Sunday, August 21, 2016

Wolcott football looking to rebuild after big graduation losses

The Wolcott football program had a very successful run over the past four seasons.
The Eagles averaged eight wins per season, with two nine-win campaigns that resulted in postseason berths. Wolcott was Class M's top seed in 2013, then was a Class M-Small participant in 2014. In the other two seasons, the Eagles compiled seven wins each.
This year, Wolcott is looking to rebuild after a major graduation. For just a sample size, here's who was slated to move on and play football at the collegiate level:

Robert Griffin (Curry College)
Ryan Pawlak (Curry College)
Cole Phelps (Central Connecticut State University)
Nathan Filippone (Westfield State College)
Brad Grasso (Post University)
Philip Olmstead (Western Connecticut State University)
Wolcott seniors going to play sports in college gathered for a photo at the school last May.
(Photo courtesy of Wolcott High School)
Those players were in the above photo posted on the Wolcott High School website on May 11. They weren't the only seniors who graduated. Also gone are Jacob Ramos, Anthony Mennillo, Damon Stefko, Jacob Gabriel, Matt Defazio, Chris Guggio, Alex Tapley, Jase Trelli, Rob Pisani, Brandan Brown, Kyle Dunn, Chris Spring, Justin Nadeau, Chris Maisto and Brandon Romano.

That's 21 seniors who have left the program, according to the MaxPreps roster.

There are some big shoes to fill for Wolcott this season. The Eagles held spring practice and got an early jump on filling holes, but it won't be easy. MaxPreps lists Wolcott seniors as Raymond Iorio, Jake Griffin, Steve Urbanski, Bobby Stoeckert, Alyse DeLuca, Ryan Watts, Nick Comeau, Dylan Prescott, Jesse Fucito and Justin Fernandes. Head coach Jason Pace will be looking for his returning players to lead the way for the younger crop that has come into the program.

What won't help is playing Ansonia in the first game of the season. The Chargers also lost some big-time players to graduation, but they are always tough and expected to be among the NVL's best, even the state's best. 

It'll be an uphill battle, but Wolcott has done nothing but take challenges on under Pace. Expect nothing less this season.

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