Lewis Mills had done it all in the Berkshire League.
The team either won or was at the top of the standings among smaller schools in the conference every season for the last decade.
They also were a state power, winning the CIAC Class M championship in 2017.
Then the school moved from the friendly confines of the Berkshire League and into the mothership that is the CCC.
The move will put many teams at Lewis Mills to the test, but few more so than the boys soccer team, suddenly thrust into competition against not only Class L and LL schools, but against some of the top programs in the state.
“The main difference from the two leagues are the fact that anyone can beat anyone, where in Berkshire League there was only four teams (Nonnewaug, Northwestern, Litchfield and Housatonic) really that we knew could beat us at any moment, especially when we weren’t playing our best.” Lewis Mills coach Ben Kulas said. “The CCC teams being so much larger have so many more athletes to choose from and they are deeper. So, we need to make do with what we have. In the CCC there’s no games guaranteed for us to win, so our team’s only goal is to qualify for postseason play this year. Where previously our concern was winning the league and getting the team ready for November.”
Lewis Mills is 4-4-1, but has lost three straight to Plainville, Tolland and Hall, all contenders for state titles this year.
The 6-0 loss to Hall on Friday was the largest margin of defeat for Lewis Mills since 2011.
Kulas hopes that running the gauntlet through top L and LL schools will only make his team stronger come tournament time much as it did for Plainville last season.
Plainville finished with an 8-7-1 record last season before making a run to win the Class M title, the division Lewis Mills is in.
“The CCC also gives us the opportunity to play these big LL schools that will hopefully get us ready for the tournament if we get in,” Kulas said. “It’s an adjustment right now and the team lost a lot and is still trying to find its identity. I still believe if we can figure it out and qualify, these games will benefit us because we aren’t going to see teams better than East Hartford or Hall in class M. We just need to get in the tournament and get hot at the right time and we could be dangerous.”
Lewis Mills needs to win two more games to qualify for the state tournament.
150 FOR BRADLEY
Darien coach Jon Bradley won his 150th career game with the Blue Wave in a 2-0 win over Westhill Thursday.
The Blue Wave have won two straight, pulling themselves up to 3-5-2.
Bradley led Darien to the 2015 FCIAC title game against Ludlowe and the 2015 Class LL championship game, falling to Glastonbury.
NOTRE DAME HEAT
Thomas Ellis is on fire for Notre Dame-West Haven.
The senior forward scored a season’s worth of goals the last two weeks with 10 goals over the last five games.
Ellis tallied two goals in a 4-0 win at East Haven, had a four-goal outburst in a 4-3 win at Career, scored a goal against Wilbur Cross and added a hat trick in a 6-5 loss to West Haven.
Notre Dame is 4-6-0, having won three of its last four games.