About the Team
Home Field: Ray Snyder Sr. Field at Municipal Stadium
Home Surface: Artificial turf
Class/Division: LL/NVL Copper
Head Coach: Chris Sarlo (ninth season, 19-63)
2013 Schedules: Varsity, JV, Freshman
2012 Results: 1-9 overall, 1-8 NVL, 0-6 NVL Copper
Returning Starters: Seven on offense, nine on defense (five two-way starters)
Other Players to Watch: “Senior captain Tim Lamadeleine will be starting his third straight year at offensive guard (2012 All-City); Senior captain Dashaun Abdul Lateef will be a key on offense, defense and special teams (2012 All-City); senior Larry Lock will call the plays offense at quarterback for the second consecutive year and play some free safety; junior Jake D’Alusio, a very intelligent leader, will be a vital part of the offense, playing split end for the second straight year; and a new player to our program, Bryan Garcia Medina, will be a significant contributor on all sides of the ball.”
Chat with Coach
NVL Blog: What can the NVL expect from the Kennedy Eagles this season?
Coach Sarlo: ”The NVL should expect the perpetually young Kennedy Eagles to compete through every quarter of their 11-game schedule.”
NVL Blog: What challenges do you face as a head coach in a city school versus some of the other NVL schools?
Coach Sarlo: ”As the head coach at JFK, I face the same challenges that coaches of many inner-city programs deal with every year. First of all, there is no such thing as homefield advantage at JFK. Tour our facilities, or lack thereof, and you will see what I mean. It would be nice to have our own home field. In that way, our program could be self-sufficient. This would also foster a sense of school pride at JFK where students and the school community care about the sports programs and attend more contests to support our student-athletes. The practice field in the back is also used for sub-varsity contests, but there are no other varsity sports played outside on the JFK campus. It is an awesome setting to view a sporting contest in the fall, but the field is unsafe for both practice and games. We also have one of the largest male student populations in the NVL and yet we struggle to attract 70 kids to play in our program. Since becoming the head coach of the football program, my staff and I tried to change the culture at Kennedy and it appeared as though we successfully accomplished this as we played in the NVL championship game in 2008. However, we have not been able to maintain the same level of interest that we created when we took over the program in 2005. As the varsity football head coach, I take full responsibility for why our program struggles and I will never allow our players to use any of our limitations as an excuse.”
NVL Blog: Is your current team aware of the trip to the NVL title game versus Ansonia few years ago? Is it used to motivate your team to try and get it back to that level?
Coach Sarlo: “Last year’s seniors were freshmen during that division championship season and they were on the sidelines for that game. Since 2008, I have showed our players the runner-up trophy at the start of each preseason to give them the physical evidence that I hope will convince them to set their goals high and prepare to do what is necessary to return to the NVL championship one day. I remind them that we are the only public high school in Waterbury to play in the NVL championship game in its current format. We were there once and we can get there again. We graduated 21 seniors that year and so I tell the freshmen to work hard on and off the field. I urge them to stay together and play football through all four years at Kennedy and they will do great things at the varsity level by the time they are seniors.”
The Eagles begin the season Sept. 12 against Wilby at Municipal Stadium.