October 22, 2010 - Watch the replay of the high school football game between Notre Dame WH vs. North Haven. The Indians turned the game around in the second-half and roared to a big win over the Green Knights. You can visit our store to order a DVD or download the MP4 movie file you are watching.
Welcome to HS Football
By Ray Curren - Elm City Sports Writer -
We had Notre Dame show they might not quite be dead this season. Lyman Hall won again, and appears to be firmly in the playoff race. And Cheshire was stopped near Wilbur Cross’ goal line in a thrilling finish that has the Governors at 4-1, and also firmly in playoff discussions.
So, you’d think the headlines in the paper last Saturday might be about Dontay Long’s winning touchdown, or the Governors avenging last season’s heartbreaking loss in New Haven (one that began Cheshire’s run to the Class LL title).
Instead, plastered across the front page of the New Haven Register was: “Drama off the field.” Inside was a little better explanation, “Acquavita, Ecke’s brother get into verbal altercation at half.”
It got bigger play than the game itself, or anything any Southern Connecticut Conference kid actually did on the field.
The story in a nutshell: Cross coach John Acquavita was talking/arguing with the officials at halftime, something that probably shouldn’t happen, but happens all the time. It’s really the only time a coach can get a referee’s full attention during the course of the game.
As he’s doing this, Mike Ecke — brother of Cheshire coach Mark Ecke and father of quarterback Michael Ecke — told the officials they should throw Acquavita out, also something that shouldn’t happen, but does all the time.
But at some point, Acquavita went toward Ecke, Ecke had to retreat to the bathroom, everyone had to be separated by security, and Ecke was ejected from the premises. No punches were thrown, no one was hurt.
As Monty Python would say, “let’s not argue over who killed who,” there is plenty of blame to go around, and no high school coach should have his picture in the newspaper having to be restrained by one of his own players.
But my focus here is a psychological one. In situations like this, people tend to go after publications like the Register for appealing to the lowest common denominator and not keeping the focus on the positive aspects of high school athletics.
They’re right, of course, but people miss the point sometimes of what newspapers are. To stay in business, newspapers (and all media) need people to read them. The more people that read them, the more they can charge for advertising, and then they can actually make money instead of losing it.
And, somewhat sadly, all anyone wanted to talk about Friday night and Saturday was what happened at halftime of the Cross-Cheshire game.
Right or wrong, it hits on issues that are “hot button”: abusing officials, overbearing parents, basic violence. You want to tell yourself that you’re above talking about such things, but then you can’t really help yourself sometimes.
The Register also had a very good photographer on the scene who took some compelling photos and a reporter who was able to get quotes from all the participants. They did everything they could to be fair. But they knew they had a story that people would want to read, and they did. My job isn’t all that different, to be honest.
There are stories that make national news every day that make me cringe and that I turn away from. But I’m not naive enough to wonder why they’re there. Granted, you have to have some restraint. It is high school football, kids will make mistakes and deserve some latitude.
However, this story was about adults.
To his credit, Ecke apologized afterward, saying, “If I could take it back, I would. I am an idiot. I opened my mouth and I wish I hadn’t.”
And I’ve seen several similar situations to this in my time not go prominently reported. In addition to the Register staff being on the ball here, you also had a rather tough setup at Wilbur Cross, where Cross goes back through the crowd at halftime to get to the locker room, which is adjacent to the bathrooms and the concession stand.
It’s also 2010. Everyone has a camera, everything makes its way onto YouTube.
The Register’s headline on its website the next day (Sunday), was probably more accurate: “Brief disturbance at Cheshire-Cross game.”
The most disappointing part of the whole situation for me was that the Register had few facts on the 18-14 thrilling win by Cross over Cheshire the next day.
The reason: Cross never called in the box score or had any statistics for what Cheshire had done in the game.
Yes, our priorities are out of whack, but don’t blame the messenger. And certainly don’t give the messenger a story under his nose that he knows a lot of people would want to hear about.
ON THE FIELD, PLEASE: In addition to Cross basically eliminating Cheshire from playoff contention, the biggest noise was probably made by Notre Dame, which took previously-unbeaten Hand apart, 38-14, in a game that wasn’t close after the first quarter.
The names that the Green Knights had trouble unleashing this season were are on display: Sean Goldrich, Phil Bentley, Amihr Bess, and Tirrell Young-Williams were all prominent in the box score, and the Tigers spent most of their night chasing them around West Haven.
The million-dollar question halfway through the campaign, though, is whether Notre Dame is doomed in Class L with two losses.
And, obviously the Green Knights can’t worry about such things, but we can speculate. That’s all it is, speculation at this point. Notre Dame currently sits a disheartening 17th in Class L (obviously, only eight will make the postseason), but have the most points of any team with two losses.
You have to figure (especially with North Haven coming this week), that they will be right there with any two-loss squads at the end of the season. Of course, they still have to get by the likes of Wilbur Cross and Cheshire to get that far.
To read the rest of the article visit the Post-Chronicle
Those that have read this column over the last decade or so (yes, it’s been around that long and thank you) know that I usually give one running diary a season.
It’s not an original idea, certainly, but it’s worked out well.
But the question is, when to use it?
I almost went with it for the Notre Dame-Xavier game in Week 1, but that’s a little like going all-in early in a poker tournament. I thought that might be the best game of the year, but that early, you’d better be darn sure.
Now, in Week 3, I’m looking down the list of games the rest of the way, and
You can find the rest of the article here Post Chronicle
We apologize that we are no long allowed display the entire article here on SNCT but the link to the entire article will follow. Please enjoy the fine work by Ray Curren.
So we’ve survived another underwhelming “crossover” week in the Southern Connecticut Conference, filled with blowouts, coaches whining, and running clocks.
Frankly, I’m reluctant to write again about the full crossover week because I think you know where I stand on the subject. I still don’t understand why with 10 Division I teams and 10 games in which to play, we can’t see everyone play everyone (with one crossover).
Instead, we have two crossovers (and some teams have three depending on who they play on Thanksgiving), and matchups like Xavier and Wilbur Cross are nowhere to be seen.
I know we have a league, and everyone in the league should at least see each other every once in a while, and it was nice to see a matchup like Cheshire-Hillhouse, who played for the first time this week.
But for every nice Cheshire-Hillhouse game, there’s a Foran-Xavier debacle.
Find the rest of the story here at the Post Chronicle
September 24, 2010 - Notre Dame West Haven's Green Knights took on the Branford Hornets at Veteran's Stadium in West Haven last Friday night. The Green Knights scored 52 and held back the Hornets, scoring 20 points, for a non-league victory. Notre Dame is now 1-1, and Branford is 0-2.
Next week, Notre Dame takes on Shelton in a home game at Veteran's Stadium and Branford takes on North Haven at home as well.
Listen to the first half of football between Hillhouse at North Haven. Why only the first half you ask. In week one many high school games were suspend due to a severe storm that rolled through Connecticut. We had a prior commitment for the reschedule time for the conclusion of the game. Hillhouse won 12-0 all the scoring took place in the first half, so it is worth listen
The quote above is mentioned in Friday Night Lights - no, not the movie, nor the network drama, but the fantastic original book by Buzz Bissinger that came out some two decades ago.
(By the way, if you haven't read that book and you're reading this column, do so. Now. This can wait a few hours.)
The quote hung in Odessa Permian's locker room before their game against rival Odessa, but it must have been somewhere in Xavier's lead up to its showdown with top-ranked and defending Class L champion Notre Dame last week.
You see, as much as we want to talk about things like athleticism and strategy, there's a reason why football became America's pastime and Linda McMahon has enough money to run for the Senate, and it's violence.
Coaches and players will talk about being physical, but will rarely use the word violence because it's got a negative connotation, but it's all semantics at that point. And I'm not here to condemn violence, some of my favorite athletic memories growing up were of Mike Tyson pummeling someone. In fact, as a Giants fan, perhaps my personal best memory is Leonard Marshall knocking Joe Montana out of the 1990 NFC title game with a vicious blindside hit.
Every football player lives for a hit like that, a clean (as opposed to some of the cheapshots like the one on Wes Welker on Sunday, which should not be applauded or condoned in any way, shape, or form) blow that makes the crowd gasp. What better way to intimidate your opponent and fire up your own team?
Of course, no one wants to see people get hurt, certainly serious injuries, but you really can't get your violence without a few people feeling some pain along the way.
"We pride ourselves on being physical," Xavier coach Sean Marinan said. "We make no bones about that, that's the way a defense has to operate, especially against a team like Notre Dame."
So on the second play from scrimmage last Friday - after a long Tirrell Young kickoff return gave Notre Dame and its huge crowd early momentum - Sean Goldrich hit Phil Bentley with a flare pass down the right sideline. Bentley is listed at 168 pounds, with the operative term there being "listed". To his credit, Bentley could gave gone out of bounds, but cut up the sideline, where the play - and Notre Dame's momentum - met a violent end as safety Gerry Basadonna crushed Bentley at full speed, a collision the human body is not made to deal with too often.
With Bentley temporarily out of the game (he did later come back and score a touchdown), four plays later Austin Ahern whacked Goldrich for a 14-yard loss and a message was sent that playing against Xavier's defense is not going to be a heck of a lot of fun. And it's going to be painful.
Notre Dame coach Tom Marcucci would swear after the game that his team stood up to Xavier and was every bit as physical. And the scoreboard indicated that, if not for a bizarre fumble late in the game, the Green Knights would have won and still been the state's top team.
It's also true that violence is not the answer to all football's problems. Xavier's lack of a reliable passing game and the fact that they had trouble snapping the ball nearly derailed a much-deserved victory and probable No. 1 state ranking.
But the fact remains that Xavier came out to physically intimidate Notre Dame and you'd have to say they succeeded. Goldrich never looked comfortable, finishing 5-of-17 for 69 yards and three interceptions (and the only 2 completions in the second half were dump-offs). Young, minus the opening kickoff, wasn't really a factor. ND was held to just 180 yards of total offense.
"We want to make it our mission to come out and come after people," Xavier's Graham Stewart said. "We like to be physical, and we knew we had to be physical tonight (last Friday). That's what we do at Xavier."
Stewart, headed to Boston College, and Ahern - also one of the state's top college prospects - made a nuisance of themselves, but they were joined by Marinan's son (also Sean, and who had the biggest play in the game, stripping David Rose in the fourth quarter) and Eric Mischke in the backfield for much of the evening. After Xavier finally grabbed the lead, you never got the feeling Notre Dame was coming back.
And you also get the feeling that the Xavier defense will make plenty of people in the SCC (and, probably, beyond) extremely uncomfortable.
It won't be an accident.
LIGHTNING, LIGHTNING GO AWAY: Evidently, the football gods didn't like opening games being played on Thursdays, as all the SCC games slated for last Thursday were either never started and not completed because of heavy rain and lightning.
It set up an odd situation for the Cheshire-Hamden and North Haven-Hillhouse contests, where coaches had nearly 24 hours to design halftime gameplans. Of those four squads, apparently the Rams' staff did the best job, when play was stopped on Thursday, Cheshire and Hamden were scoreless early in the third quarter, but Cheshire ran away with a 27-0 victory in the end.
The Rams continued the two-quarterback rotation (Michael Ecke and Max Slade this year) that worked so well for them on their way to a state championship. But it was their defense that was the story, holding Jordan Teague and company scoreless.
Cheshire will have to deal with Hillhouse this week, and the Academics were able to hold off North Haven, 12-0 (a rematch of the SCC basketball title game, by the way), after having the lead by that same score Thursday when the game was stopped at halftime. Freshman Harold Cooper and senior Chris Turner had the touchdowns, and the Academics look like they might be headed back toward the top of Division II (and are the highest D-II team in the power rankings).
PENALTY KICKS: Foran and Branford played a thriller Saturday night, with the Lions eventually prevailing 28-27 in overtime after it looked like they had lost the game in regulation. The Hornets stormed to the Foran 1-yard line with time running out, but picked up a penalty and eventually had a field goal blocked.
In overtime, both teams immediately scored, and Branford originally seemed to be going for 2 points and the win, but eventually decided against it, went for the tie (and a second overtime) and missed the extra point.
Unofficially, 95 percent of overtime in the current high school format come down to a missed extra point one way or the other, so it seems like the wise thing to do is move the start back to the 25-yard line like college. At least it won't be so easy to score.
Foran's opener last season also came down to kicking. After tying Lyman Hall 20-20, Joe Capalbo missed an extra point that probably would have won the game, but redeemed himself by drilling a field goal on the game's last play to win 23-20.
Ironically, later in the year, Capalbo wasn't so lucky against Branford last season. After the Lions had cut the Hornets' lead to 21-20 in the second overtime last season, his kick was blocked to end the game (meaning it was in the 95 percent decided by the kicking game).
And put in the same situation again, it's probably safe to say that you'll see the Hornets go for the jugular when they have the chance.
EXTRA POINTS: If you thought some unique matchups in this week's crossover games, you weren't hullicanating. Three of the games feature teams that have never met (Foran-Xavier, Jonathan Law-Wilbur Cross, and Hillhouse-Cheshire). Guilford-West Haven haven't met since 1997, when the SCC was nothing but a babbling toddler. Sheehan and Shelton - division rivals in most sports - will meet for the first time since 2003. According to SCC commissioner Al Carbone (who also supplied those facts), The league’s Scheduling Committee and Athletic Directors last winter voted to eliminate the scheduling rule that avoided Division I West/Division II East and Divison I East/Division II West matchups during crossover weeks. Doesn't mean the games will be any better, but they'll be different at least, I guess ... East Haven was indeed able to field a team (and had decent numbers) and put up a fight against Guilford before falling 27-6. It will still be a struggle for the Easties, but I think they should be able to beat Platt Tech and might, just might be able to shock someone else before the season is done ... The other winless team from a year ago - Fairfield Prep - also put in a solid performance, albeit in a losing effort, falling 28-14 to Hand. Prep misses out on the crossover fun, but gets to take on Griswold this week. That's a long Friday trip on I-95 for Griswold ... For the second straight year, Wilbur Cross went on the road against a traditional power and hung a big number in an easy win, this time beating Shelton 32-21. Their schedule is much easier in the next two games than it was after last year's upset win over Xavier, with Jonathan Law and Fairfield Prep coming up before they get into the heart of their Division I schedule. Last season, they finished 5-5 ... Did I say 5-5? Just like my record last week in the picks. Yikes.
Check us out on Twitter, www.twitter.com/currenscc. If you have any story ideas or scores you want to get across, let me know.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
James Ward, Wilbur Cross - Ward ran the opening kickoff for a touchdown and rushed for 142 yards and three more TDs on just nine carries as Wilbur Cross rolled to a 32-21 win over Shelton., the second straight year the Governors have won on the road in Division I in the opening week. Ward also added an interception to round out his day of being everywhere on the field.
GAME OF THE WEEK
Hillhouse at Cheshire, Friday, 7 p.m. - Both teams made statements in games that were played over two days in the opening week, and both teams posted a shutout, which means points might be at a premium at the Maclary Complex. The Maclary Complex is brand new to Hillhouse, these teams have never played each other in their history, which adds to the intrigue of this contest. Both teams also still have some question marks which will probably be answered in this one.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Number of interceptions thrown by Notre Dame quarterback Sean Goldrich in the opener, after throwing only a single one in all of the 2009 season. Xavier remains the only team to pick Goldrich off in the last two seasons, the Falcons recorded the interception last year against him as well.
1) Xavier (1-0; Last Week 2) – Don' t think it will be too much fun for Foran this Friday at Palmer Field.
2) Notre Dame (0-1; LW 1) – Knights have a lot of work to do on the lines, but should be fine in the end.
3) Cheshire (1-0; LW 3) – Again, the two-headed QB system pays dividends, but defense the story.
4) Wilbur Cross (1-0; LW 5) – Let's hope the Governors learned lesson after first game last season.
5) Hillhouse (1-0; LW 4) - Might be a little high, but we'll know exactly where to place Acs after Friday.
6) Shelton (0-1; LW 4) – Georgalas will return, but it might be a struggle against best SCC has to offer.
7) Hand (1-0; LW 6) – Not exactly an inspiring performance, but it goes in the win column for later use.
8) West Haven (1-0; LW 8) – Blue Devils had to wait until Sunday, but got season off on right foot.
9) Hamden (0-1; LW 7) – Offense was nonexistent against Cheshire, and they'll have to figure that out.
10) Lyman Hall (1-0; LW 3) - Highest Trojans have been in a while here, and they might be able to climb.
11) Foran (1-0; LW 5) - The Lions and Schumitz will most certainly battle you, especially at their place.
12) Branford (0-1; LW 1) - Tough loss to open campaign. Hornets surely hope doesn't cost them playoffs.
13) North Haven (0-1; LW 2) - Schwab was forced to leave opener. Indians could use him on field this week.
14) Sheehan (1-0; LW 6) - Gannon threw for 4 TDs, good start for a young quarterback in this league.
15) Amity (0-1; LW 9) – Tremendous defensive effort, but Spartans end up with nothing to show for it.
16) Fairfield Prep (0-1; LW 10) - Some things to build on, especially with Griswold coming to town Friday.
17) Jonathan Law (0-1; LW 7) - Didn't really see Lawmen giving up 37 points, but I didn't see a lot of things.
18) Guilford (1-0; LW 8) - Got a win, but Indians know things will only get a whole lot tougher from there.
19) East Haven (0-1; LW 9) - Played hard, played tough. What else can you ask for out of a team?
The match-up between the top two rated football teams in Connecticut put on a show in front of a crowd estimated at over 5,000 people on Friday night September 17, 2010. The game featured big hits, great special teams play, timely defensive plays and many surprises it is certainly worth a watch.
You can visit our store to download the MP4 video of the game to your digital device over order the DVD.
September 16, 2010 - The Guilford Indians and the East Haven Yellow Jackets opened the 2010 football season last night with the Indians rolling to a 27-6 victory. Guilford chewed up over 215-yards on the ground led by Jr. back Matt Hoey 112 yards and two touchdowns. Indian QB Ethan Curry rushed for 63-yards, aTD and threw a touchdown pass to Will Stitilis.
The Yellow Jackets put 6-points up on the board in the 3rd quarter when Sr. QB Niko Fiorillo hooked up with Jr. receiver Mike Vessicchio on a 30-yard pass for touchdown.
The Indians play West Haven next week while East Haven battles Amity.
People forget that prior to last fall, the Notre Dame football team was coming off three consecutive losing seasons, and many people (including someone whose picture lies somewhere on this page) didn't really believe that last season was going to be the one that the Green Knights returned to glory.
Of course, 20/20 hindsight shows outstanding lines on both sides of the ball, speed to burn, and an outstanding leader and winner in Conor Keniry.
Notre Dame hopes that there won't be any hindsight needed in December. They will begin the season this week No. 1 in the Courant poll, the Register poll, the WELI poll, and - presumably - the Gallup polls.
Rumors of their preseason beatdowns of other traditional powers have spread like wildfire through the football underground.
But, unlike last season, the hype comes with a giant target on their back, one that Notre Dame will have to embrace if they want to avoid the snipers.
"We don't talk too much about last season," Notre Dame coach Tom Marcucci said. "It's a new story, a new group. We graduated eight starters on offense, seven on defense. We have some skill players back and we have some talent, but it is a different team."
No one will be feeling the heat more than senior quarterback Sean Goldrich, because he's the most heralded player returning from last year's Class L title squad, throwing for 20 touchdowns with just 1 interception last season and completing nearly 69 percent of his passes.
However, his role will almost surely be increased this season. Goldrich never threw more than 15 passes in a game last season, and although the Knights should still run plenty, there will be times where the game may rest on Goldrich's strong right arm.
"I just want to win games, that's what's most important to me," Goldrich said. "I know interceptions will happen from time to time, so I'm not worried about it. Coach (Marcucci) has told me we're probably going to throw a little bit more, which is obviously exciting as a quarterback, but as long as we're winning, I'm fine."
You want an example of how things have changed for Goldrich? At a recent visit to Notre Dame, I was told I couldn't talk to him. After explaining that it was set up through Coach Marcucci, the message came back, "Well, he can't talk to college coaches during school."
For whatever reason, major colleges have been slow to warm to Goldrich. He had looked at Iowa, but they grabbed another QB. The same appears to have happened at Villanova.
What makes it doubly strange is trying to find someone with something negative to say about Goldrich, either on or off the field, is darn near impossible.
"In my opinion, he is a Division I quarterback," Marcucci said. "He has a big-time arm and he's faster than people give him credit for. He's a good runner. And he's a fantastic kid. He does everything the coaches ask, and it's always the team first."
You can tell the college thing stings Goldrich a little, but while he's not exactly a tragic figure, he has had his share of adversity growing up in West Haven.
When he was in seventh grade, his mother, Tara, died suddenly, and therefore never saw him play a down in high school.
"It dawned upon me a couple of times last season," Goldrich said. "It was a little emotional in the playoffs that she couldn't see the success that we had. In the end, although I wish she could be here, it's nice to know that there's someone up there looking out for me, and she'll always be a big part of who I am."
You want weapons? Goldrich (who somehow didn't even make first team Division I last season, as he was beaten out by Xavier's Alex Pace, Hamden's Jason Lassiter, and Cheshire's Greg Palmer) has weapons. Phil Bentley and Tirrell Young-Williams, who each had big plays in big games last season, were 1-2 in the 100-meter dash in Class MM track last spring. Running back David Rose was not spectacular, but consistent and should be stronger with a year of experience under his belt.
Sometimes it's not the most fun position to be in, anything but a repeat as state champion will likely be a disappointment.
However, it certainly beats having a losing record.
"We have a lot of things we can still do to get better," Marcucci said. "This won't be easy."
STEWART LEADS FALCONS: As of Sunday, there was only one name on the MaxPreps roster for Xavier: Graham Stewart.
The linebacker spurned UConn (yeah) and Syracuse (boo) to play at Boston College, ending a fairly contentious recruiting period and allowing him to concentrate on football.
Stewart and fellow linebacker Austin Ahern are among the top 10 recruits coming out of Connecticut this season, which alone means the Falcons should be a handful (Just YouTube Stewart and you'll see some pretty good hits against Division I opposition).
Xavier also won their final nine regular season games last season, including a win over Notre Dame, before giving Staples all it could handle in the Class LL semifinals.
But it was a strange season for the Falcons defense, which posted three shutouts and nearly had two others, but was run off the field by Wilbur Cross (37-19, their only regular season loss), and gave up 20 or more points five times, including to Staples.
Will they have enough to unseat Notre Dame atop the SCC? We won't have long to find out, will we?
EXTRA POINTS: Tony Martone returns to Hamden, and he might have his work cut out for him with a brutal schedule and losing 24 players to graduation. He does have running back Jordan Teague (who, strangely, didn't play any running back in the final scrimmage against Greenwich) and he should have enough athletes to be competitive. But how competitive? ... Yea, I was the one that put Cheshire 8th in Division I to start last season. All they did was win the Class LL state championship. Oops. I'm semi-inclined to look at the fact that they look likely to use two quarterbacks again (Michael John Ecke and Max Slade) to prove that the might have some problems, but it's worked for them in the past, and they should have enough talent to be in position for a possible playoff berth ... Shelton will be without Mike Georgalas for its opener against Wilbur Cross after he was ejected from last Thanksgiving's game against Derby (the CIAC never forgets). They will also miss Ryan Deangelis for the season with an ACL tear, so the Gaels may take some time to get going, and that may be enough to cost them a postseason run ... Wilbur Cross has Dontay Long (QB) and James Ward (RB), but it's hard to tell what else this early. Last season, they started with an 18-point win at Palmer Field, but later in the season lost by 24 points at home to West Haven. They finished 5-5, and you expect you might see more of the same this season ... Hand has some players returning, but it's hard to see them having the athleticism to keep up with the Notre Dames and Xaviers of the world ... West Haven is another mystery, they haven't looked particularly good in the preseason, but they never do, do they? ... Fairfield Prep and Amity, both with new coaches (Tom Shea and Bert Mozealous, respectively), appear to be swimming upstream in Division I, at least for this season ... Couldn't fit this into Inside the Numbers, but the least amount of points Notre Dame scored last season: 28.
Check us out on Twitter, www.twitter.com/currenscc. If you have any story ideas or scores you want to get across, let me know.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK
GAME OF THE WEEK
Xavier at Notre Dame, Friday, 7 p.m. - By all preseason accounts, this should be the game of the season as well in front of what figured to be a giant crowd in West Haven. Is Notre Dame's offense that good? Is Graham Stewart that good? Is the SCC that good? All questions we've been waiting months to answer will finally begin to be come this week, thankfully.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
Number of playoff teams in the CIAC football playoffs this season, up from 24 last season. Seeing that I was one of the ones that was pushing for a change, obviously I like it, but it will be interesting to see how it plays out. I surmise there will still be some teams that feel they should get in and don't, but that's the way it goes.
D-I POWER RANKINGS
1) Notre Dame (11-1; Opener: vs. Xavier) – Knights don't have to leave West Haven until October 22. Nice scheduling.
2) Xavier (9-2; at Notre Dame) – Have to survive ND and Cheshire (both away) in the season's first three weeks.
3) Cheshire (11-1; at Hamden) – Usually, they lose to Hamden, then go on big win streak. Tough to do that this year.
4) Shelton (7-3; vs. Wilbur Cross) – Won last six games last season, will know much more after Friday's opener.
5) Wilbur Cross (5-5; at Shelton) – Ward will take them as far as he can, but he's going to need some help somewhere.
6) Hand (5-5; at Fairfield Prep) – Less cool storylines for opener, same amount of rush-hour traffic on I-95.
7) Hamden (7-3; vs. Cheshire) – Dragons don't play Wilbur Cross this season. Seems kind of wrong, doesn't it?
8) West Haven (5-5; at Amity) – Fairly kind opening to schedule may give the Westies much-needed confidence.
9) Amity (3-7; vs. West Haven) – Mght be a little bit of a rough start to the new regime, but they'll battle in D-I.
10) Fairfield Prep (0-10; vs. Hand) - Well, it really can't get much worse, can it?