Bulldogs football looks to get back on track after rocky season
By Kathryn Elliott - ReminderNews
Stafford, East Windsor - posted Wed., Aug. 31, 2011
Off to a soggy start, Bulldogs football is back in action at Stafford High School. Thirty young men on the Stafford-East Windsor combined team began conditioning indoors the week of Aug. 18.
“The weather is not cooperating,” said second-year head coach Corey Bernier. “It’s tough, especially for our East Windsor players. Those kids ride a bus 45 minutes to and from practice six days a week. You have to admire their determination.”
Looking to improve on a 2-8 record in 2010, Bernier is taking every opportunity to build on the team’s skills and game smarts. “We are trying to compete at a high level every week and improve as much as we can,” he said. “We have a lot of returning key seniors, and after many very close games last year, we are looking to turn the corner and turn some of those close losses into wins.”
Seniors Tim Atruc, Jessie Scroggins, Shane McCuen, Beau Weed, Rick Reilly, Matt Graham and Sean Jones return to the Bulldogs ready to tackle the season.
Senior defensive end Rick Reilly of EWHS commented on his goals. “I made All-Conference last year, and I’m hoping to do the same this season,” he said.
Tim Atruc, SHS running back, recognized the pre-season work needed to ensure team success. “I hate the conditioning, but I know it’s important,” he said.
Back for his fourth year as center, SHS senior Beau Weed summed up the competition. “I think our toughest game is going to be from Avon,” he said. “We just need to take it one game at a time.”
Rivalries run deep between Stafford and Windsor Locks. “We play Windsor Locks on Thanksgiving, so that is always a good game,” the coach said. “Their new head coach, Marty Powers, was my old coach and also gave me my first football coaching job at Tolland 10 years ago. We have had some very tough physical games with Ellington, Coventry and Canton.”
“Our greatest strength is our core guys’ determination to make this program better,” Bernier added. “Our numbers are low, but we have a small group that loves to play football.”
The Bulldogs open against Avon on Sept. 16 at home.