Dogged Determination

Well before the curtain closed on the last act of the 2008 high school football season it appeared that Rob Plasky’s run as Naugatuck Head Coach was curtains. Former Hillhouse Head Coach Eric Barbarito, Bunnell Coach Craig Bruno and current Pomperaug Offensive Coordinator Steve Croce were just some of the possible replacements being bandied about.  Nearly 2 years later Plasky remains the head coach on Rubber Avenue. Better yet for Plasky and the Greyhound faithful, Naugy is off to a (6-0) start and could be ticketed for a spot in the Class L playoffs.  Plasky feels vindicated.

In the spring of 2009, amidst allegations of mishandling team funds, Plasky’s contract as coach was not renewed.  The coach’s determination to  prove his innocence and restore his reputation won out. His appeal in a public hearing in front of the Naugatuck Board of Education resulted in his job being restored.

Courtesy: My Citizens News

What is permanently damaged is Plasky’s relationship with Naugatuck Athletics Director Tom Pompei.  A winning (and perhaps even unbeaten regular season) is unlikely to change that. With all he and his family has been through, it’s nice to see Plasky having a successful season with players who have no doubt learned from their coach’s public defense of his integrity.

And It Ends At 36

It had been almost 4 years since the East Haven Yellow Jackets last won a football game – Thanksgiving 2006 vs. Branford. A 36 game losing streak came to an end last Friday vs. Platt Tech of Milford.  A 42-14 victory was highlighted by a 104 yard interception return for a touchdown by East Haven’s Nikko Fiorillo (one of the 3 nominees for the Week 6 FNF Athlete of the Week). Numbers have been a problem for the program and not just the numbers on the scoreboard.  The New Haven Register reports that school had just 18 players on the roster to start the season but now that number has grown to 45.

Detractors might point out that East Haven needed to schedule a game outside the Southern Connecticut Conference to secure a win (Platt Tech plays in the Constitution State Conference) but that didn’t seem to dull the postgame celebration on the East Haven sideline.  Look for video of the streak busting win tonight during our high school football coverage on Channel 3.

On the topic of school’s struggling to snap extended losing streaks check out this story.

Sending The Wrong Message?

Should teenage high school athletes and their adult coaches be subject to criticism on internet message boards hosted by state newspapers?  Does the open forum policy of newspapers such as the New Haven Register, Middletown Press and New Britain Herald run counter to the spirit of high school sports or is it simply a freedom of speech issue?

From persistent posts for New Britain Head Coach Paul Morrell to be fired in the online comment section of the New Britain Herald to disappointed adults fans of the UConn football program taking shots at Xavier Senior Linebacker Graham Stewart who has decided to play out of state at Boston College – is such message board dialogue appropriate when it comes to sports at the high school level?

Next week (11/5) on Friday Night Football we’ll air a story on the issue. In the meantime I’d welcome your thoughts with an email to me at john.holt@wfsb.com

Class S Field Rooting Against St. Joseph

Can you blame the rest of the Class S field if they’d rather not see (4-2) St. Joseph-Trumbull in the 8 team postseason party?  The cadets won now defunct Class SS a year ago and with Tyler Matakevich back in the lineup, having returned from a foot injury in last week’s win over then state #3 New Canaan,  there may not be a Class S team that could knock off St. Joe’s in the playoffs.  Of course they first have to get there and the rest of their regular season includes difficult FCIAC tests vs. Greenwich and Trumbull.  No truth to the rumor that Ansonia Head Coach Tom Brockett has been spotted wearing a Greenwich H.S. Football t-shirt and Hyde Coach Melvin Wells a Trumbull windbreaker.

3 Games We’ll Be Watching

Bristol Eastern at Berlin – Friday 7pm

Both are (6-0) but Bristol Eastern will play without injured running back Tyrell Holmes (broken leg).  Lancer teammates Dylon Ouellette and Taylor Wrice the stage is yours, an upset of defending state champ Berlin happens only if you both play possessed.

Daniel Hand at West Haven – Friday 7pm

A classic Southern Connecticut Conference rivalry with two of the most accomplished coaches in the state, Hand’s Steve Filippone and West Haven’s Ed McCarthy.  I have a feeling George DeMaio was set up with his radio equipment at Ken Strong stadium back on Wednesday in anticipation of this one.

Fitch at Norwich Free Academy – Saturday 1pm

The Fitch Falcons are coming off their first loss a week ago to New London while the NFA Wildcats remain undefeated and currently atop the Class LL playoff point standings.  Norwich’s senior running back Tony Facchini will return after missing last week’s game at East Lyme with a broken thumb.

(NFA Coach Jemal Davis pointed out to me this week that on Tuesday the NFA/New London Thanksgiving game was moved back to Thanksgiving morning after having earlier been changed to a Wednesday night / Thanksgiving Eve game)

Completely Unrelated Thought of The Week

Any suggested uses for Big Y silver coins other than cashing them in to save on groceries?  I have amassed a sizable collection of the silver but always seem to forget them at home when I go grocery shopping.

How about handing them out on Halloween?

See You Tonight at 11:15pm for Week 7 of Friday Night Football,

John

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