Grand Affair

Tonight at 7, Ansonia joins New Britain and Hillhouse as the only Connecticut high schools to play 1,000 football games.  It’s a highly anticipated NVL matchup with a Wolcott program that has never beaten the Chargers.  Ansonia’s  710 wins are second behind New Britain’s 733.
For historical perspective on Ansonia I checked in with Ed Morse. Ed’s Passion for Chargers Football (or “The Lavender” as he often calls them) is genuine and passionate.
Ed shares that Ansonia’s first official game came in 1900, a season in which they finished the year undefeated at (3-0-0).   Ansonia has had 15 undefeated teams through the years to go with a record 16 CIAC state championships.  The biggest crowd Ed remembers is the 12,000 for the 1994 Naugatuck at Ansonia game – a battle of unbeatens won by the Chargers in overtime.

Naming the best all-time Ansonia team and player?  Morse politely takes a pass on that one, too tough to pick.

Is victory number 711 in store tonight or will Wolcott make history with its’ first victory over its’ NVL rival?  Either way the winning coach will join us on the phone for a live interview on FNF Overtime (WFSB.COM and digital cable, Eyewitness News Now) tonight at 11:35pm.

Quick Hits

* The Great Bob Sagendorf has his inimitable voice back and after receiving treatment for dead nerve tissues that were impacting his speech Bob is back on the air tonight for the call of the Ansonia-Wolcott game. 7pm on AM 1320 WATR or streaming on WATR.COM.  Bob will be joined on the broadcast by Steve Croce (currently the offensive coordinator for Pomperaug) and J. Paul Vance Jr. Look for one of Bob’s touchdown calls to make the FNF show tonight at 11:15pm.

* Learned recently that the Fairfield Country Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) has its’ own substantial and exclusive deal with Madison Square Garden Network and MSG Varsity to broadcast football games.  That’s why you won’t see an FCIAC game on the Connecticut Sports Network or MY 9’s Game of the Week.  It’s not until the playoffs and state championship games when the CIAC’s partner, CTSN, has the right to show games with FCIAC teams involved.

* Speaking of the FCIAC, congratulations to Bridgeport’s Harding High School.  The Presidents won their first game in close to 2 years and first FCIAC game in nearly 4 years last week , 12-6 over Fairfield Ludlowe.

* And speaking of presidents, be sure to catch the opening to FNF tonight at 11:15pm.  Joe Zone for President of Friday Night Football?  You decide.

*  Another reason to feel good about high school sports (young man scores touchdown in motorized scooter)

* Valley Regional Tight End Mitchell King (he also punts and kicks) is drawing more college interest by the day. The 6-6 232 pound senior is healthy after being inured a year ago – schools expressing interest range from the Ivy League to Boston College, Duke, Maryland and UCLA.  Temple and Tulane have already offered scholarships.

*   The Middletown Blue Dragons are enjoying a (3-1) start under new coach Sal Morello who came over from Cromwell to replace Eric Marszalek – both of whom are favorites of this blogger.  After going just 1-9 a year ago it’s logical to conclude that the coaching change is the difference – not so fast.  Middletown has a much more forgiving schedule this season.  In Marszalek’s final season they play a D-1 schedule in the then freshly realigned Central Connecticut Conference, this year they were reclassified to CCC D-2 and it’s making a difference.  Middletown’s 3 wins to date have come over Bristol Central, Hartford Public and East Hartford,  3 teams that were not on the Blue Dragon’s schedule a year ago.

3 Games We’ll Be Watching

Masuk at Bunnell – Friday 7pm

Most who’ve seen them play believe that no Southwest Conference opponent can beat Masuk. Bunnell may be the best hope  They get the Panthers at home tonight in Stratford and we’ll need every ounce of effort from sophomore quarterback Brian Castelot and the offense against a Masuk defense that has allowed 1 offensive touchdown in its’  first 4 games.

Hand-Madison at Notre Dame West Haven – Friday 7pm

The undefeated Hand Tigers jumped into the State Top 10 with their win over Cheshire last Friday. Now they get a ND West Haven team that is a deceiving (2-2) with losses to undefeateds Xavier and West Haven.  Hard to believe Notre Dame, the state #1 from a year ago and defending Class L Champion could be (2-3) come 9:30 tonight.

Valley Regional/Old Lyme at North Branford – Friday 6:30pm

I’m curious to see how this one goes.  Valley and North Branford are 2 of the 4 remaining undefeated teams in the Pequot conference along with Coginchaug and Hyde who were both playoff teams a year ago.

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

Are an increasing number of cashiers at stores unable to extend customers some basic pleasantries? I’m finding more and more often that I will go through an entire transaction with the store’s employee not saying a single word. That means no “Hello”, no “That’ll be  $25.20 please”, no “Thank You”, etc…  Am I alone?

See You Tonight at 11:15pm for Week 5 of Friday Night Football

John

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