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Thursday, October 27, 2011

North Branford ready for unbeaten Cromwell

North Branford (4-1) hosts unbeaten Cromwell (6-0) on Friday night at 6:30 in a key Pequot Conference Sassacus Division contest.

After graduating 19 seniors, including nine starters on the offensive side, the Thunderbirds are off to a quick start. North Branford has won four straight games since losing to Valley Regional/Old Lyme in the season opener.

"We still had high expectations," North Branford senior captain Anthony Franco said. "We have a lot of juniors who played a lot their sophomore year and did pretty well. We still expected to have high hopes. We hope to make it to the playoffs."

After Cromwell, North Branford has games remaining with Coginchaug (Nov. 4), Nonnewaug (Nov. 12), Lewis Mills (Nov. 17) and Hyde (Nov. 23). Only Coginchaug has a winning record at this point.

North Branford is currently rated seventh in the Class S state playoff race. The Top 8 teams qualify for the quarterfinals.

North Branford finished 6-4 and just missed a playoff berth by finishing 10th in the Class S standings in 2010. Last year, the Thunderbirds were forced to forfeit its contest with Lewis Mills after a bench-clearing brawled ensued. The majority of North Branford's starters were suspended for the team's next game, a loss to SMSA/University.

The current North Branford seniors have used last season's result as motivation.

"We had a real close connection (to last year's seniors)," North Branford captain Christian Perrotti said. "We played with most of them growing up and we wanted to continue what they were doing. We wanted to see if we can make it back to the playoffs because last year I like to think of it as us being cheated out of it, although not everyone does. I want to see if we can make up for it."

Explosive Cromwell, which is averaging nearly 50 points per game, is one obstacle North Branford will have to navigate in order to reach the postseason for the first time since 2008.

"We have a pretty good shot at the playoffs if we can get past this pretty big challenge we have in front of us," North Branford senior captain Damoy Hunter said.

Read more about North Branford in Friday's Register and on-line at

Check out this video clip featuring North Branford captain Anthony Franco.

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