COACH — JOHNNY BURNS (2nd year, 5-5)
CONFERENCE — ECC Division I
PLAYOFF CLASS — Class (538 boys enrollment)
HOME — Canamella Field, New London
2018 RECORD — 5-5
2019 OPENER — Sept. 14 vs. New Canaan, 4 p.m.
TEAM WEBSITES — Maxpreps
Jacob Commander, RB/LB; Owen George, QB (transfer to St. Thomas More); Zehki Burgis, WR/CB; Nazell Hodges, TE/DE; Anthonio Jones, OL/DE.
Johnny Burns begins his season year at the helm after an up-and-down 2018 debut. The Whalers started off last season with a 25-24 upset of then-defending state champion Killingly, but were unable to carry the momentum from that win much further and closed the season with back-to-back losses to Middletown and NFA.
Not only did New London lose their top weapon in Jacob Commander to graduation, but quarterback Owen George opted to transfer to nearby St. Thomas More.
Frankie Pratts, who caught the winning Killingly touchdown pass from George with 23.2 seconds left, now moves behind center. He’ll be joined in the backfield by big senior Geremiah Ballinger, who looks poised to take over Commander’s role as the featured back.
New London has some size up front and, defensively, will be led by Clayton Smith and Ballinger at linebacker alongside junior Ronde Ford. Seniors Jammie Mills and Cameron Sousa will man the secondary.
New London, which plays in Class L, was given a tough non-conference schedule to start their season in the Scheduling Alliance. They kick off the season vs. Drew Pyne and perennial Class L champion New Canaan and face Xavier in Week 2.
The Whalers play their first four games at Canamella Field, but that means they’ll close the season with four-consecutive road games, including a rough stretch vs. its ECC Division I rivals — at Fitch, at Killingly and at Norwich Free Academy. Like NFA, the Whalers only play five ECC games.
- Sept. 14 — NEW CANAAN, 4 p.m.
- Sept. 27 — XAVIER, 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — LEDYARD,* 1 p.m.
- Oct. 18 — HARDING, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 25 — at Bassick, 6 p.m.
- Nov. 1 — EAST LYME,** 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 7 — at Capital/AF, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 15 — at Fitch,** 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 22 — at Killingly,** 6:30 p.m.
- Nov. 27 — at NFA,** 4: p.m.
Home games in CAPS
Scheduling Alliance games in bold