t rule out contenders like Woodland, Naugatuck and Holy Cross. Derby may make the playoffs this year. How cool would that be? What a job thus far by all three staffs atop the Brass Division.
Kyle: Both Naugatuck and Derby have exceeded my expectations for their entire seasons within the first five games. I picked them both to be 3-7 because I didn’t think their many young guys would be as productive as they have been. A pair of sophomore quarterbacks have been great leaders so far and they both have underrated defenses. Playoffs runs are definitely in play.

Biggest Disappointment
Remmy: Watertown
and Torrington are my biggest disappointments. Torrington had a big win over Holy Cross. But between injuries and suspensions, it doesn’t look like this team will get back on track. Watertown’s season is practically over with its four losses. I was expecting a lot more from both squads in the first half. There is still time for Torrington to turn it around, though.
Kyle: It’s pretty hard to separate St. Paul and Watertown in my disappointment category. The Falcons have a good offense but, my goodness, that defense is awful. If it was at least serviceable they might be able to win a few games. The Indians’ offense, on the other hand, is almost as bad as St. Paul’s defense. They just can’t move the ball with any consistency despite their speed. Holy Cross also gets a shout-out here. 3-2 is not where a team with the talent of the Crusaders should be off a state championship year.

First-Half MVP
Remmy: Mike Nicol, Wolcott. Simply put, Wolcott would be 0-5 without No. 11. This kid is Mr. Everything. The Eagles would not be having such a great year without Nicol at the helm. Nicol has accounted for 23 total touchdowns, has thrown for close to 700 yards and has rushed for close to 600. And he hits hard on defense.
Kyle: Mick Pernell, Naugatuck. I figured Pernell would be a solid running back for the Greyhounds but I didn’t think he could be a four-touchdowns-a-night player. I was wrong. He has been the most explosive player in the league and is the driving force behind Naugy’s explosive offense. He’s excellent on defense and special teams, too.

Re-Adjusted NVL Championship Matchup
Remmy: Ansonia def. Naugatuck. See you at Jarvis Stadium!
Kyle: Ansonia def. Naugatuck. Naugy’s defense has an edge over Woodland’s right now.

Playoff Teams
Remmy: Class LL- Naugatuck. Class M- Wolcott. Class S- Ansonia, Derby.
Kyle: Class M- Wolcott. Class S- Ansonia.

Based on how the playoff classes are shaking out right now, here’s what record Kyle thinks each team needs to make their fields:

  • Ansonia: 9-1 (8-2 probably would be enough, too, but risky)
  • Derby: 9-1 (8-2 possibly, but would need to beat Shelton for points)
  • Naugatuck: 9-1 (8-2 probably not enough in a stacked Class LL)
  • Wolcott: 8-2 (7-3 also possible with the big lead it currently has)
  • Woodland: 8-1 (nine-game schedule puts the Hawks behind the 8-ball)

Okey dokey. Hit us with your grades!

  11 Responses to “Midseason Report Card”

  1. Doing mine based on talent level vs performance level on team.
    Ansonia TL A Performance A
    Crosby TL C Performance C
    Derby TL B Performance A
    HC TL A Performance B
    KennedyTL C Performance C+
    Naugy TL B Performance A
    SH TL D(until now) Performance B
    Seymour TL C Performance B
    St Paul TL D Performance D
    TorringtonTL B Performance C
    Watertown TL B Performance D
    Wolcott TL B+ Performance A
    WoodlandTL B+ Performance INCOMPLETE 1 legit game so far

  2. Steve Sanders

    I agree with most of the grades except for Holy Cross and Naugy. These two teams get C- based on the fact that they both lost to teams that most of the pundants expected them to win. I am not giving Holy Cross a passing grade cause they lost to Ansonia by 28, they also only beat Watertown by 15 if my memory serves me right. Naugy is LL as Remmy informed me of yesterday and that loss to Derby is disappointing to say the least. Woodland also get a C+ played one team and failed to show up.

  3. My mid term grades:

    Naugy: B+ (they’re handling the off season adversity well)
    Holy Cross: C+ (post championship complacency?)
    Woodland: B+,(one of the more consistent teams in league)
    Torrington: C+ (kids are still not buying in to that program)
    Wilby B: (same comment as Naugy above)
    Derby: A (staff is making chicken salad out of chicken sh…. aw, you know)
    Wolcott: A (Russo changed culture there, but this staff is really getting it done)
    Ansonia: A+ (great players + great staff + great support = excellence)
    Seymour: C (young team taking their lumps, will pay off in near future)
    Watertown: D (program is a sleeping giant, will they ever wake up?)
    Sacred Heart: C (this team has most potential to improve this season)
    Crosby: D (this program hasnt been the same since 2008)
    Kennedy: C (I admire Coach Sarlo’s perserverence)
    St. Paul: F (they need to do a better job recruiting supporting cast for qb)

  4. Naugatuck: B: They have done a nice job dealing with the off the field issues. I am still amazed that the largest school in the NVL EVER loses a game.

    Holy Cross: C+: The Torrington loss was very disappointing. Tough play against AHS was a good showing.

    Woodland: B+: The tough part of their schedule is coming…..

    Torrington: C+: Tough to grade this team but blowing a BIG lead against Wolcott was Not good.

    Wilby B: Considering their coach screwed them 12 days before camp started they are not doing that bad with a freshman coach running the program.

    Derby: A: This staff has done a great job. BIG test coming up this week against the Wolcott Nicols…..I mean Eagles.

    Wolcott: A: Pace and company have this thing going in the right direction….I see 9-1 in the future and a spot in the Class M Finals.

    Ansonia: A+: See Fisherman’s comments.

    Seymour: C: This team showed some signs of life early but fell off against REAL competition. They will be competitive and better NEXT year

    Watertown: F-: This program is a JOKE. Time for a COMPLETE overhaul. Get rid of everybody on the staff and start over.

    Sacred Heart: C: New coach late in the season and transfer drama….they will improve with Coggins and Martin

    Crosby: F: Beating St. Paul is nothing to brag about. They will go 2-8 (Beating Kennedy). This staff is awful.

    Kennedy: F: I don’t admire anything this guy Sarlo does. His program is despicable. He’s been there for a while now. Time to make a change…Bring back Begnal.

    St. Paul: F: Wonder if Marchi is second guessing his decision to go there. St. Jude, Can you please hire a DC???

  5. Naugy: A-
    Tough, close loss on the road at 4-1 Derby away from being undefeated after the most tumultuous offseason imaginable. They might have the conference’s second best player with Pernell too

    Holy Cross: B-
    Let’s not all jump ship yet. They lost to Torrington in a major “you-can’t-do-that” loss, but that’s really the only time HC has looked weak. They have beaten the rest of the teams they were supposed to handedly, and looked better than anyone else playing Ansonia

    Woodland: A-
    I’m one of this team’s biggest fans. Great QB with lots of talent at WR and DB, fast physical front. Hung in there for a little against Ansonia before being out-athleted and overpowered, but have stuck it to every other team they’ve played. Obviously unproven, we’ll find out more starting this week.

    Torrington: C-
    Coaches losing control over program and kids underperforming. Have the ability to beat teams like Holy Cross but come back and lose decisively to Naugatuck. Not competitive against Ansonia, folded against Wolcott. Even St Paul hung in there for a while

    Wilby C+
    Expecting a little more from this team coming into the season but tough to sustain success with rocky summer this team had. Team speed is a plus, but need more players.

    Derby: A
    Any other ranking would be downplaying this sort of feel-good story. Only loss to Ansonia, huge win over Naugatuck who people are saying is the hottest team in the conference, starting a sophomore QB. Great job by the coaching staff there.

    Wolcott: A
    Comeback win over Torrington crucial. Big game this week against Derby. Team has one of the better run/pass option QBs with Nicol and a good coaching staff there as well. Can’t challenge Ansonia though

    Ansonia: A+

    Seymour: C+
    Good start then brought down to Earth by Wolcott and haven’t played well since.

    Watertown: D-
    Simply cannot score. Almost funny how they’re the opposite of St. Paul. Verroneau has got to find a way to get something going offensively and move the football. Defense overlooked, actually very good.

    Sacred Heart: C+
    Weird team to give a grade to. Will be a big spoiler going forward with the return of their suspended players, but were absolutely awful without them.

    Crosby: D
    One of the most exciting games of the year in the NVL was actually their 56-49 win over St. Paul. But that’s about the least impressive win anyone in the state could have. They have nothing offensively and not much more defensively.

    Kennedy: C-
    Actually have a running game and some talent. Second worst team in the conference, though.

    St. Paul: F Just brutal. Defense definition of incompetent. Not sure if it’s a message/system that’s not getting across (interesting staff with young coaches and Jude Kelly and his veteran staff maybe not being cohesive), or just not having players able to compete. Either way, team needs to find a way to be competitive, find a new conference, or watch their star QB walk and play somewhere else

  6. Man, I wish I had you guys as teachers in school, Rem & Kyle you’re too nice.
    In my opinion, if you aren’t undefeated you can’t get an A! You played 5 games, each worth 20 points if you’re scoring 100!
    A’s- Ansonia & Wolcott
    B’s- Derby
    C’s- Naugy, Woodland, Holy Cross, Seymour
    I won’t grade after that but I’ll comment a little-
    Torrington should be better, Kennedy needs to have a staff that doesn’t need to be called by the AD on the 2nd day of the season to tell them they can practice, Crosby/Wilby have athletes they need to get more out of them, Sacred Heart was in tough spot this year with all the drama, Watertown got preseason hype for what?? and St. Paul is just not good. That’s what I see.