- Coach: Mark Ecke (1st season)
- Conference: FCIAC West
- Playoff Class: LL (1,485 boys enrollment)
- Home: Crotty Field, Danbury
- 2013 Record: 3-8 (3-7 FCIAC)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 12 vs. Hamden, 7 p.m.
- Team website: MaxPreps page
- Anfreny Ith, Sr. QB/CB (5-11, 165)
- Tysheen McCrea, Jr. WR/S (6-0, 187)
- Tyren McCrea, Jr. RB/S (5-7, 150)
- Eric Henry, Sr. RB/LB (5-10, 190)
- Matt Andrew, Sr. WR/DB (5-10, 155)
- Joey Syryla, Sr. C/DL (5-8, 220)
- Marcus Joyner, Sr. OL/DL (5-6, 195)
- Pierre Moudourou, Jr. S/WR (6-1, 190)
Elijah Duffy, WR/KR; Tristan Jakobson, OT/LB; David DeLeon LB/OL; Marlon Black, DE
No one quite created as many offseason waves as Danbury. Long dormant on both the FCIAC and statewide stage, Danbury tapped four-time state championship coach Mark Ecke in hopes of turning the program around. It was the most intriguing coaching hire of 2014.
Ecke, who coached under Boston College coach Steve Addazio at Cheshire and later presided of the final years of the Rams’ state-record 49-game win streak in the 1990s, retired as a Cheshire police sergeant to take a full-time job at Danbury High School.
He inherits a roster of about 50 players which is awash in skill position talent. Senior quarterback Anfreny Ith, who threw for 1,736 yards and ran for another 500 yards as a junior. He is the team’s top-returning rusher as well as passer and is poised for a big season. “He’s a special kid,” Ecke said.
Though the Hatters will miss graduated receiver Elijah Duffy and his 703 all-purpose yards, Ecke likes the options the Hatters have with twins Tyren (RB) and Tysheen McCrea (WR), receivers Matt Andrew, Pierre Moudourou and fullback Eric Henry. Tysheen McCrea caught 36 passes for 415 yards and three touchdowns last year and Moudourou caught 30 passes for 459 and four scores.
“At the skill positions we’re pretty good,” Ecke said. “…Up front, we’re struggling.”
Indeed, the offensive and defensive front lines, Ecke said, are where the Hatters need to make the most improvements if they’re going to surprise anyone in the FCIAC. Senior two-way linemen Joey Syryla and Marcus Joyner anchor both fronts. Henry (LB) and Ith (CB) lead the Hatters’ defensive backfield. The Hatters must improve a defense that allowed 344 points a year ago.
Danbury has a favorable schedule, at least in the season’s first four weeks. Kicks off vs. Hamden, one of Ecke’s old SCC foes, and then at Norwalk, McMahon and Central. With the exception of McMahon, the other three programs struggled in 2013.
“If we’re going to have success, the key for us is to get it going early,” Ecke said. That’s because a who’s who of FCIAC heavyweights await the Hatters in the season’s second half.
The consensus is that Danbury, which has the highest boys enrollment in the state, yet hasn’t reached the state playoffs since 2003, is a sleeping giant. Though it might not ring up a lot of victories in 2014, but the league is anxious to see how well the Hatters perform going forward.
- Sept. 12 — Hamden, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — at Norwalk, 7 p.m.*
- Sept. 27 — at McMahon, 1:30 p.m.*
- Oct. 2 — at Bridgeport Central, 6 p.m.**
- Oct. 10 — New Canaan, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 18 — Staples, 1:30 p.m.**
- Oct. 25 — at Harding, 2 p.m.*
- Nov. 1 — Westhill, 1:30 p.m.**
- Nov. 7 — Trumbull, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 14 — at Greenwich, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 26 — Ridgefield, 6 p.m.*