Above: Highlight reel for senior quarterback Jalen Brown, a two-year starter who is expected to lead the Black Knights’ charge back up the standings.
- Coach: Jamar Greene (2nd season, 2-9)
- Conference: FCIAC Central
- Playoff Class: LL (977 boys enrollment)
- Home: Robustelli Field at Boyle Stadium, Stamford
- 2013 Record: 2-9 (2-8 FCIAC, 0-5 West)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 12 vs. Fairfield Prep (at Fairfield Ludlowe), 7 p.m.
- Team website: StamfordHighFootball.com | MaxPreps Page
- Jalen Brown, Sr. QB
- Chris Hynd, Sr. OL/DL (6-0, 175)
- Billy DeVito, Sr. WR/DB
- Tyler Serricchio, Sr. RB/LB
- Andrew Chait, Sr. C/NG
- Andrew Antoine, Sr. WR
- Darian McCulley, Sr. FB/LB
- Mardochee Bruno, Sr. DE/LB
- Tyree Smith, Sr. WR/CB
Cameron Webb, RB/DE; Jake Bivona, WR/DB; Jack Rakoczy, TE/LB;
Stamford was a shell of its former self as the 2013 season came to a (premature) close on Thanksgiving Day vs. Westhill. Injuries and other off-field issues reduced the roster to just a handful of regulars. “A total of six kids played all 11 games,” Greene said. “We were banged up and never got healthy so we had to play a lot of young kids.”
The good news is those kids are all grown up now and Greene said Stamford, which is never lacking for players blessed with size and talent, is significantly stronger and deeper than it was a year ago.
The Black Knights’ 2014 season starts with quarterback Jalen Brown. A two-year starter who was team captain a year ago, Brown grew into the role and handled adversity well. This offseason, Brown was trained by state quarterback coach Travis Meyer and will be mentored by Ryan Fodor, a former Yale and state championship quarterback at Hand, who joined Stamford’s staff as QB coach.
“(Jalen)’s looking good for us this year,” Greene said.
Though Stamford graduated reliable receivers Jake Bivona, Jack Rakoczy, Greene says the Black Knights have enough returning talent to fill the gaps, especially senior receivers Andrew Antoine and Billy DeVito. “We’re solid at wide receiver,” he said.
Replacing Cameron Webb at running back is another issue. The Knights will turn to senior Tyler Serricchio to fill the position. After that, “We’re young at the running back spot,” Greene said.
Stamford’s offense does the benefit of four returning linemen, led by 6-foot, 175-pound Chris Hynd and 6-foot-2, 275-pound center/nose guard Andrew Chait.
Many of the Black Knights go both ways, so those same players will try to help Stamford improve a defense that surrendered 343 points a year ago. The front lines and the secondary are experienced, but Greene said the team is having trouble at linebacker. The Black Knights received a boost in that department with the return of Darien McCulley and defensive end Mardochee Bruno, both of whom didn’t play last season.
Still, Stamford is a team that needs to learn how to win and it’s schedule won’t make it easy. The Black Knights open vs. 2013 Class LL runner-up Fairfield Prep, projected to be a Top 5 team in 2014. Stamford also faces an early stretch that includes Trumbull, Staples, Ridgefield and McMahon. Stamford avoids facing New Canaan, Darien and Greenwich, however, and the schedule’s second half isn’t nearly as daunting.
- Sept. 11 — vs. Fairfield Prep at Ludlowe, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 20 — at Harding, 1:30 p.m.**
- Sept. 27 — Trumbull, 2 p.m.*
- Oct. 2 — at Staples, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 10 — at Ridgefield, 7 p.m.**
- Oct. 17 — McMahon, 6 p.m.**
- Oct. 25 — at Bassick, 2 p.m.*
- Nov. 1 — at Trinity Catholic, 1 p.m.*
- Nov. 7 — Norwalk, 6 p.m.**
- Nov. 14 — Fairfield Ludlowe, 6 p.m.**
- Nov. 26 — Westhill, 6 p.m.*