A look at high school football throughout the state
Friday, April 27, 2012
SCSU's Dion O'Joe brings an NFL body to a Division II field
NEW HAVEN — The Southern Connecticut State football team lost 16 starters from last season’s 7-3 squad. The Owls lost All-American running back Rashaad Slowley, quarterback Kevin Lynch and nearly the entire defensive unit.
The talk around the powerful Northeast-10 Conference is that the Owls, a perennial conference contender, are rebuilding.
“Let us be the underdogs,” SCSU sophomore safety Dion O’Joe said. “It’s great that they think like that. It will just be more disappointing for the rest of the teams.”
Rob Marone was unanimously approved by the Wallingford Board of Education to be the next head football coach at Lyman Hall.
Marone, who served the last four seasons as the offensive coordinator at Wilbur Cross, takes over for Chip McKeehan, who stepped down in January after 12 seasons with the Trojans. McKeehan replaced Phil Ottochian, who stepped down after 32 seasons in 1999.
"It's definitely a bit overwhelming being the next guy in line after Chip McKeehan and after coach Ottochian," said Marone, who played at Lyman Hall. "I'm definitely looking forward to giving back, and being an influence to the kids like those guys were on me."
Marone will continue his full-time position as a physical education teacher at Wilbur Cross.
"I'm happy for him," Wilbur Cross coach John Acquavita said. "It's nice for him to get a shot at this. He's going to be missed."
SCSU: QB Jacob Jablonski prepared for starting role
NEW HAVEN — Week after week last season Jacob Jablonski got a small taste of what college football would be like.
the backup to All-American quarterback Kevin Lynch at Southern
Connecticut State, Jablonski took over for the second series of every
game. It was a conscious decision by Owls’ coach Rich Cavanaugh to
prepare his young blood for the upcoming season.
Now it’s time to
see if how much it has paid off. With Lynch among the 20 seniors gone
from the Owls Jablonski will take over as signal-caller taking over a
team that went 7-3 last season and is seeking a return to the NCAA
Division II playoffs.
“Losing 20 seniors we’re trying to find out
who the new leaders are,” Cavanaugh said. “We have some guys stepping
up, and (Jablonski’s) certainly one of them.”
EAST HARTFORD — Chandler Whitmer is certainly happy
he’s not in Kansas anymore. And not just because he avoided a series of
tornadoes last weekend that ripped through Butler County, where he
attended community college last fall.
Whitmer, who transferred to
UConn in January, made quite an impression in his Connecticut debut at
Rentschler Field on Saturday. He completed 18-of-27 passes for 187 yards
and two touchdowns to lead his White team to a 14-5 victory during the
Huskies annual spring game before a crowd of 5,500.
“I have a lot
of friends still out there,” said Whitmer, a third-year sophomore with
three seasons of eligibility remaining. “(The tornadoes) were scary for
them. I’ll be honest, I do miss the place. But it’s definitely nice to
be out here.”
Reno chose to remain quiet following the Bulldogs Blue-White scrimmage
at the Yale Bowl, it’s hard to believe junior quarterback John Whitelaw
doesn’t have an edge in the race heading into the summer. He’s the only
quarterback on the roster who threw a pass for Yale last season.
WEST HAVEN — University of New Haven sophomore running
back Mike DeCaro thought he could’ve done better during the spring.
According to DeCaro, he had missed some practices because of class and
even in the spring game he didn’t think he performed well. However, the
final score is all that counts, even in an exhibition game.
“There was 40 seconds left,” DeCaro said, “there is always an incentive to win.”
60-yard catch and scamper led to a Demetrius Washington-Ellison
touchdown late in fourth quarter to give the White Team a 7-6 victory
over the Blue Team at Ralph F. DellaCamera Stadium on Saturday morning.