SCC Football 2014: North Haven preview

Cole Pecora, shown here running the ball against New Canaan last season, is one of three captains this season.  John Vanacore/For the Register

Cole Pecora, shown here running the ball against New Canaan last season, is one of three captains this season.
John Vanacore/For the Register

North Haven 100px

Vitals

  • Coach: Tony Sagnella (18th year)
  • Conference: SCC Division II East
  • Playoff Class: L (599 boys enrollment)
  • Home: Vanacore Field, North Haven
  • 2013 Record: 10-3 (SCC DII East Champions,Class L semifinalists)
  • 2014 Kickoff: Bridgeport Central, Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
  • Captains: Joe Corniello, Tom Gallagher, Cole Pecora
  • Team websites: MaxPreps page

Top players

Key losses

Ethan Suraci, FB (Register All-Area/State Selection); Pat Mikos, LB; John Tondalo, OL (NHR All-Area); Mike Siwek, OL/DL; Austin Mahon, OL/DL; Mike Halloran, QB/LB (All-Area pick); Fred Sanchez, CB; Alex Baglioni, TE; Zach Kastenhuber, TE/DL/LB (transferred to Choate).

Outlook

The Indians suffered heavy graduation losses.  Suraci (175 carries, 1,205 yards, 22 touchdowns) and Halloran (164 carries, 911 yards, 11 TDs) were key components in North Haven’s single-wing attack and both contributed on defense as well. The senior-laden group led the Indians to the program’s first playoff victory when North Haven defeated Platt in the Class L state quarterfinals.

The Indians may be hard-pressed to duplicate last season’ success but there is talent returning. Sagnella says his team is athletic, but inexperienced in many positions.

The return of Pecora and Montano give North Haven a solid, 1-2 punch in the backfield, but the offensive line is inexperienced and will need time to gel. Pecora rushed 104 times for 902 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Montano gained 768 yards on 112 carries and seven touchdowns. Imperati caught six passes for 166 yards and one score as a sophomore. North Haven completed just 38 passes last season. Don’t expect that number to increase significantly this season. The Indians rely on their ground game to control the clock and tempo.

Pecora (61 tackles), Gallagher (47 tackles, two sacks) and Imperati (two interceptions) all saw action on defense last season and should see their roles expanded this season.

2014 Schedule

Sept. 11 — Bridgeport Central, 6 p.m.
Sept. 19 — at Xavier, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 — East Haven, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — Daniel Hand, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 — at Sheehan, 6 p.m.
Oct. 17 — Branford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 — at Guilford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 30 — Hillhouse, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 — at Foran, 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 — at Darien, 1 p.m.
Nov. 27 — Amity, 10:30 a.m.

 

  • Coach: Tony Sagnella (18th year)
  • Conference: SCC Division II East
  • Playoff Class: L (599 boys enrollment)
  • Home: Vanacore Field, North Haven
  • 2013 Record: 10-3 (SCC DII East Champions, Class L semifinalists)
  • 2014 Kickoff: Bridgeport Central, Sept. 11, 6 p.m.
  • Captains: Joe Corniello, Tom Gallagher, Cole Pecora

Top players

Key losses

Ethan Suraci, FB (Register All-Area/State Selection); Pat Mikos, LB; John Tondalo, OL (NHR All-Area); Mike Siwek, OL/DL; Austin Mahon, OL/DL; Mike Halloran, QB/LB (All-Area pick); Fred Sanchez, CB; Alex Baglioni, TE; Zach Kastenhuber, TE/DL/LB (transferred to Choate).

Outlook

The Indians suffered heavy graduation losses.  Suraci (175 carries, 1,205 yards, 22 touchdowns) and Halloran (164 carries, 911 yards, 11 TDs) were key components in North Haven’s single-wing attack and both contributed on defense as well. The senior-laden group led the Indians to the program’s first playoff victory when North Haven defeated Platt in the Class L state quarterfinals.

The Indians may be hard-pressed to duplicate last season’ success but there is talent returning. Sagnella says his team is athletic, but inexperienced in many positions.

The return of Pecora and Montano give North Haven a solid, 1-2 punch in the backfield, but the offensive line is inexperienced and will need time to gel. Pecora rushed 104 times for 902 yards and eight touchdowns last season. Montano gained 768 yards on 112 carries and seven touchdowns. Imperati caught six passes for 166 yards and one score as a sophomore. North Haven completed just 38 passes last season. Don’t expect that number to increase significantly this season. The Indians rely on their ground game to control the clock and tempo.

Pecora (61 tackles), Gallagher (47 tackles, two sacks) and Imperati (two interceptions) all saw action on defense last season and should see their roles expanded this season.

2014 Schedule

  • Sept. 11 — Bridgeport Central, 6 p.m.
  • Sept. 19 — at Xavier, 7 p.m.
  • Sept. 26 — East Haven, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 2 — Daniel Hand, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 10 — at Sheehan, 6 p.m.
  • Oct. 17 — Branford, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 24 — at Guilford, 7 p.m.
  • Oct. 30 — Hillhouse, 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 7 — at Foran, 7 p.m.
  • Nov. 15 — at Darien, 1 p.m.
  • Nov. 27 — Amity, 10:30 a.m.

Comments

  1. Matt Glasz says

    Those are indeed some very big personnel losses for NH, but I remain optimistic about their playoff chances for 2014. Just as they did last year, they’ll need to at least split their games against Xavier, Hand, Foran and Darien. No easy task considering three of those games are on the road.

    A 9-2 record would give them a better than average chance at a Class L playoff spot, especially with the bonus points they’d get for beating some quality opponents along the way. A single loss to Guilford, Hillhouse or Amity would really hurt their chances so the Indians won’t have much room for error this season.

    There is a ton of talent in that backfield, we’ll see if they can piece together an offensive line to open holes for them. Best of luck to NH and the Fightin’ Sagnellas!

  2. ACL says

    If things go as planned for both teams Matt, the game on 11/7 will be a playoff game. That game will be a PA announcer’s dream. Its gonna be a blast!

    Good luck to NH throughout the season and see you at Vito DeVito Field in November!

  3. UBilly says

    Time for North Haven to be moved up to the SCC DI from DII. Coach Sagnella has done a great job and the youth program keeps feeding the team developed players. If you want to run with the Big Dogs of the SCC, time to step up and stop playing DII teams. They are Class L now, so unlike Foran, they should be able to compete weekly, and not be fresh off a DII game when the team they are playing is coming off a D1 battle. Move Cross down to DII and they will be able to better compete week in and week out.

    North Haven will earn the respect of a top team once they stop playing the schedule with East Haven, Branford, Sheehan – 3 wins every year – and while Guilford has been better, they had a huge graduation class losing the core group of skill players who had such good success at youth and stayed together for their 4 years at GHS – that game has to be considered a win as well. Is HH going to recover from last year’s down trend? That is almost half of their schedule.

    I know you can only play the teams put n front of you, but North Haven has built a program now, and the SCC needs to see what can be done to let them play with the big dogs for a whole season, not just a select few cross over’s.

    • Bubba says

      This is year 2 of a 2 year schedule, So maybe next schedule, Sagnella wouldn’t be upset if moved up to Division I. I think they need to look at a 3 Division Format, with one cross over for the small schools. It can be done with bye weeks and the cooperation of another league guarantee bye weeks.

  4. Matt Glasz says

    With the increase in Hand’s male enrollment, I believe this is the first year that the SCC divisions align with enrollment figures. The 10 largest schools are in Div. I and the 9 smallest schools are in Div. II.

    I think Bubba is correct in that the SCC is best suited as a three division conference. Why not put the 7 LL schools in one division, the 6 L schools in another, and the 6 M schools in a third.

    Hmm, District Model anyone?

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