Above: Quick highlight reel for Wade Prajer of Pomperaug, who returns at QB after setting school and state passing records in 2013.
- Coach: James Reed (first year)
- Conference: SWC Colonial
- Playoff Class: L (648 boys enrollment)
- Home: Edward Arum Sports Complex, Pomperaug HS, Southbury
- 2013 Record: 4-7 (4-6 SWC)
- 2014 Kickoff: Sept. 12 at Bunnell, 7 p.m.
- Captains: Wade Prajer, Mike Foschi
- Team website: Pomperaugfootball.org | MaxPreps page
- Wade Prajer, Sr. QB (6-0, 195)
- Mike Curcio, Sr. RB (5-11, 185)
- Jake Parsell, Sr. OT (5-10, 235)
- Griffin Namin, Jr. OT (6-3, 240)
- Mike Foschi, Sr. LB (5-10, 175)
- Jimmy Christiano, Jr. DE (6-0, 190)
- Troy Sullivan, Sr. DE (6-2, 210)
- Kevin Nadler, S, (5-11, 165)
Sam Rubenstein, WR/CB; Jack Yule, LB/FB; Nico Rosa, OT/DE; Steven Croce, WR (transferred to Cheshire Academy); Ryan Johannes, WR (transferred to Canterbury); Mitchell Saunders, NT
It’s been a few years since Pomperaug has been a force in the SWC. Last year’s team was all but knocked from contention early with consecutive losses to eventual SWC championship participants Newtown and Brookfield. A 35-32 upset of Masuk in Week 5 did little to stem the drop into mediocrity. Pomperaug ended the year by losing four of their final six games.
But it’s a new era in Southbury. A new regime, with few (if any) ties to championship coach Chuck Drury’s championship staffs of the 2000s, is now in command. Pomperaug hired Ridgefield offensive coordinator James Reed to take over for former coach Dave Roach.
Despite his four-year stint in the FCIAC, Reed has strong ties to the SWC. He coached at New Milford from 2003-2009 and is familiar with Pomperaug’s football pedigree.
Reed brings his own brand of an up-tempo, spread attack to Southbury. Luckily, he has a capable quarterback at the controls in Wade Prajer. A 6-foot senior captain, Prajer set a state passing record for completions (41) during a 42-20 loss to Bethel and set a school record with 401 yards passing vs. Masuk.
So, yeah, Prajer can chuck it. He’ll have protection from big tackles Griffin Namin (6-3, 240) and Jake Parsell. But who will catch the ball? Receiver Sam Rubenstein graduated while Steve Croce and Ryan Johannes both transferred to prep schools. Mike Curcio figures to be Pomperaug’s primary running back.
Defensively, Pomperaug surrendered 308 points a year ago. The Panthers will rely on captain Mike Foschi, ends Jimmy Christiano and Troy Sullivan and safety Kevin Nadler to help tighten up the defense.
Unlike last year, Pomperaug won’t face SWC favorite Newtown until Week 3 and won’t see Brookfield until Halloween. The rest of the SWC teams Pomperaug will face are all rebuilding in some form or another. There’s room for someone to make a move up the standings. Reed would love if it was his team.
“It’s been a few year since Pomperaug’s been part of the discussion,” Reed said. “I love the kids on our roster. They put great work in the weight room during the summer and the excitement around the program is fantastic. …I’m cautiously optimistic.”
Sept. 12 — at Bunnell**, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 — Weston*, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 — at Newtown**, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — at New Milford**, 7 p.m.
Oct. 10 — Stratford**, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at Holy Cross, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 — at Bethel*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 — Brookfield*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 — at Masuk**, 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 — Joel Barlow*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 26 — Notre Dame-Fairfield*, 7 p.m.
* Conference games
** Division games