Vociferous complaints about the CIAC’s 50 point (score management) rule aren’t nearly as prevalent as the were when the rule  was first introduced in 2006 but that may soon change if the events of this early season persist.

Bridgeport Central coach Dave Cadelina, who won an appeal of a 50-point rule violation in ’06, is again in the middle of things.  Central has won its’ first two games of the season 5o to 6 and 49 to 0. Faced with violating the 50-point rule in both games Coach Cadelina has been left with no choice but to avoid running offensive plays – in last week’s 49-0 nothing win over city rival Bassick, Bridgeport Central punted on first down on every offensive possession in the second half.

Berlin faced a similar situation last night in a one-sided win over Tolland.  The defending Class M Champion Redcoats began the second half by taking a knee on the opening kickoff instead of attempting to return it.

No Bonus For You

Windsor Coach Rob Fleeting, his Warriors off to a (2-0) start, was surprised to learn that his team did not receive any bonus points in the Class L playoff point standings for wins over LL schools Simsbury and New Britain.  The CIAC groups L & LL schools together and does not reward an L school 10 points for “playing up” against LL schools.  The policy has not changed from last year but  is particularly relevant to a school like Windsor whose 10-game CCC schedule includes 8 teams that are from Class LL.  S schools are rewarded 10 points for beating M schools and 20 points for beating L and LL schools.  M schools are rewarded 10 points for beating L and LL schools.

Edsall To Boston College?

Not Randy, Corey.  The buzz has East Catholic senior Quarterback Corey Edsall, son of UConn Head Coach Randy Edsall, heading to Boston College in hopes of  kicking/punting for B.C. as a walk-on. Edsall an Eagle? – could be, Corey did attend BC Coach Frank Spaziani’s summer camp in Chestnut Hill.

Coach Speak

Tonight on FNF I’ll profile local radio legend George “The Coach” DeMaio.  Coach has been at it since the early 80’s – morning sports reports for his New Haven County audience and tireless play-by-play work for high school football, basketball, hockey and softball.  A Connecticut treasure, Coach has set the standard with his game coverage.

A couple thoughts from Coach that didn’t make tonight’s story:

All Time Favorite Connecticut High School Player: Rico Brogna (Rico actually sought Coach out for advice when faced with a choice to play football on scholarship at Clemson or sign to play in the Detroit Tigers minor league system. Coach told Rico to go with baseball and you know the rest of the story)

Favorite Stadiums To Call a High School Game From:

West Haven (Coach’s Alma Matr and home to the best grounds crew in the state says Coach)

Hand-Madison’s Surf Club –  Coach says, “The Tigers aren’t a team they are a program.”

I reached out  to a few people who know Coach well to get their thoughts.

Steve Filippone / Hand-Madison Head Coach

I have known George for 20+ years and believe that he has had a tremendous influence on HS football throughout the state but most importantly in the SCC and New Haven County.  When we needed to get the new playoff plan through we went to him for help.  He explained what his position was and promised that if we were able to maintain T-Day games he would do everything in his power to support us.  His ability to reach thousands of listeners with a credible and sensible approach to our proposal is one of the many reasons we succeeded in getting it through.

Sean Patrick Bowley / Connecticut Post

George is as passionate about his work as anybody else I know in this business, if not more. He learned very early that the most important thing about covering high school football is getting scores. That’s what his audience wants, that’s what the coaches and players want on their bus ride home. And that’s what he gives them. Long before the internet, text messaging and Twitter ever hit the scene, George has always been the source for high school football scores.

He’d climb Mount Everest if it meant getting a score from, say, Killingly or Ellington or even somewhere as close as Seymour. George literally calls every athletic director and football coach in Connecticut to remind them to call WELI and report their final score. If he doesn’t get a score he wants, he’ll almost shame them into getting it right next time. “Well, I called the school, I talked to the AD and he assured me the coach would get us a final,” he’d say. “Right now, I’ve got nothing. I don’t understand.” You can almost hear George shaking his head on the air like a disappointed father. He’s relentless, and that’s what’s so endearing about him.

George is old school in that he’s extremely loyal to the people who help him throughout the season. And he’ll go to great lengths to reward his clan. I’ve been lucky to be a part of the circle. I’ve spent the last 10 Thanksgiving Days with the DeMaio Clan. Not at the dinner table, but at his pregame, Thanksgiving Day Football Extravaganza breakfast he hosts for his “Friday Night Football Crew” at a local diner in West Haven. George provides entire crew with heaping helpings of pancakes, eggs, sausage, bacon and muffins before we head to our separate games.

Traditionally, it’ll go off without a hitch. But on those rainy or snowy Thanksgiving mornings, while the rest of us are stuffing our faces, George is in front of the restaurant, calling every number in his phone book to get the latest postponements so he’ll be able to inform his audience with the latest news when he hits the air at 10 a.m. He pushes us to call our contacts and he lets us know he’s the authority. “I just got off the phone with Joe Canzanella, Wilbur Cross-Hillhouse is still on. …Jeanne Cooper at Hamden says they’re still clearing snow off the field, they’ll make a decision on the Green Bowl by 9 a.m. I haven’t heard back from Craig Semple about Hand-Guilford…”

It’s not Thanksgiving Day without George DeMaio calling his game and getting all the updates from around the state. And he won’t have a bite of turkey until every football score and playoff matchup is accounted for. There’s no other place to go than WELI on Thanksgiving Day. And nobody covers high school football on game day like George. His love of the sport and the community enriches the experience for all of us who cover the games alongside him. I can’t imagine a season without him.

Ned Griffen / The Day of New London

Bad Weather had postponed a number of games one 1998 weekend, including Shelton at Hamden. It was moved from Friday night to Monday afternoon, and relocated to West Haven High School.

George, for whatever reason, decided he was going to broadcast that game. The one hitch was that he couldn’t get a color man and would go it alone.

I was driving from another game and running late to West Haven when I turned on the radio to see how George was handling the solo gig. I was concerned he might struggle without a sidekick.

Nope – George was flawless and never had  a moment of dead air. Pretty sure he gave a plug to someone that brought him Italian food (they take very good care of George at West Haven).

As I listened to George’s non-stop chatter, I though, “Man – this guy is good“.

Links Of The Week

Moon Over Queens:


Homeless Player, Clueless Decision?:


Ledyard’s Quartet Of Foreign Exchange Students:


Keeping Score

We had a couple of complaints this week about our FNF page at WFSB.COM not posting the Friday night scores in a timely enough manner.  I’d love some more feedback on this (john.holt@wfsb.com). We tend to focus our energies on getting as many highlights statewide in time for the 11:15pm show with all the scores running on a ticker come showtime.  Should getting the scores up earlier on our website be a priority – even it redirects our resources away from game coverage?

3 Games We’ll Be Watching

Staples at Ridgefield – Friday 7pm

Joe Zone will be making the trip to the New York border for this one and has 3 reasons to be excited.

1) His first ever trip to “Tiger Hollow” – said to be one of the best high school football facilities in the state.

2) Ridgefield Senior lineman Tommy Jordan. Chance to see the big time recruit up close before he heads to the University of Florida.

3) Staples.  Class program, class coach in Marce Petroccio.

Holy Cross at Ansonia – Friday 7pm

Dobbs, DiGiorgi, DiClementi, – enough A-List running backs whose names start with D to fill the rosters for 2 games.  Anxious to see who wins this battle of (2-0) NVL challengers

Simsbury at Hall – Saturday 1:30pm

Are the (2-0) Warriors legit?  Let’s see what they have vs. visiting Simsbury

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

My definition of cruel and unusual punishment?  Stores and merchants asking people like me (who already have horrendous handwriting) to sign for credit card purchases on one of those electronic signature pads.  Can anyone write neatly on one of these things let alone those of us whose cursive never progressed past a third grade level?

See You Tonight at 11:15pm for FNF!



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