COACH – DAN HASSETT (3rd year, 13-7)
CONFERENCE — SWC Division II
PLAYOFF CLASS — Class M (430 boys enrolled)
HOME — Weston High School Stadium Field
2018 RECORD — 7-3
2019 OPENER — Sept. 13 vs. Brookfield, 7 p.m.
TEAM WEBSITE — TrojansFootball.org; TWITTER — @westontrojansfb
RB/LB Chris Fruhbeis, C/DL Alex McGlone, OL/DL Finn Steube
In Dan Hassett’s first two seasons as head coach, Weston has finished with winning records, including last fall’s 7-3 campaign.
What has eluded Weston each time is a state playoff berth — and it’s been by slim margins as the Trojans were outside the Class M bubble on bonus points twice.
With a third-year starting quarterback, a pair of hard-nosed brothers at linebacker, and several key veterans back in the fold, this could be the season the Trojans crash the state party for the first time since Masuk’s Joe Lato coached the program in 2012.
“We missed the playoffs on a tiebreaker which was disappointing, but I’m very happy with what we have returning,” Hassett said. “Some of our key play-makers are returning: (James) Goetz, the Sawyer boys and Tyler Bower. For us, as with many high school teams, the real key is going to be the new kids who are stepping into starting roles and how quickly they can adapt and perform.”
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Goetz is a dual-threat quarterback who has been Weston’s starter since his sophomore year. He’s passed for 3,297 yards and 44 touchdowns in two seasons, including 1,825 yards and 27 TDs last year, when he also rushed for 596 yards and another seven TDs.
“Jimmy’s fantastic and having a third-year starting quarterback is great,” Hassett said. “His ability to make plays on his feet is fantastic. He’s great when our plays break down. From my standpoint I hate it when our plays break down, but it’s a blessing to have him create something when the designed play starts to break down.”
It doesn’t end there, as Goetz is also a standout safety for the defense.
“Honestly, his best position is safety,” Hassett said. “He’s an unbelievable defensive player and his ability to cover and add run support is just fantastic.”
The defense has a new look this fall, as former Notre Dame-Fairfield head coach Chris Sadler is now Weston’s defensive coordinator and the kids have taken to change.
“We’ve got a great group on defense,” Hassett said. “(Coach Sadler) has brought in a very fresh look and a new scheme for us, and I love how they look and all the kids are adapting to it quickly.”
Perhaps the biggest beneficiaries of Sadler’s scheme are the Sawyer brothers, Brendan (6-2, 190) and Jack (6-2, 185), who are three-year starting linebackers. The defensive changes accentuate their talents.
“It frees up the Sawyer boys to play more sideline-to-sideline,” Hassett said. “In our old scheme, they were much more traditional outside linebackers, so this will allow them to play more of the field. Coach Sadler returns a ton of credit for coming up with a scheme to turn them loose a little bit more.
Goetz and the Sawyers are co-captains alongside Dan McGuire (6–2, 205), a senior defensive end/offensive guard.
Bower, a senior, doubles as a middle linebacker and running back. He led the Trojans in rushing last season.
The wide receiver spot features the Sawyers — Jack led the team with 778 yards and 13 TDs last year — and junior John Cassol, who had 13 catches for 213 yards and four TDs as a sophomore.
Weston’s schedule opens with a match-up at Brookfield, the SWC DIvision II champion and one of the three teams to beat the Trojans last year. The Trojans also have four Alliance games against Hillhouse (Sept. 20), Northwest Catholic (Sept. 27), Law (Oct. 18), and Foran (Oct. 25).
So far, the Trojans have been focused on getting the basics in line and expanding from there.
“Our whole preseason, we’re just focusing on fundamentals and our controllables,” Hassett said. “We’ve done a pretty good job of knowing we’ve got to get good at the little things first before we expand the playbook or do anything else. We’ve gotten good senior leadership and the kids are responding well. So I’m excited about the season.”
Sept. 13 — BROOKFIELD**, 7 p.m.
Sept. 20 — at Hillhouse, 7 p.m.
Sept. 27 — NORTHWEST CATHOLIC, 7 p.m.
Oct. 4 — at Stratford*, 7 p.m.
Oct. 18 — at Jonathan Law, 7 p.m.
Oct. 25 — FORAN, 7 p.m.
Nov. 1 — at New Fairfield**, 7 p.m.
Nov. 8 — NOTRE DAME-FAIRFIELD**, 7 p.m.
Nov. 15 — at Masuk*, 7 p.m.
Nov. 28 —JOEL BARLOW**, 10 a.m.