SWHS football team aims to keeps its momentum up
By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Wed., Aug. 31, 2011
The South Windsor High School football team finished strong last year, with a four-game winning streak at the end, for a season record of 6-4. “It was not a bad season for us,” said coach Mike Bullock, admitting that his team has a tendency to start off slow.
“We’re going to keep the momentum up,” said offensive tackle and defensive end D.J. Slater. He and Matthew Braddock are the only returning varsity starters. Over the summer, these two seniors scheduled team lunches to begin developing the bonds among the players.
Bullock said he appreciates the upperclassmen working with the underclassmen, rather than continuing the old stereotype of varsity versus junior varsity and freshmen. “The seniors are like the older siblings,” he said. “I want them to teach the younger players.” To help foster team unity among the seniors, Bullock led the athletes through team-building exercises at the town’s ropes course.
“We definitely have some strong players,” said Bullock, “they were just over-shadowed by the seniors last year.” Twenty-seven seniors graduated, including 20 starters. “We’ll see how fast we can mature as a team,” said Bullock. “Other than [Slater and Braddock], everyone’s new to their positions.”
“We’re a little more balanced this year,” noted Bullock, in comparison to last year’s team. “We’re really keen on our running game this year.”
In the season’s first scrimmage against Weaver, Bullock said his team gained confidence. “We showed we could do some things,” he said. The team’s defensive plays will mostly stay the same, said Bullock, but he will keep this year’s quick players on the field to confuse the opponents.
“Good intensity at practice will get us ready for the games,” said Braddock. “We’re all looking forward to the season.” He hopes that the October match-up against Simsbury is played at East Hartford’s Rentschler Field.
“I’d love to play at Rentschler,” added Slater. “It would be a dream come true to play on a college-level field.” The team last played at Rentschler in 2009.
The South Windsor High School football team’s first home game will be against Manchester High School on Saturday, Sept. 24, beginning at 1:30 p.m. For the complete schedule, visit the website www.casciac.org.