COACH — CRAIG BRUNO (2nd year, 5-5)
CONFERENCE — SCC Tier II
PLAYOFF CLASS — LL (752 boys enrollment)
HOME — Johnson Field at William E. Sim Athletic Complex
2018 RECORD — 5-5
2019 OPENER — Sept. 13 vs. Harding, 7 p.m.
TEAM WEBSITES — Maxpreps
- JOE DIGELLO, Sr. FB/OL/DE (6-2, 225)
- NICO SEMMONELLA, Sr., WR, (5-10, 185)
- SAM SACHS, Sr., RB, (5-9, 170)
- CAMERON LUCIANO, Jr., DE/T, (6-2, 235)
- BEN IWASZKIEWICZ, Jr. QB (5-11, 170)
- SHAKAI GRAY, Jr. S (6-1, 170)
- ANTHONY OLENECHUK, Jr. (5-11, 200)
- JAMIE GENOVESE, Sr. CB (6-0, 165)
Jacob Lettick, WR; Dan Beckwith, RB/LB; Andrew Kimball; James Laubstein, QB (transfer to Hamden Hall)
Amity had gone nine-straight seasons without a winning record. Then Craig Bruno rode into town last year and the Spartans managed to end that streak with a 5-5 finish.
The Spartans got off to a 4-1 start before running into some of the SCC’s best teams in the season’s second half. Amity only lost to Notre Dame-West Haven by a touchdown and came within minutes of securing its first winning season since 2008, but lost late to North Haven 28-26 on Thanksgiving Eve.
Still, it was good progress for Bruno’s first season in Woodbridge.
He and Amity have some work to do if they want to equal or surpass last year’s finish.
About half of last year’s team returns, including do-it-all senior Joe DiGello, who made All-State after a marvelous junior season, and seniors Nico Semmonella and Sam Sachs.
Two-year staring quarterback James Laubstein, however, will not since he transferred to Hamden Hall just before the season.
Instead, the quarterback job goes to Benjamin Iwaszkiewicz, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound junior and former receiver.
“That’s football,” Bruno said. “That’s what happens. People graduate or leave or whatever. We can’t worry about that. We have a new quarterback and he has been working very hard at his new position and we’re excited to see him in game action.”
While Iwaszkiewicz develops, it will help to have DiGello, who established himself as one of the state’s best players last year.
Listed as a lineman, the 6-2, 225-pound senior did a little bit of everything for Bruno, including carrying the ball in key spots. He was a consensus All-State pick and figures to play in college somewhere next season, Bruno said.
“He’ll be everywhere,” Bruno said. “Defensive line, offensive line. He’ll play some linebacker. He even played a little quarterback for us last year.
“He’s real strong, plays really hard. He’s fast. He leads by example. He’s a very good player. He’s our best player, no question.”
DiGello will be joined up front by a revamped line that will include juniors Cameron Luciano, Sam Papelo, and senior Dan Cavanagh.
Senior Nico Semmonella a receiver and defensive end also returns to help the cause along with senior Sam Sachs, Amity’s top returning rusher. “They’re both senior leaders for us, that’s for sure,” Bruno said.
Anthony Olenchuk, who started as a sophomore, returns at linebacker. The Spartans’ secondary will feature senior Jamie Genovese at corner and junior Shakai Gray at safety. Sophomores Clem Neary and Jackson Crainich will also get into the lineup, Bruno said.
Amity’s road includes three Scheduling Alliance games within the season’s first half, including home games vs. Newington (CCC) and McMahon (FCIAC). After facing Harding at home in the season-opener Friday, Spartans start their non-conference schedule with a trip to Simsbury (CCC).
Amity also has road trips to play Notre Dame-West Haven, Hillhouse and Lyman Hall around midseason. (The Spartans do not play Cheshire, despite the Rams dropping into Amity’s SCC Tier II).
“We have to be ready for the season. The kids have worked extremely hard in the offseason. We’re excited for the season and everybody’s working hard to get better. We’re excited.”
Sept. 13 — HARDING,** 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 — at Simsbury, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — NEWINGTON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — at Notre Dame-West Haven,* 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — MCMAHON, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 — at Hillhouse,** 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 — at Lyman Hall,* 6:30 p.m.
Nov. 8 — HAMDEN,** 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 — at Wilbur Cross,** 7 p.m.
Nov. 27 — NORTH HAVEN,* 6 p.m.