Above: Highlight reel for All-ECC Medium linebacker Jack Riordan, one of Stonington’s few returning starters in 2014.
- Coach: A.J. Massengale (11th year, 55-46)
- Conference: ECC Medium
- Playoff Class: Class S (382 boys enrollment)
- Home: Donald Palmer Field, Stonington
- 2013 Record: 8-3 (4-1 ECC Medium champion)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 13 at Woodstock, 1:30 p.m.
- Team webpages: MaxPreps page
- Matt Mitchell, Sr. RB/DB
- Amadi White, Jr. QB
- Seamus Wallace, Jr. TE/LB
- Dan Crandall, Sr. G
- Jack Riordan, Sr. LB
- Jacob Shulda, Sr. LB
- Tyler Burnside, Jr. LB
Emanuel Calmar, RB/DE; Zach Pourier, RB/LB (CHSCA All-State; Endicott); Divante White, QB (Westfield); C.J. Dipollino, TE/E (Salve Regina); Ryan Francis, OL/DL (Springfield); Nick Ryan, OL; Brad Turner, OL/DL; Teddy Farrell, OL; Zach Mueller, LB
Stonington has had a run of successful seasons under A.J. Massengale. The Bears haven’t had a losing season since 2006. But a state playoff berth remains elusive.
For the second consecutive year, Stonington fell just short of qualifying for the state playoffs in 2013. The Bears were 8-3, having rebounded from an 0-2 start and knocking off Ledyard, but were edged by Quinnebaug Valley for the final playoff spot in Class M.
Stonington, which returns to Class S this season, will be hard-pressed to make another legitimate run at the state playoffs. Massengale calls it the youngest and least experienced team in the ECC Medium. A majority of the previous years’ stars have graduated — especially four-year starter Divante White at QB, four of five offensive linemen and All-State linebacker Zach Pourier.
The Bears return back Matt Mitchell, guard Dan Crandall and All-ECC linebacker Jack Riordan. Junior Amadi White takes over for his standout brother at quarterback in Massengale’s double-wing offense. Seamus Wallace will be a target at end.
Senior Jacob Shulda, junior Tyler Burnside round out what should be a solid linebacker unit. Mitchell will lead the secondary.
The schedule goes uphill after a season-opening game at Woodstock. The Bears follow with Fitch, which has had Stonington’s number the last two years, then two of the league’s best team in Ledyard and New London. They close a rough month at home vs. Montville.
Massengale says his team’s character will be tested during this stretch, which should serve it well in the season’s second half. If the Bears continue to learn and improve, another winning season isn’t out of the question.
- Sept. 13 — at Woodstock*, 1:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — Fitch*, 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 26 — at Ledyard**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 3 — New London*, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 10 — Montville**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — at Killingly**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 24 — Waterford**, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 1 — St. Bernard/Norwich Tech*, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 8 — at Bacon Academy**, 12 p.m.
- Nov. 14 — at Windham*, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 27 — at Westerly (RI), 10 a.m.