- Coach: RICH BOSHEA (2nd year, 7-4)
- Conference: SCC Division II
- Playoff Class: LL (767 boys enrollment)
- Home: Ken Strong Stadium
- 2015 Record: 7-4 (lost to Shelton in Class LL quarterfinals)
- 2016 Kickoff: Sept. 9 at Hamden, 7 p.m.
- Team website: MaxPreps
- BYRON DICKENS, Sr., OL/DL (6-3, 290)
- BOB HAWKINS, Sr., G/LB (5-10, 210)
- SHEILAN VELAZQUEZ, Sr., WR (6-3, 175)
- TIM McCARTHY, Sr., QB (6-2, 185)
- CHRIS CHANCE, Jr., RB
- ANTHONY GODFREY, Sr., RB (5-9 175)
- KYLE GODFREY, Jr., RB (5-7, 170)
- JOSE CONDE, Sr., WR/K/SS (5-10, 160)
Marquis Lockhart, DE; Adrian Jaynes, ILB; Andrew Highsmith, DB; James McCarthy, T (Transfer to Choate)
The Westies return, perhaps, the most talented roster in the SCC. Among the returnees is fierce, two-way lineman Byron Dickens, who helped West Haven rush for 2,572 yards and 45 touchdowns while being named a GameTimeCT/Register All-Area selection last season. He also made 33 tackles. Dickens will be among the top two-way linemen in the state this season.
Also returning is quarterback Tim McCarthy, the son of former West Haven coach Ed McCarthy. He completed 64 of 132 passes for 1,009 yards and seven touchdowns.
Tim McCarthy enters his third season at quarterback, so that experience should prove invaluable. The Westies will operate out of the hybrid Wing-T but Tim McCarthy is more than capable of leading the team downfield through the air.
“It’s great having him back,” West Haven coach Rich Boshea said about his quarterback. “He’s a very smart QB, he knows everyone’s assignment. He’s a very good student of the game, he’s been around this offense since he was 1-year old.”
West Haven returns all three of its running backs from last season. Anthony Godfrey rushed 134 times for a team-high 1,064 yards and scored 17 touchdowns. Kyle Godfrey also carried 134 times for 891 yards and a team-high 18 touchdowns. Chris Chance added 544 yards on 96 carries and seven touchdowns. Senior Jakai Manning will also contribute out of the backfield.
The Westies have, arguably, the best running back trio in the state.
“We have four good running backs,” Boshea said. “Jakai Manning is good, he just has to play behind those guys.”
While the Westies have Dickens at tackle and Bobby Hawkins at guard, the team did lose Ed McCarthy’s youngest son, up-and-coming lineman James McCarthy, a 6-4 would-be junior tackle who has transferred to Choate.
“The offensive line development will be key,” Boshea said. “If we can get guys open, we have a chance to be very good.”
West Haven also returns its leading receiver in senior Sheilan Velazquez, who caught 35 passes for 541 yards and one touchdown. The Godfrey brothers combined to make 14 receptions and four touchdowns.
The Westies amassed 3,668 yards of total offense last season when they advanced to the Class LL quarterfinals before losing to Shelton.
Conde gives West Haven a legitimate kicking threat.
Defensively, the Westies lost several talented starters to graduation, including Adrian Jaynes (100 tackles, four interceptions), Andrew Highsmith (34 tackles) and Marquis Lockhart (82 tackles).
The Westies will count on Dickens to lead the unit at defensive end. The Godfrey brothers return to the secondary after combining to recover four fumbles. Hawkins (69 tackles) will anchor the linebackers.
While West Haven certainly has the talent to win the Class LL title, they have to get there first.
“In our league, you can never be confident,” Boshea said. “We have a good enough team to go deep in the playoffs.”
It won’t be easy. The Westies play in the newly-formed SCC Division I, which also includes Xavier, Cheshire, Notre Dame-West Haven, North Haven, Hand, Shelton and Fairfield Prep.
“We feel we have a good team, I’m not going to undersell us,” Boshea said. “But you can never be too confident because you don’t know what’s going to happen. We hope to stay healthy.”
West Haven also plays SCC Division II members Hamden and Amity and SCC Division III school Creed/Career/Whitney Tech.
|Sept. 9||at Hamden*||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 16||at Xavier**||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 23||vs. Creed/Career/Whitney Tech*||7 p.m.|
|Sept. 30||vs. Cheshire**||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 7||vs. Amity*||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 21||at Notre Dame-WH**||7 p.m.|
|Oct. 28||vs. North Haven**||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 4||at Hand**||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 11||at Shelton**||7 p.m.|
|Nov. 24||vs. Fairfield Prep**||10:30 a.m.|