Team-by-Team FCIAC team preview page with links to complete 2016 team previews. Compiled by Sean Patrick Bowley. Based on interviews and coaches who responded to a preseason survey.
Thirteen starters return, including elusive junior quarterback Marcucio Woods, so coach Mike Farrell expects the Hilltoppers to improve on last year’s 1-9 records. But the offensive lines are rebuilding and will depend on junior Virasag Arrounsack to lead the way.
With a true quarterback, junior Josh Evans, at the helm, coach Vincent Camera is hoping he can unleash playmaking seniors Aiden Kudzy and Javion Beasley on the rest of the league and improve on year’s 2-7 record.
As he enters Year 2 as coach, John Marinelli says a his culture and system has been established at the dormant FCIAC power. He has the playmakers, now he needs to settle on a quarterback to run his explosive, fast break offense. The Cards are hoping to rebound from their first losing season in 30 years.
All-State QB Michael Collins and a host of other stars have graduated from last year’s three-time Class L champs. Finding Collins’ replacement is of utmost importance. Marinelli has two upperclassmen in mind, but the arrival of a freshman phenom might also vie for time. Meanwhile, senior Ryan O’Connell can do it all.
All-State lineman James “Thor” Makszin, a Temple commit, returns to give the Bears a push up front and to give time for returning QB Krishtjan Frokaaj and his athletic receivers to make plays. Norwalk is looking for a reliable tailback and hopes its young defense grows up fast.
Coach Kevin Callahan is back after a year away, and just in time to see his outstanding senior trio Chris Longo, Collin Lowe and Drew Fowler and his two-platoon system come of age. Ridgefield just missed the state playoffs last year. The deep and talented Tigers want to leave no doubt this time.
The Crusaders graduated QB Anthony Lombardi, but a massive line returns to open holes for 1,000-yard rusher Jonmichael Bivona. Defense, too, should be a strength as Trinity attempts to return to the Class S playoffs.
Everybody of consequence is back, including senior QB Johnny McElroy, junior back Markeese Woods and reliable target Danny Hoffman. Trumbull’s veteran defense, by a strong secondary, LBs Harrison Klas and Ryan Kelly and end Joe Turner, will be tough to crack.
Quarterback Blake Newcomer takes sole possession of the job after sharing chores last season. But Westhill needs to find him new targets and consistent offensive line. Linebackers Mehki Barnett and Anthony Dastoli lead what should be an improved defense.
Coach Alex Trasacco had a year to implement his own system after inheriting the job just days before last season’s camp. Though a lot of names have changed, the Hatters have size and strength up front, which will allow Trasacco to build a run-oriented offense around sprinter Aaron Agosto.
Darien graduated, perhaps, the greatest class in its football history, including New Haven Register state player of the year DE Mark Evanchick. Massive all-state tackle Andrew Stueber (Michigan) returns alongside another large senior class which saw plenty of action last year and seems poised to defend its Class LL title and No. 1 ranking.
Bryan Azarian was a 1,000 yard-rusher last year. He and his entire offensive line are among 18 returning veterans, giving Warde a sneaky chance at not only drastically flippinglast season’s 3-6 record around, but also at upsetting a heavyweight or two along the way.
Coach A.J. Albano wants to break the “bad habits” which contributed toward McMahon’s 2-7 season. The Senators bring back Chris Druin at quarterback and ends T.J. Coleman and Marvin Jean-Pierre to lead the defense. Albano is looking for new tailbacks to get his wing-T, ball-control offense moving.
For the second-consecutive year, St. Joseph suffered from graduation from a state playoff team. The Hogs return veteran QB Cory Babineau, but must build a new offense around him. Defense is also on the young side, but can at least count on end Brian Harner and linebacker Jude Andrezewski to make another postseason run.
Coach Jamar Greene was stuck in limbo for a few months as Stamford tried to shop his job. He won it back, but lost valuable time, preparation and resources in the process. The Black Knights can at least be glad QB Troy Duncan is back for a second season and that they have two bruisers at tailback to help the cause.
Tight end and UConn commit Ryan Fitton and QB Andrew Speed return on a veteran team, which should contend for a a state playoff berth again. Bit tackle Nick Roehm is one of five returning linemen who should make backs Elliott Poulley and Harrison Levi’s jobs easy. Defense will be a calling card.
Wilton looks to new QB Matt D’Elisa to lead a group which returns much of last year’s 3-6 team. The Warriors will benefit from the return of RB Will Litton, its entire receiving corps and much of its offensive line. Eight starters are back on defense.