Above: Sam Breiner returns as one of the Red Devils’ top players in 2014.
- Coach: T.J. Cavaliere (1st year)
- Conference: SWC Colonial
- Home: Penders Field, Stratford
- Playoff Class: L (549 boys enrollment)
- 2013 Record: 3-8 (2-8 SWC)
- 2014 kickoff: Sept. 12 at Barlow, 7 p.m.
- Team website: StratfordHSFootball.com | MaxPreps page
- Sam Breiner, Sr., RB/LB (6-0, 215)
- Guber Doctuer, Sr., QB
- Cayman Durost, Sr. C (6-0, 215)
- Billy McDonald, Sr. OL (6-2, 270)
- Brad Derry, Sr. FS (6-1, 170)
- Mar’Quess Daniels, Jr. DE (6-3, 200)
- Mike LaPia, Sr., FS
- Pat Lepesko, Jr., DL (6-4, 195)
- Marc Acevedo, Sr., DL (6-0, 225)
Isaiah Booker, RB/DB; Bryan Lesperance, WR, Andrew Bouchotte OL/LB; Mike Cannata, QB
After a few years of mediocrity, the Red Devils are starting from scratch with a new coach who, fortunately for the program, has links to the not-too-distant, glorious past. Cavaliere, a teacher at the school, served as a prominent assistant under then-coach Duane Shirden when Stratford last contended for state and league championships in 2006 and 2007. He knows the program and understands the Red Devils and their South End supporters are tired of being kicked around, especially by crosstown rival Bunnell.
While Stratford seems to have a long way to go, Cavaliere wants to program to contend in “the near future.” Stratford has good size and some experience on the lines. Juniors Mar’Quess Daniels and Pat Lepesko look like boulders on the defensive side. But the Red Devils are looking for more playmakers to step up, particularly on offense where the team scored just 156 points last year.
Senior Guber Doctuer, a receiver last year, takes over at QB. The Red Devils will likely rely on bruiser Sam Breiner, a three-sport athlete, to lead the charge back to respectability. A three-year starter, Breiner excels as a ball-carrier, receiver and middle linebacker. Cavaliere is moving to an option offense.
Cavaliere is realistic when he sets the team’s immediate goals: start by picking off the teams at the bottom of the standings and work up. Fortunately for the Red Devils, other than a Week 2 clash with SWC favorite Brookfield, the early schedule looks favorable. Until Newtown on Nov. 7, many of the teams Stratford will face also are rebuilding.
Sept. 12 — at Barlow, 7 p.m.
Sept. 19 — Brookfield, 7 p.m.
Sept. 26 — New Milford, 7 p.m.
Oct. 2 — at Weston, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 10 — at Pomperaug, 7 p.m.
Oct. 17 — at Watertown, 7 p.m.
Oct. 24 — Notre Dame-Fairfield, 7 p.m.
Oct. 31 — at New Fairfield, 7 p.m.
Nov. 7 — Newtown, 7 p.m.
Nov. 14 — Masuk, 7 p.m.
Nov. 26 — at Bunnell, 7 p.m.