COACH — STEVE CALANDE (8th year, 31-41)
CONFERENCE — CCC Division III West
PLAYOFF CLASS — S (290 boys enrollment)
HOME — Cheney Tech High School Field, Manchester
2018 RECORD — 3-7
TEAM WEBSITE — Maxpreps, Facebook — @EastCatholicEaglesFootball
FB/LB Matt Byam
East Catholic was 3-2 after a resounding 42-7 win over Rocky Hill in Week 5 last, a promising run for a program coming off an 0-10 season in 2017.
That was the last victory over the season. The Eagles dropped their final five games, capped by a 41-0 season-ending loss to Northwest Catholic.
Coach Steve Calande, who came to the school from Old Town, Maine in 2012, returns a young and inexperienced roster from last season. East returns four starters on offense and four on defense, Byam (635 yards, 10 touchdowns) the most significant loss.
With O’Connor and Connelly, East Catholic could have a productive running game. And Wilson takes over at quarterback for Harrison Eklund (352 yards).
The challenge? Lack of numbers.
“Very small varsity roster,” Calande said. “Lack depth and experience.”
Calande, known for running the Double Wing offense, has won at East Catholic. He posted consecutive 8-3 seasons in 2014 and 2015 before a 5-5 2017.
His program was elite under Jude Kelly in the 1980s, winning three state titles. There was a stretch when East Catholic was part of a coop program with Cheney Tech and Calande has faced a perennial issue with roster depth.
Rebuilding is not easy with the likes of Bloomfield, Berlin and Northwest Catholic on the schedule. But Calande said he has a coachable group and the Eagles will look for improvement as the season progresses.
And, really, the coach is happy to have the players he has.
“Just glad kids are still playing football,” he said.
Sept. 13 — at Plainville,** 6:30 p.m.
Sept. 21 — BLOOMFIELD,** noon
Sept. 27 — at Lyman Hall, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 4 — at Rocky Hill,** 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — at Griswold/Wheeler, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 25 — LEWIS MILLS,* 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 1 — BULKELEY/HMTCA/WEAVER,* 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 — BERLIN,* 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 15 — at Tolland,* 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 — NORTHWEST CATHOLIC,** 6:30 p.m.
Home games in CAPS
Scheduling Alliance games in bold