Above: Defensive highlight reel for linebacker Jack Kelly, one of the FCIAC’s best who is the only returning starter on a new-look Trumbull defense in 2014.
- Coach: Bob Maffei (17th year, 104-49)
- Conference: FCIAC West
- Playoff Class: LL (1,012 boys enrollment)
- Home: Jerry McDougall Stadium, Trumbull
- 2013 Record: 8-3 (8-2 FCIAC, 4-1 West)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 12 vs. Shelton, 7 p.m.
- Team Captains:
- Team website: Trumbullfootball.com | MaxPreps page
- Adam Angelucci, Sr. RB/CB
- Jack Kelly, Sr. WR/LB (6-2, 270)
- Greg Goldman, Sr. G (5-11, 250)
- Ryan Moulton, Sr. C/DT/NG (5-8, 230)
- Jonathan Newland, Sr. T/DT (6-2, 270)
- Justin Appleby, Jr. T/DT (6-4, 272)
- Cory Haslam, Jr. G/DT/DE (6-2, 255)
- Lance Bragg, Sr. CB/WR (5-9, 165)
- Patrick Hallstrom, Sr. OLB (5-10, 180)
- Connor Shea, Sr. C/DT (6-1, 215)
- Stephen Nagy, Jr. QB (5-11, 172)
- Johnny McElroy, Soph. QB
Nick Roberts, QB (Dean JC); M.J. Cesare, RB/DB; T.J Hayduk, WR/DB; Quentin Brunetti, WR/DE; Eric Anderson, WR/DE; Hunter Wnukowski, WR; Zach Thompson, OL; Phil Reardon, OL
Despite its inauspicious start vs. Shelton, Trumbull rallied back into Class LL playoff contention last year by winning eight of its final 10 games thanks to a high-flying offense sparked by QB Nick Roberts and an arsenal of receivers and backs. The Eagles racked up nearly 5,000 yards of offense and 405 points. “It was like playing Madden Football out there,” coach Bob Maffei said. “Our games were like a pinball machine.”
Alas for Trumbull, the whole kit-n-caboodle graduated. No one of offensive consequence returns this year except, well, just about the entire offensive line, both starters and reserves.
To take advantage, Trumbull will have a entirely different look in 2014. Think of how Trumbull played during its 2010 run to the Class LL state championship game and you’re on the right track.
The Eagles’ solution to replacing Roberts, who set school passing records and threw for 3,104 yards and 32 touchdowns last year, is the same two-headed QB strategy not seen since that 2010 season when Ian Milne and Brian Gallo ran the show together. Junior Stephen Nagy, who saw limited varsity action last year, is the throwing QB. Sophomore Johnny McElroy will be the running QB.
To replace M.J. Cesare, who ran for 1,170 yards and 20 touchdowns last year, the Eagles will turn to Adam Angelucci. The senior saw limited action behind Cesare and ran for 287 yards and two scores. His performance, and that of the offensive line, will be key since Trumbull returns no receivers with varsity experience.
Defensively, Trumbull is starting from scratch after graduating just about everyone. “That’s not a bad thing,” Maffei said. “We almost gave up 400 points last year.”
Linebacker Jack Kelly, who led the team with 82 tackles and five sacks as a junior, is the only returning defensive starter. Maffei, who runs the defense, said he got sick of watching backs like Greenwich’s Austin Longi easily turn the corner for big yardage, is putting lineman Cory Haslam on defense to play end and moving Kelly from inside to outside linebacker to counter those threats. Senior linebacker Pat Hallstrom will man the other side. Justin Appleby will play defensive tackle and speedy senior Lance Bragg will lead the defensive backfield.
Considering its unusual makeup, Maffei doesn’t quite know how this team will stack up against the rest of the FCIAC. He’s hoping for a much better showing against Shelton than last year’s, two-day, 49-20 loss. Either way, the Trumbull should emerge from that game with a better understanding of itself. Luckily, the rest of the schedule is favorable. Trumbull doesn’t face Greenwich until Week 6, Staples until Week 8 and St. Joseph until Thanksgiving. Trumbull doesn’t play New Canaan or Darien.
“We’ll just take it one game at a time and see how it goes,” Maffei said.
- Sept. 12 — Shelton, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — Fairfield Warde, 7 p.m.*
- Sept. 27 — at Stamford, 2 p.m.*
- Oct. 2 — Norwalk, 6 p.m.*
- Oct. 10 — Westhill, 7 p.m.**
- Oct. 18 — at Greenwich, 2 p.m.**
- Oct. 24 — Wilton, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 31 — at Staples, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 7 — at Danbury, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 14 — at Bridgeport Central, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 26 — St. Joseph, 6 p.m.*