- COACH — RICH BOSHEA (4th year, 17-5)
- CONFERENCE — SCC Tier I
- PLAYOFF CLASS — LL (793 boys enrollment)
- HOME — Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven
- 2017 RECORD — 9-3, lost to Darien in Class LL semifinals
- 2018 OPENER — Sept. 7 vs. North Haven, 7 p.m.
- JUSTIN MEDINA, Jr. HB/WR (5-10, 165)
- SHANE CLARKE, Sr. DE (6-4, 210)
- JOE MANNING, Sr. C
- JORDAN BERRIOS, Jr. QB
- TYLEN JENETTE, Sr. FB/LB (5-7, 160)
- MEKIEL COATES, Sr. SE/DB
RB/DB Kyle Godfrey (All-State First Team, NHR Player of the Year), RB/DB Chris Chance, LB Mike Charlton; QB Jack Conlan; DB Zach Conlan.
When we last left West Haven, coach Rich Boshea was lamenting the final game of Kyle Godfrey, his all-state first teamer’s final game in a Blue Devils uniform.
“I asked Mrs. Godfrey if she’d have some more kids,” he said after Kyle Godfrey did everything he could to prevent a 27-13 loss to No. 1 Darien in the Class LL semifinals. Following in the footsteps of his older brother, Anthony, the 2016 SCC Player of the Year, Kyle Godfrey ran for over 1,200 yards and had seven interceptions on defense to become the Register’s Player of the Year.
Ten months later Boshea was still asking, but it appears as if he has finally come around to the fact that another Godfrey won’t be stepping through the West Haven High School doors. “Guess it’s not going to happen,” Boshea said Friday.
Not only is Kyle Godfrey gone, but so too is fellow back Chris Chance, quarterback Jake Conlan, all but two offensive linemen… All told, there will be nine new starters on the field.
Given all of that, not to mention the departure of longtime offensive coordinator Tim Nixon for Hamden Hall, Boshea figured it was time to mix things up a bit on offense.
Following a West Haven football tradition of bringing in former head coaches, Boshea brought in former Foran coach Jeff Bevino to run his offense. The Westies will still run out of the Wing-T, but they’ll now run it out of a spread formation in hopes of strengthening the pass game.
“We’ve basically brought over the Foran staff now,” Boshea said. “We’ll be a little more diverse on offense, now, and won’t be quite as solid Wing T.
“The kids have really done an excellent job learning it, trying to pick it up. It’s been a learning experience, with nine new starters on top of it. We’ll struggle a big as it comes together.”
To run this show, junior Jordan Berrios moves over from running back to quarterback. Justin Medina and Tylen Jenette will be the Westies’ primary backs. “We’ll see how quick Jordan picks it up and see how those guys factor in to becoming typical West Haven backs,” Boshea said.
Their play will largely depend on how the revamped offensive line, anchored by senior center Joe Manning, performs.
West Haven’s linemen claimed Berlin’s annual lineman challenge this summer by capturing the title from three-time defending champion Darien (incidentally, the three-time defending Class LL champions). So, at least the unit’s strength won’t be in doubt.
Defense, meanwhile, returns three starters, among them defensive end Shane Clarke, a towering figure at 6-foot-4. Boshea doesn’t seem too worried about his defense, what with coordinator Tom Unger running the show. “Another year of Tom doing his thing for us,” Boshea said.
West Haven opens its season vs. North Haven, another SCC Tier I team hit hard by graduation, and then play traditional rivals Hamden and Notre Dame before facing Bassick. The big tests will likely be at the Surf Club on Oct. 12 and at Shelton on Oct. 26. Hillhouse, Xavier and Fairfield close out the season.
- Sept. 7 — NORTH HAVEN,** 7: p.m.
- Sept. 14 — HAMDEN,* 7 p.m.
- Sept. 21 — at Notre Dame-West Haven,** 7 p.m.
- Sept. 28 — at Bassick,* 7 p.m.
- Oct. 12 — at Hand**, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 19 — CHESHIRE**, 7 p.m.
- Oct. 26 — at Shelton**, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 2 — HILLHOUSE*, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 9 — at Xavier**, 7 p.m.
- Nov. 21 — FAIRFIELD PREP**, 6:30 p.m.
Home games in CAPS