Ivy Spiced With Nutmeg

They call the Ivy League the Ancient 8 and at the moment 2 of these prestigious programs have Connecticut kids running the offense. Former Cheshire quarterback Billy Ragone is the sophomore starter  at QB for Penn and former Griswold standout Sean Brackett is the #1 QB for Columbia.  In fact they shared Ivy League Co-Offensive Player of The Week honors earlier this month – a remarkable achievement for our small state I’d say.  This Saturday and next Ragone and Brackett will make return trips to their home state as Penn visits Yale tomorrow before Columbia comes to town next weekend – both games (noon kickoffs) can be seen on the YES Network.  For an interesting read on Ragone’s return to Connecticut check out Dave Solomon’s recent column in the New Haven Register:   http://nhregister.com/articles/2010/10/21/sports/ssolomon_ragone102110.txt

Is Seth DeValve next?

Manchester High School’s senior quarterback could be the next Connecticut kid playing QB in the Ivy League. Ranked 8th in his class, Princeton is showing big interest in the dual threat DeValve.  Seth need look no further than his brother Jacob who was an exceptional decathlete at Manchester and currently competes on scholarship  at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Seth comes from a family of faith and is said to be unfailingly polite, no vulgarities come out this kid’s mouth – “Aw Shucks!” is about as racy as it gets.  I find that cool.

What Went Wrong?

Each week on our FNF Overtime show (11:35pm streaming on WFSB.COM and on our digital cable channel, Eyewitness News Now) we present our Connecticut Collegians segment where we check on a former CT high school football star now excelling on the next level.  In the first 5 weeks of the season we’ve provided updates on Jordan Reed (New London / University of Florida),  Johrone Bunch (Maloney / Mt. Ida), Jordan Brown (Glastonbury / Bryant), John Moffitt (ND West Haven / Wisconsin) and Keith Carlos (Bridgeport Central / Purdue).  One local player we won’t be focusing on anytime soon is Ansonia’s Erik Kurazcea.  After a stellar high school career clearing the way for record-setting running back Alex Thomas (now at Yale), Kuraczea committed to play for Randy Edsall at UConn. After a month long suspension to start the season, Kuraczea was back as the starter for recent games but this week Edsall announced the Kuraczea was leaving the program.  On the record, Edsall said that Erik was leaving for personal reasons.  Subsequent media reports suggested that Kuraczea wasn’t willing to put in the work that Edsall requires.

Really? A kid from The Valley not working hard enough?  A kid from a storied program from Ansonia not working hard enough?  Doesn’t seem to add up, does it?

Red, Right (or wrong) & Blue

Tomorrow at 2pm in Darien the  Blue Wave host Red Lion Christian Academy out of Bear, Delaware.  It may spell the end to Darien’s undefeated season.  It appears they’re opposite a budding football factory.  Red Lion’s quarterback is 6-1, 14-year old 8th grade David Sills who committed to Coach Lane Kiffin and USC as a 13-year old.  No, that’s not a misprint.  Equally eyebrow-raising are the hundreds of thousands of dollars Sills’ father has committed to building the program at Red Lion. This story has little bit of everything and the Connecticut Post’s Sean Patrick Bowley details it nicely with a blog post: http://blog.ctnews.com/hssports/2010/10/11/coming-to-darien-in-week-6-a/

Time To Step Up The Coverage

Each year at about this time I take a look at the successful teams who to date we haven’t covered enough or at all on Friday Night Football (it doesn’t help that some of these teams play Saturday more often than Friday).  Here now The Underexposed FNF Top 10:

1) West Haven

2) Norwich Free Academy

3) Trumbull

4) New Canaan

5) Wethersfield

6) Fitch

7) Hyde Leadership

8)  Montville

9) Coginchaug

10) Naugatuck

Hope to shake up this Top 10 tonight with plans to feature games including as many as 6 of these teams.  Who else are we underexposing?  Let us know, emails to sports3@wfsb.com

3 Games We’ll Be Watching

Southington at Manchester – Friday 7pm

Despite injuries to Joe Pesce and Connor Butkiewicz Southington appears to be improving each week under first year head Coach DJ Hernandez.  Tonight they visit a fellow (4-1) in Manchester.  Some still doubt the Indians and Coach Marco Pizzoferrato – this is their chance to quiet the doubters with home games to follow later on the schedule against Windsor and Bloomfield.

Bullard Havens at Cheney Tech – Friday 6pm

Right down the street from the Manchester/Southington game is another good one. The winner of this battle of (4-1) tech schools will likely go on to win the Constitution State Conference (CSC).  Bullard Havens is led by mobile quarterback Nick Rodriguez who ran for 6 touchdowns last Saturday vs. Abbott Tech en route to being one of 3 nominees for the FNF Athlete of The Week.

Fitch at New London – Saturday 1pm (Coast Guard Academy)

This was originally a Friday night game that would have been front and center on our FNF agenda, but New London’s continuing home field troubles bounced the game to Saturday at Coast Guard. The great (despite his Yankee boxer shorts) Mike DiMauro from The Day Newspaper calls it Eastern Connecticut’s greatest rivalry: http://theday.com/article/20101022/SPORT01/310229846/-1/sport

Is Fitch legit under coach Mike Emery’s second run at the helm?  We’ll know a lot more after tomorrow and then next Saturday’s road game at Norwich Free Academy.

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

This may fall on some deaf ears of young people who don’t know 60 Minute’s Andy Rooney from Wayne Rooney (or Wayne Rooney from Lil’ Wayne for that matter) but is anyone else both curious and repulsed by what’s going on with Andy Rooney’s upper lip?  Is it an infection or simply the cantankerous Rooney’s way of saying I couldn’t care less if you approve of my biting commentaries or my not ready for prime time upper lip.

See You Tonight at 11:15pm for Week 6 of FNF!

John

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