The Hilltoppers are basically starting from scratch with a new coach and almost a new backfield. New coach Mike Farrell, a former assistant for Dave Cadelina, is switching to an option to take advantage of backs Dontae Brown and Delvon Williams and help new QB Maruicio Woods along.
New quarterback Aiden Kudzy joins returners Chris Howell and Mitch Wykoff to help Ludlowe atone for the many close losses from last season. Three of seven losses were by a combined eight points. Spencer Foley and Markus Schuermann will lead the defense.
John Marinelli rides into town from arch-rival New Canaan, bringing not just name recognition but a proven record as an assistant for his dad. End and Boston College commit Scooter Harrington is a stud. But there are a lot of other gaps to fill, not to mention a whole new philosophy to learn.
All-staters QB Michael Collins and OL Lucas Niang headline an outstanding offense. The defense took a hit with the graduation of Zach Allen (BC) and Alex LaPolice (Harvard). And the team is looking for a compliment WR for Kyle Smith. The biggest question is how this group — which fed off its confidence — will fare without OC John Marinelli. It says here they’ll be one of the state’s best.
Sean Ireland returns as coach after a one-year hiatus. The Bears were hit with two offseason transfers, but Ireland thinks this group will be fine. He loves new quarterback Krishtjan Frrokaj’s potential. Sean O’Hara, the team leader in tackles and sacks, leads what should be a strong defense.
Joe Aceri takes over for Kevin Callahan as coach for the season. He has a young group anxious to reverse a year-long string of misfortunes, including losing RB/LB Jackson Turek for the season with a broken leg. Leo Grizzaffi, A.J. Fabbri and Dante Cobelli return to help the Tigers break in a new QB to replace graduated veteran Ryan Dunn.
QB Anthony Lombardi impressed after transferring from NY. He’s back along with 13 other starters, not to mention a few key transfers from Stamford and Norwalk. The Crusaders have the personnel to improve upon their surprising 7-4 2014 season. Maybe they’ll have a shot at a Class S playoff spot.
Only five starters return on both sides, but QB Johnny McElroy is back along with a massive line, headlined by captains Justin Appleby and Cory Haslam. Coach Bob Maffei is looking for weapons to help McElroy move the ball. One of the big threats could be emerging sophomore RB Marquise Woods.
The Vikings lost most of last year’s team, but do return QB Blake Newcomer and playmaker Carl Gedeon as they rebuild. An early five-game road trip will make this season a trial-by-fire. Expect to see a lot of new faces as Westhill navigates that FCIAC gauntlet.
Journeyman assistant Alex Trasacco takes over the project started by Mark Ecke, who resigned after a breakthrough 8-3 season to take the job at Capital Prep Harbor in Bridgeport. The Hatters must find a new QB and other offensive stars. They at least have WR/LB Pierre Moudourou, who is one of the state’s best players.
Thirteen starters return, including all-state end Mark Evanchick, QB Timmy Graham and the entire secondary. If the Blue Wave can break in some new linemen, it could be a special season in Darien. Not only are they FCIAC favorites, they move up to Class LL and have a legit shot at No. 1.
The Mustangs must replace many of the stars from last year’s 6-5 season, which was the program’s first winning season since the Fairfield High split in 2004. Warde looks to 6-foot senior Jack Potenza to take over at QB and returner RB Bryan Azarian at RB.
he close-but-no-cigar Senators must replace their stellar three-headed backfield and its top four tacklers from last year’s squad. Fortunately, three linemen and QB Jason Hall return to give coach A.J. Albano a solid foundation with which to work.
St. Joseph was hit hard by graduation — no more Lars Pedersen, no more Mufasha AbdulBasir — following its second-consecutive state championship. All-state senior Cam Ryan and fellow linebacker Jake Smith, linemen Mike Jones and Jack Ganser, and starting quarterback Cory Babineau return to give the Hogs a foundation and a shot.
The Black Knights are circling the wagons after two key transfers, one a week before the season began. They also must find new playmakers to replace the many lost to graduation. Junior Troy Duncan takes over for All-FCIAC QB Jalen Brown. Stamford might have to rely on defense as the new offense gets up to speed.
RB Ethan Burger, all-state junior end Ryan Fitton and Harvard commit Jackson Ward, a standout two-way lineman, headline a squad that’s anxious to contend for FCIAC and state playoffs after a two-year absence. Andrew Speed takes over at QB and the Wreckers’ defense looks to replace all-staters LB Nick Esposito and DE Will Newman.
R.J. Romeo returns along with three of last year’s linemen to help the Warriors improve on last year’s 3-8 season. But the defense, which graduated its top five tacklers, is being overhauled. Sophomore RB Will Litton is a newcomer to watch.