- Coach: Patrick Moffett (1st year)
- Conference: FCIAC Central
- Playoff Class: LL (792 boys enrollment)
- Home: Sam Testa Field, Norwalk
- 2013 Record: 4-7 (3-7 FCIAC, 2-4 Central)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 13 at Westhill, 1:30 p.m.
- Team website: MaxPreps page
- Evan Adams, Sr. OL/DL/NG (6-6, 275)
- Ricky Mejia, Sr. FB/MLB (5-10, 210)
- Harrison Heffernan, Jr. RB/OLB (5-9, 160)
- Naim Harrington, LB/RB (5-11, 210)
- James Makszin, Soph. T/DE (6-2, 235)
- Billy Passero, Sr. C (6-1, 210)
- Eric Cohens, Sr. DL
- Jeremy Linton, Sr., QB
- Greg Goldstein, Jr. QB
Corey Barrett, LB (Rhode Island); Cliff Joseph, RB; Patrick Corley, WR; Trevon Anderton LB; Thomas LaRosa, OL
Norwalk spent an up-and-down 2013 season building for its future. A bunch of underclassmen saw action around the few starting seniors. The Bears hovered around the middle-to-lower tier of the FCIAC and finished 4-7.
But the future took a slightly different direction in April, when Norwalk coach Sean Ireland, who in 2011 took the Bears to the state playoffs, announced he was taking a year off due to personal reasons. Ireland handed the keys over to alumnus and longtime assistant coach Patrick Moffett, who’s hoping Norwalk can get back to being playoff team.
Moffett has a foundation with which to work. The Bears graduated just five seniors of consequence and return mostly intact. While he’s keeping much of the same stuff as Ireland, Moffett said he’s adding a few personal touches to the team’s strategy in 2014. “We’re keeping the same, base plays,” he said. “We want to make the transition as easy as possible. But I’ve thrown in a few twists.”
One twist will be on offense, where the Bears will play a more up-tempo style in hopes of improving on the 179 points scored last year.
Senior incumbent Jeremy Linton, who started just four games last year, and junior Greg Goldstein have been battling for the position in the preseason. Linton, a guard on the Bears’ basketball team, is an athlete who brings a combination of passing and running while Goldstein is strictly a passer. “Both will play, but we definitely want to pick one,” Moffett said.
Norwalk brings back a veteran line which will attack behind massive senior captain Evan Adams, who’s committed to play at Syracuse, and fellow captain Bill Passero, a 6-foot-1, 235-pound center. “Evan is going to see everybody’s two-best players every week,” Moffett said.
Sophomore James Makszin, a 6-2, 235-pound tackle, will join the fray up front. “He’s showing promise,” Moffett said. “We think he’ll be a very good football player.”
Though Norwalk was hurt with the graduation of Cliff Joseph and his 1,281 rushing yards, the Bears should also be able to run the ball behind big fullback and captain Ricky Mejia and junior back Harrison Heffernan.
Norwalk’s defense took another hit with the graduation of big linebacker Corey Barrett (Rhode Island). The Bears will rely on Adams at nose guard, and Heffernan (42 tackles, 4 sacks) and Harrington at linebacker to help the Bears’ defense cut down on the 347 points it allowed in 2013.
Norwalk’s schedule is manageable in the early-going. It doesn’t face Darien or New Canaan and won’t see Greenwich until Week 5. So the Bears have time to make a few early-season waves if all goes right. The second-half of the season gets tougher with games vs. Ridgefield, Staples and McMahon.
- Sept. 13 — at Westhill, 1:30 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — Danbury, 7 p.m.*
- Sept. 27 — at Harding, 1:30 p.m.**
- Oct. 2 — at Trumbull, 6 p.m.*
- Oct. 10 — Greenwich, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 18 — at Fairfield Ludlowe, 2:30 p.m.**
- Oct. 24 — at Bridgeport Central, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 31 — Ridgefield, 6 p.m.**
- Nov. 7 — at Stamford, 6 p.m.**
- Nov. 14 — Staples, 7 p.m.*
- Nov. 27 — McMahon, 10:30 a.m.**