- Coach: Steve Filippone (26 years, 211-58-4)
- Conference: SCC Division I East
- Playoff Class: L (623 boys enrollment)
- Home: Surf Club, Madison
- 2013 Record: 8-4 (Class L quarterfinalist)
- 2014 Kickoff: New Canaan, Sept. 12, 7 p.m.
- Captains: Jack Driscoll, Tom Durkin, Scott Sweitzer, Cory Walsh
- Jack Driscoll, 6-6, 255, Sr., OL
- Tom Durkin, 6-1, 275, Sr., OL
- Scott Sweitzer, 6-1, 205, Sr., SS
- Cory Walsh, 6-2, 235, Sr., DE
- Tommy Wilson, 5-10, 190, Sr., RB
- Reid Staples, 5-11, 190, Sr., OL
- Nick Van Dell, 5-11, 175, Jr., QB
- Bryan Twohill, 6-0, 245, Sr., OL
- Clay Sweitzer, 5-9, 155, Sr., WR
- Ryan Whelahan, 5-9, 175, Sr., RB
- Tyler Phan, 5-8, 165, Sr., PK
- Luke Nolan, 5-11, 230, Sr., DL
- Ben Onofrio, 5-9, 200, Sr., LB
- Kyle Freiman, 5-9, 195, Sr., LB
- Taylor Houghton, 6-0, 195, Sr., LB
- Jayce Barnaby, 6-1, 185, Sr., CB
- Connor McShane, 6-0, 170, Sr., CB
- Ray Vanacore, 5-11, 215, Sr., DE
Tom Wilson, WR; Pat Rogers, OLB; Connor Dowd, RB (207 carries, 1,014 yards, nine touchdowns); Ian Dieli, DL; Dan Rogers, ILB; Tim Dannolfo, WR; Jake Mirando, WR.
On the preseason form Filippone sent in, he wrote: “I would put us in the middle of the pack”.
We don’t believe him.
With 15 starters returning, including Van Dell, Wilson, and the entire offensive line and secondary, Hand should be one of the top teams in the SCC and on the state level. Expectations are always high at Hand, but with the amount of returning talent, this could be a special year in Madison.
Van Dell returns for Year 2 at quarterback after an auspicious debut as a sophomore. Van Dell completed 174 of 287 yards for 2,214 yards and 20 touchdowns, although he did throw 15 interceptions. The nimble Van Dell also rushed 111 times for 439 yards and 11 scores. The year of experience should certainly benefit both Van Dell and the Tigers.
The graduation of Dowd, Hand’s featured running back last season, means the athletic Wilson should see the bulk of the carries out of the backfield. After a solid junior season, Wilson is poised for a breakout year in 2014.
Driscoll, who gave a verbal to play at UMass, Durkin, Staples and Twohill all return on the offensive line. Phan, a Register All-Area pick, returns to handle the place kicking duties after kicking game-winning field goals against Hillhouse and Shelton, and booting 43 of 45 extra point attempts last season.
Despite some injuries last season, Walsh, who made 54 tackles and three sacks as a junior, will lead the defensive line. Scott Sweitzer (two interceptions, two fumble recoveries), Wilson (three interceptions) and junior Reid Sweitzer (two interceptions) all return in the secondary.
A challenging schedule yet again awaits. The Tigers open at home against defending Class L champion New Canaan. Hand also plays North Haven, a Class L semifinalist, an improved Cheshire squad, defending Class LL runner-up Fairfield Prep, Shelton, West Haven, a Class LL semifinalist in 2013, and Notre Dame-West Haven along with New Haven schools Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross and rival Guilford on Thanksgiving Eve.
If Hand can navigate that gauntlet, they should position themselves for a berth in the Class L state playoffs.
- Sept. 12 — New Canaan, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 19 — Hillhouse, 7 p.m.*
- Sept. 26 — at Wilbur Cross, 4 p.m.**
- Oct. 2 — at North Haven, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 10 — Cheshire, 7 p.m.**
- Oct. 17 — at Fairfield Prep (at Fairfield Ludlowe), 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 24 — Shelton, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 31 — at Xavier, 7 p.m.*
- Nov. 7 — West Haven, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 14 — at Notre Dame-West Haven, 7 p.m.**
- Nov. 26 — Guilford, 7 p.m.*
* — conference game
** — division game