- COACH — DAVE MASTERS (4th year, 13-17)
- CONFERENCE — CCC Division I West
- PLAYOFF CLASS — LL (731 boys enrollment)
- HOME — Holden Field, Simsbury
- 2017 RECORD — 7-3
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 vs. Hall, 7 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITES — Maxpreps, simsburygridiron.org, TWITTER — @masters_coach
- JACKSON BUTLER, Sr. QB (6-2, 190
- TOMMY GUILFOYLE, Jr., OG (6-1, 230)
- MARK BEDSON, Sr., RB, (5-11, 185)
- COLBY CHASE, Sr., WR, (6-7, 200)
- AUSTIN TAYLOR, OL/DE, Jr., (6-3, 220)
- KORY ZALL, Sr., K, (5-8, 170)
WR/CB Ralph Gilliard (All-State), QB Jackson Masters, RB/FS Raf Nieves, T/NG Tim Talbot, C/DE Jackson King
It didn’t take Dave Masters long to turn Simsbury into a winner. After a 5-5 finish in 2016, his first season, Masters’ 2017 team compiled the program’s best record in a decade. The Trojans’ 7-3 mark was program’s first winning season since 2012 and best season since going 9-2 in 2009.
Perhaps most impressive, Simsbury did it after starting last season 1-3. The Trojans finished the year with a six-game win streak.
But now the stars from last year’s team have graduated and Masters’ staff has some work to do to keep the good vibes going.
All-Stater Ralph Gillard, especially, will be missed. Last season as the go-to receiver for the Trojans he finished with the 10th most receptions in a season in Connecticut history (86). He finished with 1,009 yards and nine touchdowns.
The Trojans also graduated QB Jackson Masters, who threw for 2,300 yards and 19 touchdowns last season, and back Raf Nieves, who had a 1,300-yard rushing season.
Despite the heavy losses at the skill positions, Simsbury returns three offensive lineman, including Tommy Guilfoyle and Austin Taylor, which will help the newcomers find their way. Dave Masters also says the Trojans have talented defensive line and experience throughout the rest of the roster.
“(We have) lots of young talent and a large senior class with a decent amount of varsity experience,” Masters said. “Experience on the offensive and defensive lines should help get things up to speed.”
Jackson Butler, who caught 55 passes for 737 yards and six touchdowns last season, is moving under center to replace Masters at quarterback.
Mark Bedson will take the majority of the carries at running back this season for the Trojans. Colby Chase will be counted on as the Trojans’ main target.
Like last season, the first month of the season will be key for Simsbury. The Trojans open with Hall and then follow up with two of the top teams in the CCC from last year: Southington and East Hartford. It figures to be a tough road, but good start to the season would go a long way for the Trojans.
- Sept. 7 — HALL**, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — SOUTHINGTON**, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at E.Hartford*, 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at New Britain**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — at Conard**, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 19 — SOUTH WINDSOR*, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — at Enfield*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 2 — MANCHESTER*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 9 — GLASTONBURY*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 20 — at Avon*, 6 p.m.
Home games in CAPS
* CONFERENCE game