COACH — DARIN JONES (3rd year, 11-9)
CONFERENCE — CTC
PLAYOFF CLASS — M (co-op)
HOME — Norwich Tech
2018 RECORD — 6-4
2019 OPENER — Sept. 14 vs. O’Brien Tech, 1 p.m.
TEAM WEBSITES — Maxpreps
Josh Brown, RB/LB; Ismael Rivera-Garcia, WR/DB; Will Korineck, TE/DE
If football games are indeed won in the trenches, then Thames River should be doing some celebrating this season.
Thames River, a three-school co-op program (Norwich Tech, Grasso Tech, St. Bernard), has a wealth of size and skill on the offensive and defensive lines.
“It’s our strength,” coach Darin Jones said. “We are hoping to control games with our line play.”
Thames River graduated only seven players from last year’s 6-4 team, but Jones said those departures were impactful in terms of talent.
“It was a small group but a group with a lot of heart and ability,” he said. “We are going to miss those guys.”
Among the returnees is quarterback Logan Starr. “He’s not the biggest guy,” Jones said about the 5-foot-5, 150-pound senior, “but he is mobile and he makes good handoff decisions.”
Starr’s top target could be sophomore wide receiver Domonick Martinez, who started as a freshman last season.
With leading rusher Josh Brown graduating, Thames River will look to three players — senior Louis Aguilar, junior Nate Bastien and freshman Scott Cunningham — to lead the ground game.
They will benefit from running behind an experienced offensive line that averages 260 pounds, according to Jones.
Seniors Nick Miller (tackle), Roark Ryan (center) and Hamlet Chaljub (tackle) and junior Tyler Jicha (guard) are all three-year starters. Joining them up front is senior guard Brian Bethea.
“It’s a great unit,” Jones said. “They are big and they have some foot speed and athleticism.”
Ryan and Jicha double as run-stopping defensive tackles, with junior Cole Occhialini and Bethea at the defensive ends.
Miller and Aguilar are the inside linebackers, and junior Brent Kripas looks ready to contribute at one of the outside linebacker spots.
Senior Jagger Petersen and Martinez will be among the starters in the secondary.
“I think we can be pretty good,” Jones said. “We are a senior-heavy team, and that experience should help us along the way.”
Sept. 14 — O’BRIEN TECH*, 1 p.m.
Sept. 21 — at Bullard Havens*, 4 p.m.
Sept. 28 — PRINCE TECH*, 1 p.m.
Oct. 5 — at MCW United*, noon.
Oct. 18 — at Vinal/Goodwin/Whitney*, 6 p.m.
Oct. 26 — at Platt Tech*, 5 p.m.
Nov. 2 — CHENEY TECH*, 1 p.m.
Nov. 16 — WILCOX TECH*, 1 p.m.
Nov. 23 — at ATI*, 2 p.m.
Nov. 28 — QUINEBAUG VALLEY*, 10 a.m.