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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hand to receive Walter Camp honor


Hand, the consensus No. 1 team in the state high school football season-ending polls, is the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s choice to receive the Joseph W. Kelly Award, which is awarded annually to Connecticut’s top high school football team.

It is the third time that Hand has earned the Kelly Award (1997 and 2004). It is also the fourth consecutive year a team from the Southern Connecticut Conference has won the honor (Notre Dame of West Haven, 2009, Xavier, 2010 and 2011).

“Navigating through a competitive regular-season schedule in the SCC and then the state playoffs, Daniel Hand distinguished itself as the top high school team in the state of Connecticut,” said Walter Camp Football Foundation President John Marks. “We salute Coach Steve Filippone, his staff and players on another tremendous season.”

Hand (13-0) captured the SCC Division I East title on its way to a perfect 10-0 regular-season record. During the regular-season, the Tigers had victories over three state playoff opponents, including wins over eventual state champions (Xavier, Class LL) and Hillhouse (Class M). In the state playoffs, the Tigers combined a potent offense and stellar defense to capture their second straight Class L title. The Tigers outscored its three playoff opponents, 120-49.

In the quarterfinals, Hand defeated Platt, 55-26, and then defeated Masuk, 42-23, in the semifinals. In the Class L championship game on December 9 at Rentschler Field, the Tigers overcame a 6-3 halftime deficit to defeat Windsor, 23-6. Daniel Hand currently holds a 26-game winning streak.

It is the 10th time since the SCC was founded in 1994 that one of its league teams has captured the Kelly Award (Hand, 1997, 2004 and 2012; Xavier 2005, 2010 and 2011; Cheshire 1994 and 1995; West Haven 2002; and Notre Dame 2009).

Coach Filippone and the Hand team, along with members of the 2012 Walter Camp All-America team, will be honored at the organization’s national awards banquet on Saturday, January 12, 2013 at the Yale University Commons in New Haven. In addition, the Foundation will recognize three individuals – former Nebraska coach and athletic director Tom Osborne, former NFL player/coach Herm Edwards and All-Pro Derrick Brooks – with major awards. The Foundation is offering a "Holiday Ticket Promotion" for the National Awards Dinner. Buy two tickets for $400 (you save $150) before December 31. Please call (203) 288-CAMP (288-2267).

Also on January 12, Hand along with the three other state football champions – Xavier (Class LL), Hillhouse (Class M) and Ansonia (Class S) – will be recognized at the Walter Camp Breakfast of Champions, which will be held at Anthony’s Ocean View. That morning, the Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team, High School Player and Coach of the Year will also be announced.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goal and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

Walter Camp “Joseph W. Kelly Award”
Connecticut High School Champions

2012 – Daniel Hand (Madison)
2011 – Xavier (Middletown)
2010 – Xavier (Middletown)
2009 – Notre Dame (West Haven)
2008 – New Canaan
2007 – Ansonia
2006 – Ansonia
2005 – Xavier (Middletown)
2004 – Daniel Hand (Madison)
2003 – New Britain
2002 – West Haven
2001 – New Britain
2000 – Fitch (Groton)
1999 – Bloomfield
1998 – Bloomfield
1997 – Daniel Hand (Madison)
1996 – Weaver (Hartford)
1995 – Cheshire
1994 – Cheshire
1993 – Cheshire
1992 – Cheshire
1991 – Notre Dame (West Haven)
1990 – Derby
1989 – Ansonia
1988 – Stratford
1987 – East Catholic (Manchester)
1986 – Trumbull
1985 – Hillhouse (New Haven)
1984 – Middletown
1983 – Ansonia
1982 – St. Joseph’s (Trumbull)
1981 – Naugatuck
1980 – Trumbull
1979 – Newington
1978 – Amity (Woodbridge)
1977 – Trumbull
1976 – Fitch (Groton)

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