Naugatuck Valley League
Coach: Eric Gamari, 8th season
Last Year: 9-12, Class L first round (79-60 loss to Class L runner-up Middletown)
Key Losses: Zak Mancini, G; Connor Finn, F; Jake Boccio, C; David White, G/F.
Key Returners: Stephon Dailey, 5-10 Sr. G; Nick DallaValle, 5-8 Sr. G; Jordan Henneberry, 6-1 Jr. F; Joel Villanueva, 6-1 So. G/F.
Newcomers: Richy Rodriguez, 5-8 Jr. G; Hunter Murphy, 6-1 Jr. F; Dontae Thomas, 5-8 So. G; Ty Davis, 6-2 So. G/F; Adrian Gonzalez, 6-0 Jr. F.
Outlook: The Red Raiders graduated most of their starting lineup, so it’s a brand new squad with a lot of talented pieces but a discovery process knowing how they fit. There will be growing pains while becoming competitive in the Iron Division.
Waterbury schools dominate the league with Sacred Heart and Holy Cross on the top tier, followed by Crosby, Wilby and Waterbury Career.
Coach: Mark Douglass, 13th year
Last Year: 1-19
Key Losses: Matt Coon, F; Garrett Lombardo, G; Ian Ryan, C; Jake Wendel, G; Kyle Root, C; Archie Proerlong.
Key Returners: Chad Closson 5-10 Jr.; Dylan Thomson, 5-6 Jr. G; Gary Zhang, 6-2 Sr.; Tim Steeves, 6-1 Sr.
Newcomers: Riley Weiss, 5-6 So.; Steve Marshall, 6-2 Sr.; Juan Sarmiento, 6-3 So. F; Jake Royer, 6-1 Sr.; Joe Brusman, 6-0 So.
Outlook: Very inexperienced, but look to be competitive enough to qualify for the post-season. Top teams: Thomaston, Lewis Mills, Nonnewaug, Northwestern, Wamogo.
Coach: Spike Magyar, 5th season
Last Year: 6-14
Key Loss: Pat Considine, G; Justin Dean, F; Max Vadakin, F: Zack Larson; Kirk Sprague; Hunter Lyle.
Key Returners: Elijah Brinson, So.; Alex Kellner, Jr.; Jacob Johnson, Sr.; Michael Pierce, So.
Outlook: After a big loss to graduation, the Mountaineers are young and inexperienced.
Coach: Jim Barone, 1st year
Last Year: 14-9, Class M first round
Key Losses: Ben Lewis, F; Trent Millum, F; Anthony Licata, G.
Key Returners: Trevor Baker, 6-3 Sr. F; Lorenz Gunzl, 6-1 Sr. G; Kyle Alvarez, 6-2 Jr. G; Joe Neary, 5-9 Jr. G; Jackson Lord, 6-3 Jr. G; Josh Schibi, 6-4 So. F.
Outlook: The Spartans graduated three starters but hope to find a new identity while fighting for a spot near the top of the league with Nonnewaug, Northwestern, Wamogo and Thomaston.
Coach: Dan Goscinski, 4th year
Last Year: 11-10, Class S first round
Key Losses: Brandon Hookstadt, G, Cpt.; Cal McKenna, G; Austin Dieck, F; Chris Parsons, G; Garrett Conaghan, F; Nick Andro, F.
Key Returners: Josh Guilmart, 5-9 Sr. G; Jack Kruezer, 5-10 Sr. G; Evan Persechino, 6-0 Sr. F; Glenn Doyle, 6-0 Jr. F; Aaron Landau, 5-8 Sr. G; Jared Guilmart, 5-10 So. G.
Outlook: The Cowboys lost key players, but still look to play tough.
Coach: Tim Drakeley, 23rd year
Last Year: 16-4, Berkshire League co-champions; BL Tournament Champions; Class M second round
Key Loss: Nick DeCicco, All-BL G; Devon Fiedler, PG; Ryan Gunnoud, G; Ethan Ray, C; Andrew Roden, C; Luke Molinaro, G; Peter Bequary, G.
Key Returners: Nathan Firlings, 5-9 Sr. PG; Jacob Matta, 6-0 Sr. All-BL G; Alex Reimold, 6-0 Sr. G; Jey Herman, 6-1 Sr. F; Ryan Cleary, 5-10 Jr. G/F; Peter Rickenbach, 6-2 Jr. F; Jacon Firlings, 5-9 Jr. PG; Jarrett Michaels, 5-9 So. PG; JD Gagenbach, 6-2 So. F.
Outlook: The Chiefs should compete with the league’s top teams. Despite key losses to graduation, “we have an athletic and versatile group,” says Coach Tim Drakeley. He picks Northwestern with the size and talent to win the league, along with Thomaston, Wamogo, Northwestern and Shepaug as contenders.
Coach: Doug Sebach, 13th year
Last Year: 17-3; Berkshire League co-champions; Class M second round.
Key Losses: Anthony Case, G; Tucker Kreh, F; Devin Warren, F/G; Alex Case, G.
Key Returners: Zack Plitt, 6-2 Sr. F; Sheldon Green, 5-11 Sr. G; Ben North 6-1 Jr. G; Jayson Reola, 6-2 Jr. F; Mike Oley, 6-0 Jr. G; Chris Nanni, 6-0 Jr. G; Jarrett Soltis, 5-9 Jr. G; Tom Merzwan, 5-10 Jr. G; Zack Penn, 6-4 Jr. F; Liam Duran, 6-2 Jr. F; Michael Neumann, 6-2 Jr. F.
Newcomers: The Highlanders graduated a pair of ultra-quick guards and a pair of ultimate warriors underneath. Nevertheless, nobody expects the Highlanders to disappear.
Coach: Matt Lefevre, 4th year
Last Year: 7-14
Key Losses: Clayton Schneider, All-BL second team F; Ryan Lamay, All-BL G/F.
Key Returners: Eamon Crossley, 5-9 Sr. G; Kyle LaMay, 6-2 Jr. G; Alan Stinson, 5-8 Jr. G; Mike Fiore, 6-1 Jr. F/C; Sean Welsh, 6-3 Sr. C; Joseph Brunelli, 5-8 So. G; Ethan Hibbard, 6-0 So. F.
Newcomers: Jack Schneider, 5-11 So. G; Nick Fleming, 5-9 Jr. G; Jake Stanley, 6-1 Jr. F.
Outlook: A young team that needs help from its entire roster after losing prolific scorer Ryan Lamay, who scored 51 points in a game last year. Coach Lefevre sees Thomaston, Lewis Mills, Northwestern, Nonnewaug and Wamogo as this year’s front runners.
Coach: Mark Fowler
Last Year: 8-13, Class S qualifying round
Key Losses: Ian Schmidt, G; Ariel BatistaF; Zach Guarriello, F; Doug Thorne, C.
Key Returners: Evan Dorso, 5-8 Soph. G; Shawn Iwanow, 5-10 Soph. G; John Grimes, 6-1 Sr. F; Colin Bamrick, 5-9 So. C; Riley Zappone, 5-9 Jr. G; Ethan Rheault, 5-8 Jr. G; Mike Gredeczouskas, 6-0 Sr. F; Michael Tiscia, 5-9 Jr. G.
Outlook: The Kangaroos lost some warriors to graduation.
Coach: A.J. Bunel, 3rd year
Last Year: 7-13
Key Losses: Justin Taylor, All-BL second team; Chad Robinson; Aaron Madow.
Key Returners: Jared Kahn, 6-3 Sr.; Noah Daigle, 6-6 All-BL second team Sr.; Devan Donofrio, 5-8 Sr.; Sean Fitzpatrick, 6-4 Sr.; Evan Butkevicius, 6-0 Jr.; Austin Frank, 6-0 Sr.; Jon Wilson, 5-8 Jr.
Newcomers: Nick Roberts, 6-2 Sr.; Guytano Spina, 5-11 Jr.; Drew Colavecchio, 5-10 So.
Outlook: The Golden Bears are big enough and experienced enough to make many coaching lists for league contenders. Coach Bunel looks for more consistency before he’s satisfied. Lewis Mills, Northwestern, Nonnewaug and Wamogo make his list of contenders.
Coach: Gregg Hunt, 22nd season (33rd overall)
Last Year: 10-12; Class S first round
Key Losses: Garrett Coe, 6-4 Jr. transfer to The Gunnery; Pete Schneider; Logan King; Spencer Birkett, 6-1 Sr.
Key Returners: Max Loomis, 6-2 Sr.; Owen Hofman, 5-11 Sr.; Garrett Sattazahn, 5-10 All-BL second team So., Cpt. (11.1 ppg); Sean Coffey, 5-10 So.; Reid Turtoro, 5-9 So.; Nick Crowley, 5-8 Sr.; Eric Zappone, 5-11 So.; Luke Waldron, 6-2 So..
Outlook: Before Garrett Coe’s transfer, the Warriors might have been a league favorite. They still have some of the best guards in the league and a solid big man in Max Loomis. Their depth and speed fit Coach Hunt’s fast-paced style perfectly. The Warriors are still on most lists as contenders. Coach Hunt calls his team “young but experienced.” He picks Nonnewaug, Mills and Northwestern with Thomaston as a dark horse.
Constitution State Conference
Coach: Rene Williams, 15th year
Last Year: 1-19
Key Loss: Louis Perlotto, 5-9 Sr. G; Brandon Oakes, 6-0 Sr. G;
Key Returners: Tristan Sorenson, 5-6 Jr. G; Mitchell Sorenson, 5-7 Jr. G; Dalton Moreau, 6-1 Jr. F; Joel Lemieux, 5-8 Jr. G; David Colombie, 6-2 Jr. C.
Outlook: The Wildcats’ move to the CSC helps most sports, but not basketball, where inner city tech and magnet schools dominate.