WINDSOR>> After a two-year sojourn to the Capitol, Bennie Fulse III is back.
The junior, originally from Hartford, moved to Windsor in 2011. But he started high school at Capital Prep in 2012, because his family thought it would be a better choice from an education standpoint.
Fulse, a two-year starter at Capital Prep, helped build up the Trailblazers program. But will now help the Warriors return to where they are accustomed, as one of the top teams in the state.
“I had previously been with them in eighth grade,” Fulse said of his Windsor teammates. “It was just like coming back to my brothers, but we’re older and more mature. It’s more of a family environment.”
Moving from the Constitution State Conference, which is comprised of mostly technical and small magnet schools, to the much larger Central Connecticut Conference will take an adjustment for Fulse. But if he showed anything in Hartford, it’s that he can play.
“It’s going to be a personal challenge for me,” Fulse said. “But it’s something I believe and I know I can do. It is a whole different level of competition. You’re playing bigger schools and other kids that work just as hard as you do everyday.”
In two years as a starter, Fulse rushed for 2,521 yards on 179 carries and 30 touchdowns. His 1,395 yards last year is third best of returning CCC players only behind Dario Highsmith of Middletown and Tyzhan Leatherwood of Platt. He also never lost a regular-season game at Capital Prep. Overall, the Trailblazers went a combined 21-2 during his tenure. Their only losses came in the state playoffs, to Woodland in 2012 and Bloomfield in 2013 in the Class S quarterfinals.
“I got to play varsity football,” Fulse said. “Got those reps, started varsity as a freshman, ran for over 1,000 yards both years… So it was a good experience to get me ready for coming back here, back home, I guess.”
His return gives the Warriors, who last played for a title in 2012 and are ranked No. 10 in the preseason New Haven Register / Top 10 poll, renewed credibility as a contender. Last season was a disappointing in Fleeting’s eyes. The Warriors went 6-4 and missed the Class L playoffs for the first time since 2010. The four losses were the most since he took over in 2009 and the most by a Windsor team since 2006 (3-7).
Fulse joins Jordan Knight and Gabe Elliott in what’s expected to be a strong Windsor backfield.
“We’re going to have two very good running backs, possibly three very good running backs and they’re all juniors,” Fleeting said.
On the other side of the ball, Fulse (5-9, 185) is a defensive back.
Windsor is returning their entire defensive backfield from a year ago.
“Our defensive backs are amazing,” Fulse said. “I’m going to say best in the state, because I know we’re the best defensive backs in the state.”
Last season the Warriors beat the teams they were supposed to, but faltered down the stretch with the class of the CCC. Losses to Farmington, Bristol Eastern, Glastonbury and Middletown kept them out of the playoffs.
Can Bennie Fulse III help Windsor get back to the promise land?
“I’m excited that we’re all together,” Fulse said. “We’re all putting in everyday for that one purpose, that one goal. No one allows any distractions to come in between football. When we’re all on the field we’re all tuned into what we’re doing and ready to go.”