By Jean Falbo-Sosnovich
ANSONIA >> Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia High School’s record-setting running back, and his winning coach scored more hardware Monday: keys to the city.
Coming off the heels of the Ansonia Chargers’ third straight state championship, won Friday night against their Naugatuck Valley rival, Woodland, Newsome and Coach Tom Brockett were honored by newly-elected Mayor David Cassetti.
During a brief ceremony held in the mayor’s office at City Hall, Cassetti presented both Newsome and Brockett with keys to the city. Cassetti said the city will celebrate the Chargers’ Class S state championship with a victory parade in downtown on Saturday. Cassetti said details about the parade will be forthcoming.
Cassetti thanked both Newsome and Brockett “on behalf of a proud and grateful city.”
Newsome, who is heading to the University of Connecticut this fall, has career totals of 10,672 yards and 187 touchdowns, shattering state records for both categories.
Ansonia’s 51-12 win against Woodland Friday night (where Newsome rushed for 259 yards and scored four touchdowns) not only makes it the third straight state championship for the Chargers, but the 19th state title in the school’s history.
The winning pair was lauded by Superintendent of Schools Carol Merlone at the informal ceremony at City Hall. Merlone said Newsome is an all-around “nice young man,” both on and off the field, and Brockett and the coaches work hard to “promote and foster a family atmosphere,” where students work hard to meet their goals.
“Arkeel is as great a young man as he is an athlete,” Merlone added. “He is very respectful and a role model for others.”
Newsome knew he loved football, and could run like the wind, at the tender age of 8. During his freshman year with the Chargers, he scored 18 touchdowns, mainly as a receiver. It was sophomore year when Newsome truly found his niche as a record-setting running back.
Cassetti lauded both Newsome and Brockett for their winning ways, dedication and making their hometown proud.
“Arkeel Newsome was one of the most outstanding players; broke every record in the city, state, and the nation in high school football,” Cassetti said. “He contributed great leadership skills for the whole team and stands very humble as the team’s captain.”
Of Brockett, Cassetti said, “Coach Brockett was coach for a total of 14 years and has been a leader and head coach for the past six years. He had 100 wins and 7 losses as head coach. Saturday marked the 100th win for the record. Coach Brockett devotes 100 percent of his energy and dedication for the team.”