- COACH — MATT HOVE (2nd year 5-5)
- CONFERENCE — NVL Iron
- PLAYOFF CLASS — Class M (397 boys enrolled)
- HOME — Monroe Field, Wolcott
- 2017 RECORD — 5-5
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 vs. Naugatuck, 6 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITE — Maxpreps
- JAKE FILIPPONE, Sr. LB/OL (6-0, 220)
- ANTHONY LIGI, Sr. RB/LB (5-10, 190)
- LOGAN LUSSIER, Sr. OL/DL (5-7, 245)
- DEAN HOWELL, Sr. OL/DL (6-2, 275)
- JAKE SFORZA, Sr. RB/LB (5-7, 175)
- MATT OLMSTEAD, Sr. DB/WR (5-10, 160)
- NATE OLMSTEAD, Sr. WR/DB (5-9, 150)
- MATT STOECKERT, Jr. QB/DB (5-10, 170)
- D.J. BARRY, Jr. OL/DL (6-4, 310)
- JARED DUNN, Sr. DL/OL (6-0, 210)
- MASON DESAULNIERS, Sr. WR/DB (5-10, 160)
QB Michael Polzella (All-NVL), WR Mike Ciarlo, DB Colin Pawlak, WR Nick Longo, DB Santino Ciarlo, OL Matt Romeo, DL Matt Amadeo, DL Nate Lucas
Wolcott went 5-5 in 2017, but somebody — whether it was the Eagles or their opponent — scored 40 points in every Wolcott game but one. That exception was a 34-32 loss to Watertown.
Heck, somebody scored 50 in seven of them.
Much of it had to do with coach Matt Hove’s strategy. The first-year coach, who’d come from coaching 9-man football in North Dakota, incorporated the unorthodox philosophy that plays up-tempo, eschews punting, always goes for 2 and always attempts onside or squib kicks.
There’s a chance that might change a bit, at least as far as Wolcott’s 2018 makeup is concerned.
A lot of the offensive firepower that produced 422 points last year has graduated. And the defense that allowed 398 has some pretty good players back a year older, led by all-state linebacker Jake Filippone.
“We should have a better year than last season as we look to keep improving,” Hove said. “I feel we have a team with players of high character and coaches with strong resolve, and that can only lead to good things this season.”
They’ve also got three, three-year starters returning on the line. They’ve got a running game, led by Anthony Ligi, an FCS prospect who ran for over 600 yards last year and scored a combined 14 touchdowns in four different varieties while earning All-Iron Division honors. Jake Sforza, who ran for over 400 yards with nine touchdowns, will also be a big part of that.
They’re reloading the passing game, though. Quarterback Mike Polzella, who threw for 2,200 yards and ran for 1,100 more, has graduated, as have six of the Eagles’ top eight receivers. Matt Stoeckert, who threw for a couple of touchdowns last year, takes over at quarterback.
The schedule may do them some favors. The Eagles play three of the four teams that came out of the NVL to make the CIAC playoffs, Naugatuck, Seymour and Watertown. All three games are home at Monroe Field, including the Greyhounds to open the season on Sept. 7 and the other two to start October, separated by a week off.
- Sept. 7 — NAUGATUCK,** 6 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — at Oxford,* 6 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — TORRINGTON,** 6 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Woodland,* 6:30 p.m.
- Oct. 5 — SEYMOUR,* 6 p.m.
- Oct. 19 — WATERTOWN,** 6 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — at St. Paul,** 7 p.m.
- Nov. 1 — at WCA,* 6 p.m.
- Nov. 9 — SACRED HEART/KAYNOR TECH,* 6 p.m.
- Nov. 22 — at Holy Cross,* 10 a.m.
Home games in CAPS