I am not going to sugarcoat this in any way, we didn’t have a football season this fall. I know it sucked and wasn’t what everyone wanted.
That said, we still wanted to recognize some of the best players in state and tell them this: we wish we could have seen them play this fall.
We limited the list to just 15 players, but to be honest there could be more names added. We also only listed seniors because this was going to be their last season of high school football.
While there could be a season in the spring, we still wanted to share this list.
I hope you enjoy this list and know that while these players didn’t get to finish their careers the way they wanted; they had an impact.
Southington, Sr., OL/DL
Andrews helped anchor the offensive line of an explosive Southington offense that rushed for over 1,800 yards and threw for over 2,200 in 2019.
In his biggest play of his junior season, Andrews held his spot on the defensive line to keep Cheshire out of the end zone on the Rams’ two-point conversion try in the second overtime to secure the win for the Blue Knights.
Andrews was a third-team All-State selection for the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT in 2019.
Hand, Sr., OL/DL
An imposing presence (6-foot-4, 315 pounds) on both sides of the line, Bambrick was a force to be reckoned with and would have been again his senior year.
Bambrick helped lead the Tigers to 2,984 yards on the ground and 1,951 yards in the air en route to reachin the Class L state title game for the third straight season.
He will continue his football career at Coastal Carolina.
Greenwich, Sr., WR/DB
Since exploding on the scene as a sophomore there hasn’t been a player in the state who was more exciting to watch on the field than Barber.
Everyone has seen his highlight plays and those plays speak loudly of his skill.
As a junior he caught 42 passes for 745 yards and 15 touchdowns. On defense, he made 10 tackles and helped Greenwich reach the Class LL playoffs, after helping the Cardinals win the Class LL title in 2018.
The Cardinals were expected to be one of the top teams in the state this season with almost all of their core players returning.
Barber was one of two juniors named first-team All-State by the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT. He was also named to the CHSCA Top 26 Players.
He will continue his football career at Princeton.
Bloomfield, Sr., QB
Heading into his senior season, Bryden had a chance to leave his name atop almost every major statistical category for quarterbacks in Connecticut history.
Bryden needed 3,441 passing yards to surpass New London/Masuk’s Casey Cochran for career passing yards. He threw for 3,344 yards as a junior – which is the 7th most in state history for a single season.
He was 15 passing touchdowns away from topping Woodland’s Tanner Kinglsey’s state record of 113.
He will play for Stony Brook University.
Jeffrey Davis Jr.,
Bristol Eastern, Sr., CB/WR
Coming over from Kingswood Oxford to play his final season of high school football at Bristol Eastern, there was excitement surrounding Davis Jr.
He had already committed to Penn State University to play defensive back and he was expected to join the Lancers and contribute on both sides of the ball.
Davis Jr., was expected to help Bristol Eastern get back to .500 and maybe more, something the Lancers haven’t done in five seasons.
Killingly, Sr., OL/DL
As we all know, Killingly likes to run people over.
Killingly rushed for 254.2 yards per game a year ago and running behind Galaza made a lot of it possible.
Galarza helped anchor both the offensive and the defensive line, where he made 8.5 sacks.
Killingly was going to be back in the thick of things in the ECC and Class M.
Wilton, Sr., OL/DL
Gulbin was the second of two juniors to be named to New Haven Register/GameTimeCT All-State first-team and for good reason.
He was a force on both sides of the football for the Warriors and helped lead them back to the playoffs for the first time since 1995.
He led the line of the Warriors’ offense that rushed for 1,285 yards and threw for another 2,192 yards. He even ran in two touchdowns himself.
On defense he made 31 tackles, eight for a loss and had one sack.
Gulbin will play at Wake Forest next season.
St. Joseph, Sr., WR
The St. Joseph team that captured the Class L state championship and the No. 1 ranking in the state had talent across the board, so it was easy for some of those star players to be overlooked.
Hutchison wasn’t one of them.
As a junior he led the team with 58 catches for 998 yards and 14 touchdowns, pairing with Will Diamantis to form the best receiving duo in the state.
With Diamantis and running back Jaden Shirden graduated, Hutchison was set to become the main playmaker for the Hogs.
Hutchison was named to the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT All-State third-team.
Fairfield Prep, Sr., LB
Morris was a very good player on a good team when he was in Connecticut.
He made 94 tackles, had three sacks and three interceptions during his time at Fairfield Prep.
Once the football season was shut down in Connecticut, Morris and his family moved to Texas, where Morris has grown into a top player for one of the best high school teams in Texas: Westlake High.
Morris received college offers during his time at Fairfield Prep and even verbally committed to the University of Penn.
Since being down in Texas, Morris drew the eyes of other programs and received offers from Duke University and Oklahoma State.
Morris signed his national letter of intent on early signing day to play at Duke.
He was named to the Class LL All-State team his junior year.
Newington, Sr., QB
Pestrichello was one of the most exciting dual threat quarterbacks in the state his junior year.
With his arm (1,680 passing yards,15 TDs) and his legs (484 rushing yards, 10 TDs), Pestrichello led Newington to the postseason for first time since 2008.
Against Platt, the quarterback rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns and against Maloney he rushed for 147 yards and four touchdowns. He threw two touchdowns passes against Maloney as well.
According to the New Britain Herald, over the summer with the football season in question, Pestrichello left Newington and transferred to Cushing Academy in Massachusetts.
He was selected as an honorable mention to the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT All-State team. He was also selected to the Class L All-State team.
Platt, Sr., RB
Since becoming the starting running back for the Panthers, Salas has done nothing but run for a ton of yards.
His sophomore year he rushed for 1,330 yards and 11 touchdowns to help the Panthers reach the Class L semifinals and as an encore he rushed for 2,062 yards and 18 touchdowns in his junior season.
He rushed for over 200 yards five times and in his best game he rushed for 320 yards and six touchdowns against Manchester.
Newtown, Sr., QB
The play that won the Class LL state championship for Newtown for the first time in 27 years and seven years to the day of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Street split time at quarterback for the Nighthawks as a junior with Brandon Lombardo.
He threw for 923 yards and 10 touchdowns, while adding 163 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.
His senior year was supposed to be his encore to – what some say – the greatest play in Connecticut high school football history.
Street announced that he will be play at Milford Academy next season.
Maloney, Sr., RB
The last two seasons have seen the Maloney Spartans reach the Class L finals and semifinals and one of the mainstays on both of those teams was Tarver.
Tarver rushed for a school record 1,955 yards and scored over 20 touchdowns as a junior.
He rushed for 323 yards and five touchdowns against Wethersfield, and also scored five touchdowns in two other games against Bristol Central and Platt.
With much of the Maloney core back this fall, the Spartans were expected to make another run in Class L.
Fairfield Prep, Sr., DE/FB/LS
Vaccarella was a force up front for the Jesuits’ defense as a junior.
He recorded five sacks against West Haven in the final game of his junior season.
Vaccarella has garnered a lot of interest from Power 5 football programs for his ability as a long snapper.
He has offers from Mississippi State, Michigan, Akron, Miami (OH), Penn State and Michigan State, according to Rubio Long Snapping.
Vaccarella was selected to the New Haven Register/GameTimeCT All-State as an honorable mention.
St. Joseph, Sr., QB
Wallace burst on to the scene in 2019 as a player tasked with filling the big shoes left by David Summers.
Not only did Wallace fill in the shoes nicely, but he exceeded expectations by throwing for 36 touchdowns, 2,281 yards and leading the Hogs to their third straight state title. He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year.
Not too bad for a player who spent his sophomore season playing in the defensive secondary.
Having Wallace back with Hutchison would have been a sight to see as the Hogs were aiming for their fifth straight title.