Football preview: Welcome to Year 2

By BRIAN JENNINGS

STAFF WRITER

Head Coach—Tim Shea.

Seasons Completed as Head Coach—1.

Overall Coaching Record—0-10.

Assistant Coaches—Rob DeVeau, Brandon Fowler, Scott Anderson, Dylan Fusco, Shawn Griffin, Nick Stavola, Mark Anderson, Rob Stein, Jake Theriault, Matt Gengras.

2016 Regular Season—0-10 overall (0-5 home, 0-5 away).

CCC Division III West Record/Ranking—0-4, 5th/5.

CCC Division III West Champion—Bloomfield (10-0, 4-0).

CCC Division III West Runner-Up—Rocky Hill (9-1, 3-1).

2016 Class S Tournament—Did not qualify, finished 37th/37 in Class S.

Class S Championship—Ansonia (10-0) 28, Rocky Hill (9-1) 21.

Graduated (10 seniors)—Jared Boucher, Joseph Gohar, Marc Liquindoli, Christian MacDonald, Jonathan Olson, Shaun Simoneau, Andrew Skawinski, Jacob Theriault, Christian Wassil, Daniel Wojcik.

2017 Team Captains—TBA.

Other Key Returners:

Nick Cianchetti, senior, offensive lineman/linebacker.

Justin Ciotto, senior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman.

Nate Collado, senior, running back/defensive back.

Jailen Lindsey, senior, wide receiver/defensive back.

Cody Marquis, senior, wide receiver/defensive back.

Ben Root, senior, wide receiver/defensive back, all-conference.

Denzyl Rosado, senior, wide receiver/defensive back.

EJ Wynkoop, senior, wide receiver/defensive back.

Brady Callahan, junior, wide receiver/running back/defensive back, all-conference.

Frank Griffin, junior, quarterback.

Alec Karal, junior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman.

Sam Lestini, junior, offensive lineman/defensive lineman.

Jason Mills, junior, offensive lineman/linebacker.

Mason Sarra, sophomore, running back/linebacker/kicker.

The Observer asked Shea the following questions about the upcoming season:

Observer—What were your overall thoughts about last year? What did the team/program accomplish or gain?

Shea—Last year was a learning experience. It always is when a new coach comes in. There was zero quit in our kids and the program. We came to work every day looking to learn and get better.

Observer—What can be taken from last season into this season?

Shea—Football is a great game, and it teaches you so many life lessons. Our kids are learning about these lessons, the importance of accountability, and trusting the process.

Observer—What seniors were key losses to the team and what were their positions?

Shea—We graduated 12 seniors that contributed in all three phases of the game. We are replacing all five offensive linemen from last year’s team.

Observer—What are the keys to having a successful team/program for the upcoming season?

Shea—We have been working very hard in the offseason. This is year two. We’ve had a full year to develop our program. We have moved people into new positions. Things are improving with every rep. This group is jelling nicely, and they understand that good things are coming. We need to stay healthy and have some kids grow up quickly. We will be ready to play each and every Friday night.

Observer—What are the team’s strengths?

Shea—We are returning our quarterback, along with the majority of our skill kids from last year.

Observer—What stands out or is different, interesting, and unique about this team?

Shea—This is year two. We had a full year together now. The kids are working hard. They know they have something to prove, and that we are all in this together. We are looking forward to playing on Friday nights.

Observer—What does the team have to work on or improve most to be prepared for the upcoming season?

Shea—We are going to experience some growing pains in some areas, like the offensive line, where we are replacing all five starters from last year. We need to play at a high level all the time and not start slow. We are getting better each and every day, and we are looking forward to this season.

Observer—Why should people follow the team?

Shea—We are a young team. We hope to put a product on the field that people can come to watch every week and leave knowing they saw a program devoted to playing hard, fast, and whistle to whistle.

Observer—If you had to headline the upcoming season, what would it be?

Shea—Year two.

To comment on this story or to contact sports writer Brian Jennings, email him at bjennings@southingtonobserver.com.