- COACH — DON DRUST (7th year, 34-28)
- CONFERENCE — SCC Tier I
- PLAYOFF CLASS — LL (715 boys enrollment)
- HOME — The Maclary Complex, Cheshire
- 2017 RECORD — 6-4
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7, at Shelton, 7 p.m.
- TEAM WEBSITE — Maxpreps | TWITTER @CHSRamFootball
- ELIJAH ALLSTON, Sr., LB (5-11, 240)
- THOMAS CHERNESKIE, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 250)
- JACOB SIMCIK, Sr., WR/DB (5-11, 185)
- TIM KRUTZ, Sr., WR/DB (5-9, 165)
- JACKSON TELESE, Sr., QB/DB (5-11, 180)
- JAKE MCALINDEN, Jr., RB, (5-9, 190)
- WILL BERGIN, Jr., OL/DL, (6-2, 235)
- SEAN CANGIANO, Jr., OL/DL, (6-0, 255)
- JASON SHUMILLA, Jr., QB/DB, (6-0, 170)
- ALEC FRIONE, Jr., WR/DB (5-9, 170)
WR Michael Jeffery, LB Nick Nelson, DL Dan Covel, WR Eric Angelone, QB Jack Raba
Despite having a strong senior class with championship aspirations, Cheshire’s 2017 season didn’t turn out as hoped.
The Rams were voted as the No. 6 team in the preseason media poll. Early wins vs. Shelton and NFA had them rolling early. But, beginning with a loss to North Haven, the Rams split their final eight games to finish 6-4, including a loss to Thanksgiving Day rival Southington.
Cheshire returns just four starters from that team, making it somewhat of an unknown heading into the 2018 campaign.
One of those starters is junior running back Jake McAlinden, who led the team with 681 yards rushing and six touchdowns as a sophomore. The Rams also bring back Elijah Allston, who finished second on the team with 343 rushing yards in a backup role.
Both ran behind a strong offensive line that returns just one starter, Thomas Cherneskie.
“The running back position returns multiple players with experience,” coach Don Drust said. “We graduated several starters and need to develop depth on special teams, offense and defense.”
Cheshire’s defense is being overhauled after graduating all 11 of its leading tacklers from last season.
Allston is expected to lead the linebackers. Sean Cangiano and Will Bergin will man the defensive line with Cherneskie. Jason Shumilla will lead the revamped secondary.
Senior Jackson Telese and Shumilla, a junior, are both vying for the starting quarterback positions. Neither brings that much experience to the field. Telese didn’t throw a pass last season. Shumilla threw two.
For a team that’s expected to be in rebuilding mode, the Rams’ schedule won’t offer any favors.
Not only do the Rams play SCC favorite Shelton, SWC favorite Newtown and SCC contender North Haven to start to season, they play all three games on the road. Cheshire doesn’t play its first home game until Sept. 28 when it plays host to Law, a Class M playoff qualifier last year.
The Rams then play back-to-back games vs. Fairfield Prep and West Haven, the SCC’s two Class LL playoff qualifiers, and, later defending Class L champion Hand. That might be one of the toughest eight-game stretches for any team this season.
- Sept. 7 — at Shelton**, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 14 — at Newtown, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at North Haven**, 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — LAW*, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 12 — FAIRFIELD PREP**, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 19 at West Haven**, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — NOTRE DAME-WH**, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 2 — HAND*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 9 — HARDING*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 22 at Southington, 10 a.m.
Home games in CAPS
* CONFERENCE game