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A look at high school football throughout the state

Friday, November 30, 2007

Ansonia's Thomas named Gatorade Player of Year

Ansonia's Alex Thomas was named the 2007-08 Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year.

Thomas is the second Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year chosen from Ansonia High School after wide receiver Steve Coughlin in 1995-1996.

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also meeting high standards of academic achievement while demonstrating exceptional character on and off the field, distinguishes Thomas as Connecticut's best high school football player. Thomas is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in mid-December.

The 5-foot-9, 184-pound senior will conclude his career as the state's most prolific running back. Thomas is in possession of the Connecticut record for career rushing yards (8,030), single-season rushing yards (3,347), touchdowns in a career (111), touchdowns in a season (44) and points in a career (729). He has averaged 11.7 yards per carry on his 287 rushing attempts for the state's top-ranked team this fall, gaining 3,347 yards and scoring 44 touchdowns to lead the Chargers to a perfect 12-0 record entering the Class S state final against New London on Saturday.

Thomas has maintained a B-plus average in the classroom and received the Michael J. Adanti Scholarship Award from the NAACP. He is a volunteer in numerous church and community-service programs, devoting time to Feed the Homeless, the Valley YMCA and area Pop Warner football.

"He leaves you in awe in every big game," said Ansonia Head Coach Tom Brockett. "You don't see him go down on the first hit, and then he uses the breakaway speed and he's gone. You never get a clean shot at him. He's just so strong. It really comes down to his balance and ability to cut without changing speed."

Thomas joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Football Players of the Year Aaron Hernandez (2006-07, Bristol Central HS), Matt Kelleher (2005-06, Southington HS), and Asaph Schwapp (2004-05, Weaver HS) among the state's list of former award winners.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Seymour, Woodland site change

The Class SS state semifinal game pitting No. 4 Woodland against No. 1 Seymour has been changed from DeBarber Field in Seymour to Municipal Stadium in Waterbury. Kickoff is still scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Officials at the CIAC said the reason for the switch is due to poor field conditions at DeBarber and the possibility of more inclement weather tonight and tomorrow morning.

Municipal Stadium is a turf field.

I covered the Woodland-Seymour game last week and the field there was really tore up.

Bunnell, the top seed in Class L, had its semifinal game against Staples moved from its home field to Trumbull High for the same reason.