Above: Highlight reel for Waterford senior tackle Cody Cleary, who was an All-ECC Medium honorable mention pick and anchors a veteran defensive line.
- Coach: Mike Ellis (12th year, 55-60)
- Conference: ECC Medium
- Playoff Class: Class M (416 boys enrollment)
- Home: Alumni Field, Waterford HS
- 2013 Record: 4-7 (1-4 ECC Medium)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 12 vs. Platt-Meriden, 6:30 p.m.
- Team website: MaxPreps page
- Griffen Archambault, Sr., SE/DB (5-8, 150)
- Michael McDermott, Sr., FB/ILB
- Jake Mangual, Jr., QB/DB (5-11, 185)
- John Wenc. Sr., OT/DT
- Ryan Miller, Sr., SE/OLB (6-1, 180)
- Connor Gregoire, Jr., OT/NG (6-4)
- Colin Swansen, Jr., OG/NG (5-6, 228)
- Andrew Kenniston, Sr., C/DT (5-11, 250)
- Cody Cleary, Sr., OT/DT (5-11, 230)
- Darren D’Amico, Sr., OT/DT (6-0, 220)
- Chase Speller, Jr., TB/OLB (5-7, 155)
- Isaiah Jones, Sr., RB/DB
- Michael Rocchetti, Jr., RB/DB
- Spencer Hoagland, So., QB/DB
- Noah Concasia, Jr., RB/OLB (5-8, 155)
- Vince Bartelli, Sr., OG/DE
Bishme Sheppard, FB/DB); Julio Gil-Martinez, FL/DB; Joe Gustafson, FB/ILB; Seth Hoagland, QB/DB; Kacey Severin, C/ILB; Billy Wendland, FL/DB; C.J. Hersom, OG/NG; Mike Furlan, OT/OLB; Donny Craig, SE/DB; Josh Perry, SE/DB; Dan Martin, SE/DB
Waterford was competitive in 2013, but its inability to win a close games there for the taking ultimately doomed the Lancers to a second-consecutive, four-win season. Though 12 starters return, giving Waterford a nice foundation, a ‘Playmakers Wanted’ sign should hang outside the team’s locker room.
The Lancers graduated quarterback Seth Hoagland, who accounted for 1,688 total yards and 25 touchdowns, Joe Gustafson (689 total yards), Dan Craig (679) and Bishme Sheppard (419). If you’re counting at home, that’s the mother load of Waterford’s offensive production from last year.
The Lancers will look to junior back Chase Speller, who ran for 335 yards and a score last year, new quarterback Jake Mangual, who threw two TD passes in two games of relief, and receiver Griffen Archambault. But it’s clear by the roster that all of the positions will remain up for grabs until proven otherwise. Waterford does return three of five offensive starters, who should help the Lancers figure out who’s putting points on the board.
On the defensive side, the entire defensive line returns, including All-ECC honorable mention tackle Cody Cleary. Like the offensive side, the defensive backfield was hit hard by graduation and its development, Ellis said, is key for a defense that allowed 336 points last season.
Waterford doesn’t have much time to figure it out. Beginning with a non-conference home game vs. Platt, the first half of the season is a who’s who of state contenders in 2014. The Lancers also face Montville, NFA and Ledyard before midseason.
- Sept. 12 — Platt, 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — Montville**, 6:30 p.m.
- Sept. 26 — at Norwich Free Academy*, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 3 — Killingly**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 10 — at Ledyard**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 17 — Bacon Academy**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 24 — at Stonington**, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 31 — at Griswold*, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 7 — Woodstock Academy*, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 14 — at Fitch*, 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 27 — East Lyme*, 10 a.m.