Blogs > GameTimeCT Football

A look at high school football throughout the state

Saturday, December 6, 2008

New Canaan or Glastonbury? Who's No. 1?

New Canaan (13-0) wrapped up its third straight Class MM state title with a convincing 26-7 victory over Fairfield County Conference rival Darien on Saturday. The Rams also defeated the Blue Wave (11-2) on Thanksgiving for the FCIAC title.

Glastonbury (13-0) won Class LL with a 28-14 win over Cheshire (10-3). The Tomahawks defeated Southington and New Britain in the regular season.

New Canaan was ranked No. 1 in the Register Top 10 Poll heading into the playoffs. Glastonbury was No. 3.

Will New Canaan hold steady at No. 1, or will the Tomahawks gain enough support to move up?

Tell us who you think is the No. 1 team in the state.

Class S moved to 8 p.m.

The Class S championship between No. 1 Cromwell (11-1) and No. 2 Ansonia (12-1) has been pushed back to 8 p.m. The game will still be played at McDougall Stadium on the campus of Trumbull High School.

The time change is due to a delay in the start of the Class MM championship between New Canaan and Darien, which didn't kickoff until 3:45 p.m. because of transportation issues.

New London tops Seymour; Glastonbury, Brookfield also win

Senior running back Rich Vitale rushed 42 times for 303 yards and two touchdowns to lead top-seeded New London to a 27-18 victory over No. 2 Seymour at Strong Stadium in West Haven.

Vitale scored on touchdown runs of 2 and 43 yards in the first half and was named the game's offensive most valuable player.

New London (12-1) coach Jack Cochran won his eighth state championship, the most by any coach in state history. Cochran won five titles at Bloomfield and two at New Britain. This was the first title he's claimed as coach of the Whalers, his alma mater.

This was the final game for Seymour coach Paul Sponheimer, who is retiring after 29 seasons. Sponheimer won 210 games and four state titles.

Nick Singleton caught touchdown passes of 32 and 27 yards from freshman quarterback Casey Cochran, Jack's son. Casey Cochran completed 10 of 16 passes for 148 yards. He threw one interception.

Seymour running back Mike Osiecki, who was recently named the Gatorade State Player of the Year, was limited to just 46 yards on 15 carries. He did score on a 14-yard run, and caught a 34-yard pass.

Taylor Searles caught four passes for 69 yards and two second-half touchdowns for the Wildcats (11-2).

Class LL
No. 1 Glastonbury (13-0) 28, Cheshire (10-3) 14
(Posted by the Meriden-Record Journal on the CIAC website)

Jordan Brown rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns, and tight end/linebacker John Pinone had a big game on both sides of the ball to lead top-seeded Glastonbury over No. 3 Cheshire 28-14 in the Class LL championship game at Veterans Stadium.

The state title was Glastonbury's first since 1989, when the Tomahawks beat Cheshire 16-15 in the Class LL final. The win also completed an undefeated season for the 13-0 Tomahawks.

Cheshire, making its first state finals appearance since 1997, finished at 10-3.All the scoring came in the first half. Brown and Cheshire quarterback Billy Ragone exchanged touchdown runs -- Brown from 63 and 19 yards; Ragone twice from 2 -- before Glastonbury opened up a 28-14 lead in the final five minutes of the second quarter.

A 38-yard completion from Erich Pfeffer to Pinone set up a 1-yard score from Brown, while Brown, with a crucial third-and-long conversion, set up a 15-yard scoring pass from Pfeffer to Pinone.Pfeffer was 7-for-11 for 92 yards.

Ragone, after sustaining a thigh bruise on Cheshire's opening scoring drive, was limited to throwing the ball. He was 23-for-40 for 218 yards, but threw two interceptions and also lost a fumble. The fumble came after Cheshire had driven to the Glastonbury 34 midway through the fourth quarter, ending Cheshire's best bid of the second half, when both defenses dominated.

Pinone and Pfeffer had the interceptions for Glastonbury. Pinone's, coming in Cheshire territory with the score tied 7-7 in the first quarter, set up Brown's second touchdown.

Class M
No. 1 Brookfield (12-1) 16, No. 2 Ledyard (9-3) 14

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Seymour's Osiecki named Gatorade Player of Year

Seymour's Mike Osiecki has been named the 2008-09 Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year.

Osiecki is the first Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year to be chosen from Seymour High School. The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the field, distinguishes Osiecki as Connecticut's best high school football player.

Osiecki is now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Football Player of the Year award to be announced in December.

The 6-foot-2, 212-pound senior fullback and linebacker had rushed for 1,759 yards and 25 touchdowns on 184 carries at the time of his selection. Osiecki also had caught 25 passes for 419 yards and six touchdowns.

On defense, the 2007 Class SS First Team All-State selection had amassed 132 tackles (106 solo) and six sacks to lead the Wildcats (11-1) into the Class SS state final against New London on Saturday.

Osiecki has maintained a record of achievement in the classroom and has volunteered with multiple community-service initiatives, especially as a coach for the Seymour Pop Warner football program.

"He has a major impact on every snap in the game," said Tom Brockett, head coach of rival Ansonia High. "He's not missing anything football-wise. He's as fine as any two-way player to step on the field. He's the type of guy, when you watch him on film you start to cheer for him-except when you're playing him."

Osiecki has verbally committed to a football scholarship at the University of Connecticut next fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field. The selection process is administered by ESPN RISE Magazine, which works with top sport-specific experts and a media advisory board of accomplished, veteran prep sports journalists to determine the state winners in each sport.

Osiecki joins recent Gatorade Connecticut Football Players of the Year Alex Thomas (2007-08, Ansonia HS), Aaron Hernandez (2006-07, Bristol Central HS), and Matt Kelleher (2005-06, Southington HS) among the state's list of former award winners. For more on the Gatorade Player of the Year program, including nomination information, a list of past winners, and the announcement of the Gatorade National Player of the Year, visit

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Finals, sites and times

Class LL
2 p.m. at Willowbrook Park, New Britain
No. 3 Cheshire (10-2) vs. No. 1 Glastonbury (12-0)

Class L
7 p.m. at West Haven High School
No. 3 Newington (10-2) vs. No. 1 Masuk (11-1)

Class MM
2 p.m. at McDougall Stadium, Trumbull
No. 3 Darien (11-1) vs. No. 1 New Canaan (12-0)

Class M
2 p.m. at Municipal Stadium, Waterbury
No. 2 Ledyard (10-2) vs. No. 1 Brookfield (11-1)

Class SS
2 p.m. at West Haven High School
No. 2 Seymour (11-1) vs. No. 1 New London (11-1)

Class S
7 p.m. at McDougall Stadium, Trumbull
No. 2 Ansonia (12-1) vs. No. 1 Cromwell (11-1)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Semifinal Scores

Class LL
Glastonbury 42, Newtown 28
Cheshire 28, Hamden 21

Class L
Masuk 50, Windsor 15
Newington 28, Simsbury 7

Class MM
New Canaan 34, Weaver 7
Darien 35, Hillhouse 32

Class M
Brookfield 36, Avon 19
Ledyard 43, Cheney Tech 0

Class SS
New London 27, Montville 13
Seymour 42, Rocky Hill 7

Class S
Cromwell 34, Hyde 9
Ansonia 28, North Branford 0

Monday, December 1, 2008

Official DeCaprio Press Release

From the Notre Dame athletic office:

After 66 wins, 10 all-state players, six winning seasons, one state championship and countless memories while at the helm of the Notre Dame of West Haven football program, head coach John DeCaprio , Jr. announced his retirement after 10 seasons.

DeCaprio, who led Notre Dame to the 2002 state championship by defeating then top-ranked Fitch 35-14 in his third year as head coach after taking over for long-time head coach Tom Marcucci, guided Notre Dame to a 4-6 record this past winter, culminating with a 10-7 upset win over Hamden in the 58th Green Bowl on Thanksgiving morning.

“This was a decision my family and I made this summer,” said DeCaprio, who started his Notre Dame coaching career in the fall of 1987. “But, I wanted this season to be about the 2008 Notre Dame football team so I waited until after the Green Bowl to make this public. In coaching, it’s always about the kids and I wanted to be sure this year was no different.”

DeCaprio officially informed the team on the field immediately following the Green Knights win over Hamden on Thanksgiving. “It was just the right moment,” said DeCaprio, as he was watching film of the Green Bowl in his office Monday afternoon. “Those closest to me knew in August, and as the season unfolded, there was never a good time to let the world know. After an emotional win, it just felt right to tell the kids at that moment.”

DeCaprio added, “To be able to walk off the field with an upset win in the Green Bowl with sons by my side is a memory I’ll never forget.” His oldest son, Michael, was a senior captain this season, while his younger son, Matthew, is currently a sophomore.

Notre Dame won four of its final six games after starting the season with four consecutive losses. Notre Dame was competitive in the tough SCC suffering heartbreaking losses in the game’s final three minutes to Fairfield Prep (8-7), Xavier (21-14) and Cross (10-7) while also having a furious rally fall short in a 37-35 setback to Amity.

In his 10 years at Notre Dame, DeCaprio’s teams compiled a 66-38 (.635 winning percentage) overall record. In addition to going 11-1 and winning the Class L title in 2002, DeCaprio led Notre Dame to non-losing seasons in eight of his ten seasons. Notre Dame finished 9-1 in 2000, missing the LL play-off field by a scant five points. Notre Dame finished 8-3 in 2002 and just outside the Class L playoff field.

“I’ve coached a lot of great teams and great players,” said DeCaprio. “It’s unfair to single any of them out but I am extremely grateful to this year’s team. We talked about brotherhood, commitment and loyalty all year. The season didn’t go as we had hoped but this team never quit and put its heart and soul into beating Hamden . The kids wanted to practice outside in the freezing rain. They watched film after practice. They prepared the same way the state championship team did and that speaks volumes about a group of kids that didn’t quit on themselves or the coaching staff. To see them perform like they did Thanksgiving Day was a special feeling and one I hope they will remember for a lifetime.”

“John DeCaprio was the right man at the right time for the Notre Dame football program,” said Athletic Director Tom Marcucci ’66. “He continued our winning tradition. He did it with class, character and a tremendous work ethic. In many ways, football and winning were secondary to getting the most out of his players and making them better people through discipline and hard work and that is a trademark of Notre Dame teams.”

“I appreciate everything John DeCaprio has done for our football program and players for the last 10 years,” said Notre Dame President Br. James Branigan, C.S.C. “He has maintained our strong football tradition and, most importantly, brought the values of our school to the field of play every day. He helped transform our student-athletes into young men of character, ready to challenge themselves in all facets of life.”

“I want to thank Br. James Branigan, Tom Marcucci, and Joe Tonelli as well as all the players and parents for allowing me to have 10 wonderful years leading the Notre Dame football program,” concluded DeCaprio. “I also had a tremendously loyal coaching staff that always made my job easier. I can’t thank them enough for their dedication to Notre Dame football in my tenure.”

Notre Dame's DeCaprio Steps Down

Notre Dame-West Haven coach John DeCaprio has stepped down after eight seasons with the school, according to sources. DeCaprio compiled a 66-38 record.

An official press release is expected later today.

DeCaprio led the Green Knights to a 4-6 record this season, including a season-ending 10-7 victory over rival Hamden (9-2), which is a Class LL semifinalist, last Thursday.

DeCaprio is the third Southern Connecticut Conference coach to resign this season. East Haven's Mike Marone and Fairfield Prep's Rich Magdon have also recently decided to call it quits.