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A look at high school football throughout the state

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bill Pinto hired at Fairfield Prep

Bill Pinto was named head coach at Fairfield Prep Thursday.

Pinto, a Trumbull resident, was an assistant for the Jesuits for eight seasons under retiring coach Rich Magdon. Pinto was also previously an assistant at Barlow.

Pinto joins Fairfield Prep as the seventh coach in the school’s history, which had its first season in 1942.


New London's Vitale headed to Stony Brook

New London linebacker Rich Vitale will attend Stony Brook.

The 5-foot-8, 176 pound Vitale was a two-time Register All-State selection.

As a senior, Vitale made 149 tackles, nine sacks and five interceptions while leading the Whalers to the Class SS state title.

Vitale also rushed for 2,024 yards and 24 touchdowns.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

....On the Dotted Line

Several athletes in the area, and on the state level, signed National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

Seymour linebacker Mike Osiecki committed to UConn last March but finally made it official.

"It was really important just to get the recruiting process over just to reduce stress so I can just focus on my academics," Osiecki said. "(I like) everything about it (UConn). The coaches —everything—and the program is getting better and better."

Register All-State Most Valuable Player Jordan Brown (running back), from Glastonbury, and teammate John Pinone (linebacker) will both attend Bryant.

Register All-Area MVP Billy Ragone (quarterback) selected UPenn.

Here is a list of others who made their decision on Wednesday:

WR Marcus Aiken (St. Paul) UConn
WR Joshua Adams (Cheshire Academy) North Carolina
LB Lawton Arnold (Simsbury) Central Conn. St.
OL Jonathan Begley (Shelton) Cornell
QB Spencer Beaudreault (Windham) Sacred Heart
OL/DL Jake Brown (South Windsor) Central Conn. St.
TE Jake Golic (Northwest Catholic) Notre Dame
WR Mark Harrison (Bunnell) Rutgers
OL/DL Tom Hyde (Ansonia) Trinity
TE Anthony Julbes (Stamford) Central Conn. St.
LB Andre Lawrence (Hartford Public) Boston College
WR Tyrell Moore (Ansonia) Trinity
WR Kurt Ondash (New Canaan) Cornell
DL Chaz Partosan (Windham) Sacred Heart
DL Kris Patterson (Xavier) Central Conn. St.
WR Dave Plaskon (Law/Cheshire Academy) Sacred Heart
QB Jordan Reed (New London) Florida
FB/LB Ricky Rozier (Law) Winston-Salem St.
OL Alex Rusate (Pomperaug) Bentley
OL Dave Sabilia (Waterford) Central Conn. St.
TE Anthony Schiavone (New London) Iowa
QB Jake White (Foran) Central Conn. St.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Football Playoff Proposal to move forward

The CIAC football committee voted Monday to move forward with a playoff proposal that would add a quarterfinal round and expand the number of teams qualifying from 24 to 48.

The proposal also includes having the quarterfinal round start the Thursday before Thanksgiving. Teams would play their regularly scheduled Thanksgiving Day games but that game would not count toward playoff points.

The semifinals and finals would still be the Tuesday and Saturday after Thanksgiving as they currently are.

Below is a release sent by the CIAC:

The CIAC Football Committee voted at its meeting yesterday to move forward to the Board of Control a proposal for a new football tournament format to be implemented in the 2009 tournament season. The proposal calls for the addition of a quarterfinal round to the tournament, thereby increasing the number of teams qualifying from 24 to 48. It will not have an impact on the length of the season.

Prior to final action being taken by the CIAC Board of Control, superintendents, administrators, athletic directors and coaches from the 142 member schools that sponsor interscholastic football will be surveyed to determine their level of support for the proposed format.

The Board of Control will be briefed on the Football Committee's recommendation at it's regularly scheduled meeting on February 26. Final action will not be taken until all constituent groups have had ample time to respond to the proposal.


Monday, February 2, 2009

Branford's Gravina resigns

Gary Gravina resigned Monday after seven seasons as the head football coach at Branford.

Gravina took over the program in 2002 and compiled a 48-22-1 record.

The 2005 edition went 10-2 and won the Class MM state title after a victory over East Lyme. It was Branford’s first CIAC championship, and first state title since 1958.

The Hornets also advanced to the Class MM final in 2004 before losing to Pomperaug. Branford finished 11-1.

The decision to step down was a personal and emotional one for Gravina.

"I felt it was time to do things more closely with my family," said Gravina, who was an assistant at Branford for seven seasons prior to becoming head coach. "It was a tough decision. That (more family time) was the main reason."

Gravina’s son, Cam, will be a freshman at Hand next fall.

Following the 2005 season, Gravina was named the Register All-Area coach of the year. The Hornets finished 7-4 this past season.