There are just a couple of weeks left until the busy season approaches for the Press and Herald, as high school football and soccer start a wave of action and the fall season begins for the area’s high schools.
It’s an exciting time for us at the papers as we start to prepare to bring you coverage of the best athletes and most exciting games the area will have to offer.
Football will obviously take up the bulk of our time and resources. While this area may be full of relatively small cities and towns, it does tend to produce more than its fair share of good football.
Personally, I can’t wait to see if Tebucky Jones can lead New Britain back to what residents of the Hardware City will tell you is its rightful place among Connecticut’s football elite. The Golden Hurricanes showed steady improvement last season and might be on the verge of something big this time around.
On the Bristol side, I’m anxious to see the city’s two big schools try and move up the ladder in the CCC as well as hear about their annual Thanksgiving rivalry, which is always one of the best in the state.
The old rivals hope to go from competitive in 2011 to contenders in 2012, though their challenging schedules will make that road difficult. There’s also St. Paul, which is always an opponent that can’t be overlooked just because of its size or record. As an old Plainville Blue Devil, I know that very well.
I’m curious to see if Berlin can manage to put together another strong season, which the Redcoats seem to do yearly despite losing players year after year, Plainville’s program has started to get stabilized under coach Chris Farrell, but the Blue Devils will have to learn to live without the likes of Tony Lopizzo this season.
Newington is a program looking to lift off in 2012, but will have to do so against some of the state’s biggest powers. Southington is one of those traditional powers, and the Blue Knights usually have a big say in the Class LL playoff race.
Football isn’t the only thing worth watching this fall, however.
Both of Plainville’s soccer programs have proven to be strong of late, and will battle the Bristol schools tooth and nail again this year. So will Berlin, which has one of the more underrated soccer programs around. The Redcoats are usually playing for something come the end of the season. Southington has similar potential, as do the New Britain boys.
Southington should be a contender in girls volleyball as well, and if history is any indication, the Bristol schools will battle the New Britain area squads in some exciting contests throughout the season.
No matter who you root for or whatever sport you enjoy, the fall season will almost certainly bring some excitement between September and Thanksgiving Day.
There’s even a chance the area’s football teams could play right up until fall turns to winter.
All the season has to do is hurry up and get here. It wasn’t long ago that I used this space to try and debunk the myth that nothing goes on in August on the local sports scene. That is true, since as I write this the Rock Cats are playing the first of three straight at home, but I am starting to get fall fever.
Matt Straub can be reached at (860) 225-4601 ext. 273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.