- COACH — DAN GOUIN
- CONFERENCE — NEPSAC Independent
- PLAYOFF CLASS — NEPSAC C
- HOME — South Field, Stamford
- 2017 RECORD — 9-1 (3-1)
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 14 at Poly Prep, N.Y., 7 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITE — MaxPreps | TWITTER — @CoachGKingFB
- KENNY DYSON, Sr. OLB (6-3, 230)
- LEVAUGHN LEWIS, Sr. TE/OLB (6-3, 235)
- CHRIS GAINE, So. QB/S (6-1, 190)
- LEWIS BAER, Sr. DE/OT (6-3, 255)
- JUSTIN ZIDE, Sr. WR/DB (5-11, 180)
- GRADY BORUCHIN, Sr. OLB (5-10, 180)
- CHRIS DELLA JACONO, Sr. OT/DE (6-2, 210)
- SAMMY RABASSA, Sr. C/DT (6-3, 235)
- ETHAN ANDERSON, So. TE/LB (6-0, 180)
- JUSTIN TORRES, Jr. RB/DB (5-10, 190)
QB Renn Lints, FB/MLB Evan Townsend-Henry
Winning back-to-back championships was not easy.
The King football program is now trying to see how difficult winning three-in-a-row can be.
King is the two-time defending NEPSAC Class 3 champions after beating Portsmouth (R.I.) Abbey School 27-6 in last year’s final.
The players know the team will have a bullseye on its back but are prepared for the challenge of going for three-straight titles.
“It takes a lot of coming out here and wanting to be here. We all know what we are fighting for and we have motivation to be the three-time champions,” senior offensive and defensive lineman Sammy Rabassa said. “We don’t want to be the team to end this streak. We want to continue it and keep it going, especially as seniors.”
Rather than being able to focus solely on a three-repeat, King was thrown into flux with the departure of several teams from the FAA, leaving just King, St. Luke’s and Hamden Hall in the league. That left open dates to be filled and an abbreviated 2018 schedule.
“Hamden Hall, St. Luke’s and us were scrambling for games very late in the scheduling process,” King coach Dan Gouin said. “When you’ve won two straight NEPSAC Bowl Championship games, it’s very hard to find opponents willing to play you.”
Despite those troubles, the Vikings feel they can once again contend for a NEPSAC title with a good amount of talent returning to the field with seven starters on offense, including the entire offensive line, and seven on defense.
Maintaining the level of focus necessary to win another championship should not be an issue, according to Gouin.
“The hardest part is replacing the three-and-four-year starters we lost,” Gouin said. “Motivation is not a problem. This group of kids wants to win just as much as the kids the past two years. We had great turnout in the weight room this offseason. The kids are motivated to keep it going in the direction it is headed.”
6-foot-3-inch, 235-pound senior TE LeVaughn Lewis was an All-NEPSAC Class C first team pick a season ago and returns as one of the biggest targets in the state.
Lewis is a three-year starter and will not be sneaking up on anyone this season, forcing other offensive players to rise to the occasion, including new QB Chris Gaine, who is filling the massive shoes left by Renn Lints.
“We have to get our quarterback up to speed,” Gouin said. “He runs it well and understands the offense but his throwing is a little behind where it should be right now. We also have two smaller running backs than we had last year, so, we may not be able to just pound the ball again. The good thing is, our offensive line has been really good, so far. We just need to find a good inside game to go with our outside speed.”
Defense is King’s strength, right now with Division-1 recruit Kenny Dyson back at middle linebacker along with Lewis at OLB and Gaine playing safety.
The defensive line can go as deep as nine players, giving King plenty of options up front.
“We need the young guys to step up. We lost around 10 seniors and we need to fill those spots,” senior LT/MLB Chris Della Jacono said. “Two championships in a row speaks for itself. We are going for that third one and it is going to a long, tough season but we are ready for it.”
The opponents may be different this season after the FAA fell apart but the goals for King football remain the same and the team seems to have the pieces in place to make a run at a third-straight championship.
- Sept. 14 — at Poly Prep (NY), 7 p.m
- Sept. 22 — CAPITAL PREP HARBOR, 2:30 p.m.
- Oct. 6 — at Pennington School, NJ, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 13 — HAMDEN HALL 1 p.m.
- Oct. 20 — RYE COUNTRY DAY (NY), 3:30 p.m.
- Oct. 27 — WYOMING SEMINARY (Penn.), 3:30 p.m.
- Nov. 10 — at St. Luke’s, 1 p.m.
Home games in CAPS