Archive for September, 2006

Picture Imperfect
September 27, 2006

It’s Week 3 of high school football and we’re not even close to having a perfect picture of the playoff favorites in each of the 6 classes. Take a look for yourself at the excellent CIAC webpage that tracks playoff point standings in all classes throughout the season:

http://www.casciac.org/scripts/fb_points06.cgi

Some games in Week 3 should help to define the playoff races a little better. However keep in mind that a game between fellow 2-0 teams Southington and Bristol Central actually pits teams from 2 different classes against each other. A loss by Bristol Central (Class L) would hurt them in some ways, but since it’d be a defeat to a team, Southington, in a bigger class (LL) it would by no means be devastating. In fact teams with more than one loss often make the postseason.

At the same time a school like Fitch-Groton (a preseason Top Ten in the Coaches Poll) needs very much to avoid a loss to Windham that would drop them to 0-2 in the Class MM race.

Dancing………………….Fool!

Keep the nominations coming for your high school’s cheerleaders, bands and dance teams.

My apologies to the Dance Team at Woodland Regional. We mentioned them last week on Friday Night Football while showing the equally impressive Woodland Cheerleaders instead. A foolish mistake on my part – we’ll do our best to get the Woodland Dance Team some airtime in the coming weeks.

Let’s Hit The Links

No golf, just some good web surfing for more on Connecticut High School Football:

http://birdseyesports.com/football_high_school.asp

Led by company president Ben Talbott, BIRDSEYE Sports has become the place to go for spirited high school football message boards full of inside info, passionate opinions and just the right amount of trash talk. BIRDSEYE is also leading the way in producing professional high school sports videos. WFSB and BIRDSEYE are partnering up this year so look for some
co-produced content on FNF all season long.

http://fciacfootball.blogspot.com/

Tim Parry is the man chronicling all developments in the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference. This BLOG is terrific and even better – updated often!

http://www.nvlfootball.blogspot.com/

Not to be outdone by Tim, Steve Fainer takes time to let us know what’s up in the valley. Steve keeps a beat on the Naugatuck Valley League and offers his game predictions each week for the NVL.

http://www.theday.com/sports/

There are a lot of high school football beat reporters worth the read across the state, but none more than Ned Griffen from The Day of New London. Every Tuesday Ned writes a state wide high school football column that comes out in conjunction with the latest Day State Coaches Top Ten that Ned compiles.

In addition, you’ll see Ned on FNF a couple times a season serving as WFSB’s own Chris Mortensen.

House Rules

The House Rules were definitely in effect last Friday afternoon as the Hillhouse Academics exploded late to knock off then #2 Xavier 21 to 7. The Acs win was punctuated by Terrell Wilks’ 95 Yard interception return for a touchdown. Channel 3 photographer Cory Peck was there for all 3 Hillhouse touchdowns and you can see the game highlights by clicking below:

http://www.wfsb.com/video/9915430/index.html

Yeah, you’ll notice I called Terrell Willis not Wilks. We misread his name off the roster. It won’t happen again, it’s a name we can’t forget after that scintillating play.

Some Quick Week 3 Thoughts:

Games We’ll Be Watching:

Southington at Bristol Central (An early season showdown that will see BC’s Aaron Hernandez get officially invited to play in the U.S. Army All American Bowl during a pregame ceremony at Muzzy Field)

Norwich Free Academy at Ledyard (Do they still have that great chili and chowder at the Ledyard concession stand? I sampled them back in 2004 during my last trip to see the Colonels play and enjoyed every bite!)

Holy Cross at Woodland (How good is HC’s Dan Mulrooney? I’m guessing the Boston College bound Crusader will be a highlight superstar on FNF all season)

Things We’ll Be Wondering:

Did a single loss by Xavier (21-7 to Hillhouse) merit their fall completely out of the Day’s Top Ten?

Is the FCIAC as deep as the early season indicates? 4 FCIAC teams are in the Top Ten: Greenwich (#1), Staples (#6), Bridgeport Central (#9) & New Canaan (#10).

Is the chili and chowder at Ledyard available for home delivery?

Oh Brother……..In-Law!

Hartford Public head Coach Harry Bellucci has one famous brother-in-law. Check out the cool story right here:

http://www.wfsb.com/sports/index.html

Completely Unrelated Thought Of The Week:

Anybody’s sports universe feeling as empty as mine with the Red Sox not headed to the playoffs for the first time since 2002?

See you Friday Night at 11:15pm for FNF!

John
john.holt@wfsb.com

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3 Times The Fun!
September 20, 2006

With the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, starting on Friday – certain games have been moved up to Thursday in Week 2.

That means 23 games Thursday, 29 on Friday and 14 on Saturday: 3 Times The Fun (not to mention a respectful and wise gesture by those communities adjusting game days to honor the holiday).

Thanks to all of you who have taken time to nominate your school’s band, cheerleaders or dance team for a feature spot on Friday Night Football. Hey Woodland (the most nominations by far) we hear you loud and clear and we’re planning to be at your game this Friday night vs. Ansonia. Smile for the camera!

I’m always looking for compelling feature stories in the ranks of Connecticut High School football. Know of any? Email me! (john.holt@wfsb.com) . They don’t have to be about the star player. I’m looking for great human interest stories to share with our FNF audience. Players, cheerleaders, trombone players – I want your success stories!

Where’s the highlight in those highlights?

I just wanted to write a word or two on how we gather highlights on any given Friday night. First, we do our best to get to as many games as possible, as many towns as possible. This means that Channel 3 photographers travel to multiple games. As such, sometimes timing is not on our side. The key touchdown might happen before our camera arrives or after. Know that we’re doing our best (while obeying the posted speed limit of course!). Should we ever miss an incredible highlight from a game you’re at, a game you’re at with your own video camera – get us the video! We’ll show it on FNF.

A Twisted Top Ten

Did you check this week’s Day of New London State Coaches top ten scrolling across the top of our High School Football webpage? Greenwich jumped over Xavier as the new #1 this week even though Xavier had 7 first place votes to Greenwich’s 3. The Cardinals got the #1 nod because they had more overall voting points than Xavier 330 to 328. Thanks to Ned Griffen of The Day for making us the TV home of the Coaches Poll. Ned’s game coverage of high school football in Eastern Connecticut and his weekly state wide football column are both terrific. He’s the guru to us and you can read him at TheDay.com

Some Quick Week 2 Thoughts:

Games We’ll Be Watching:

Woodland at Ansonia (The place to be in the Valley Friday night, buy stock in Ansonia running back Alex Thomas now!)

Xavier at Hillhouse (Friday at 3:30pm. There’s nothing Academic about this early season opportunity for a Hillhouse team that went to the MM Finals a year ago)

Fitch at Norwich Free Academy (Saturday 10:30am. Fitch-Groton is the only Top Ten team yet to play its’ season opener. Are they worthy of the #9 ranking?)

Things We’ll Be Wondering:

How much of a factor was last Friday night’s rainy weather in impacting who won games? (This Friday night looks cool and dry.)

Is the loss of star running back T.J. Cameron to a serious leg injury enough to derail Greenwich’s hopes of a state title?

Are there just more computers per household in Beacon Falls & Prospect or are Woodland fans just that much more passionate with their emails and band and cheerleader nominations?

Have you registered yet to win an FNF t-shirt? What are you waiting for?

http://www.wfsb.com/hsfootball/9860837/detail.html

See you Friday night at 11:15pm for FNF!

John

Off and Running…
September 17, 2006

Week 1 for High School football is in the books and our first Friday Night Football show is under our belts. It was a lot of fun! If you missed the show be sure to check out video clips on WFSB’s High School football web page.

The web page is full of cool stuff including your chance to win a Property of Friday Night Football T-shirt, voice your opinion about the CIAC’s 50 Point rule and send us your digital photos of all things Connecticut High School Football. Thanks to Dwight Bell for being the first to send us his photos (of the Windsor High Cheerleaders).

I’ll be blogging again on Wednesday as we gear up for Week 2. We’re back on the air Friday night at 11:15pm but keep an eye out for Thursday night scores. Some schools are choosing to play early this week due to the Jewish Holiday starting on Friday.

John

Counting Down
September 5, 2006

Here in the Channel 3 Sports Department we’re anxiously counting down to the return of our 15 minute Friday Night Football show. Its return coincides with the first Friday night of the season, September 15th.

Once again our Channel 3 cameras will be at more games than anybody in the state. Myself and Joe Zone will bring you the hi-lites and all the scores every Friday night at 11:15pm. In addition, we’ll serve up features on standout teams, players, cheerleaders and bands. We invite you to nominate your school for Cheerleaders or Band of the Week. You can do it right on WFSB’s High School Football webpage in the Dog Pound section.

In you miss the show you can always catch it through the website. Hi-lites from all the featured games will be posted weekly. Additionally, you’ll be able to find the latest Day of New London State Coaches Top Ten Poll scrolling across our High School Football page at any time.

Hope you enjoy the site and feel free to send us feedback to sports3@wfsb.com

Some Quick Week 1 Thoughts:

Match Ups We’ll Be Watching:

Daniel Hand at Xavier (Battle Of 2 Reigning State Champions)

New Britain at Bristol Central (Rams Have All American Tight End Aaron Hernandez)

West Haven at Shelton (Traditional powers waste no time renewing acquaintances)

Things We’ll Be Wondering:

Which school and coach will be the first to test the CIAC’s new 50 Point Rule?

What’s Jack Cochran going to do with his Friday nights and Saturday afternoons?

Can any opposing team slow down Aaron Hernandez?

Will Xavier’s Black Hole student section once again prove to be the most creative in the state?

May The Force Be With Them:

Ansonia’s Tom Brockett

East Lyme’s Paul Tenaglia

New London’s Bob Brackett

Each coach takes over for a high profile predecessor. Brockett for Jack Hunt, Tenaglia for Andy Dousis and Brackett for Jack Cochran.

Good Luck Guys! We’ll be watching.