The Blue Devils lost several of their star players from last season and head into 2015 with new coach Nick D’Angelo. Parker Tregoning and Cam Powers at least return at RB and Wes Benjunas takes over at QB for graduated Jake Ober. The defense, however, returns just four starters.
Coach Tony Bonito started freshmen and sophomores who had to learn on the job during last year’s 1-10 season. They’re all back, especially on the line. QB J.P. Roy and his top three receivers all return. Defense, which allowed 40 points per game, is still a concern.
The new co-op is off to an inauspicious start after a hazing incident that resulted in a student arrested and coach Chris Eckert suspended for the first game. That’s bound to set C/P back as it heads into the year. But if they can learn from the incident and come together, the Panthers might be pretty good.
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Ellington’s long co-op with Somers has ended, which dropped Ellington from Class M to Class S and sent several key players to Somers’ new co-op with Stafford/East Windsor. No worries, versatile WR/DB Mark Hickman and QB Christian Rider return among several other starters from last year’s playoff team.
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Stafford/East Windsor was 0-11 last year, but received a booster shot from Somers portion of the Ellington Co-Op, including E/S assistant Brian Mazzone, who takes over. Somers’ skill guys, Nate LaJoie, Joe Mongillo and Jake Hinkel, join forces with Stafford/East Windsor linemen Devin Gilbert and Josh Barnett.
Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby
The Raiders graduated all-state back Jarvis Miller (Penn State), LB Jake Marconi and a large senior class from last year’s 8-3 team.
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[No information yet available as of Sept. 10.]
New coach Brandon McCormack takes over and the Howling Wolves have co-oped with Career and Whitney Tech. The new club will look to Jhavion Haddock to replace the many graduated stars from last year, including QB Dwayne Hunter-Parker and Ronnie Freeman. A good portion of the team’s defense returns.
Peter Nye, a former Hand assistant, take the reins from Mike Eagle (Guilford). Top RB Jake Ward is gone, so returning QB Chucky Kostek might have to live up to his name by throwing more in Nye’s spread offense. The Huskies do return standouts Gabe Eriksen at RB/SS, and John Lee, Mateo Zumpano and Robbie Consiglio on defense.
Even when they lost QB Eddie Miller at midseason, the T-Birds reached the Class S-Small final. But only seven starters return, making this edition largely unproven. QB Paul Pastet, RB/DB Shelby Franklin, T/DE George Poleschuk should help smooth the transition.
Former Lyman Hall coach Rob Marone takes over the struggling program.
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The Warriors lost a horde of stars and a few longtime assistants from last season’s glorious state championship team. Senior lineman Jack Giaconia and Will Visgilio and receiver Jared Roach will be looked up to by a incredibly inexperienced group. Matt Sapere replaces Chris Jean-Pierre at QB. The Warriors also saw standout kicker Garrett Burdick transfer from New London.
Coach Paul Philippon (now back at Bristol Eastern) and just about everybody from last year’s Class S playoff team have graduated. Chris Currier takes over as coach and has a good turnout for the small school. Junior Alex Higley, WR/K Eddie Melton, C Will Carlson, LB Matt Bangs and T Landon Whitney will have to lead a young group.
The Yellowjackets continue to rebuild after last year’s 4-7 season. They’ll rely on big TE/FS Tucker Kreh as several newcomers assume command at QB and RB. Kreh, along with junior LB Jake Roth, senior LB Joe Colombie and CB Ben Schiffer (also the new QB) should give G/N a solid defense, which is in need some pass rushers.
There isn’t a Pequot team returning as much talent and experience as the Bears. Twenty-one of 22 starters return, including Connecticut’s leading rusher in 2014, Connor Field, Dom Pagano at quarterback and big lineman Andrew Migliaccio. This group looks like a good bet to reach the Class S playoffs and — yes — contend for a title.
Three-year starter and now senior quarterback Lucas Lanning will try to lead the team to more victories after going 2-9 last season.
QB Dominic Nastri and a good senior core return to help the Chiefs improve on their 2-9 record. Most of the team’s linemen return to help. Nonnewaug is looking for its first winning season since beginning as a program in 2006.
A solid class of returning starters returns for Graham Martin’s team, which could be a sleeper after going 4-7 last year.