Rentschler Field offers SWHS players the experience of a lifetime

By Martha Marteney - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Sun., Oct. 9, 2011
The Bobcats' defensive lines keeps up the pressure in the game versus Simsbury at Rentschler Field. Photos by Martha Marteney.
The Bobcats' defensive lines keeps up the pressure in the game versus Simsbury at Rentschler Field. Photos by Martha Marteney.

For the South Windsor High School football team and its fans, the Oct. 6 game against Simsbury will be a memory not soon forgotten, regardless of the final score. It was an experience of a lifetime – playing at Rentschler Field in East Hartford.

“It’s a tremendous opportunity for our kids to play in one of the finest football stadiums,” said SWHS Principal Dan Sullivan. “I think everybody enjoys the experience.” In addition to the football team, the SWHS choir, marching band and cheerleaders also joined in on the action.

“Playing in a big venue,” added SWHS Athletic Director Chris Wanner, “brings the community together and creates spirit.”

It was a tough game for the Bobcats, starting with an interception in the second quarter that then led to Simsbury’s first of four touchdowns.  A fumbled ball quickly turned into their second touchdown near the end of the first half. Simsbury opted for a 2-point conversion, bringing the score to 15-0. SWHS came back strong, with excellent running, passing and catching. A touchdown by senior Dave Keaveny and a field goal brought the score to 15-7 at the end of the first half.

In the third quarter, Simsbury had a couple runs the length of the field, with SWHS on its heels, but just not close enough, resulting in two more touchdowns.  The third quarter ended 28-7. The Bobcats moved to a passing game, with a long run by senior Brent Young, moving the line down to the 10-yard line. An interception by Simsbury close to the end zone gave Simsbury control of the ball, but a penalty on the field kept them from making the down, despite Simsbury’s half-field run. A few more failed downs, turnovers and another interception by Simsbury brought the game to an unsatisfying loss of 28-7.

“We went away from what we were doing,” explained SWHS coach Michael Bullock, allowing Simsbury to race to the end zone. His team was also challenged by injuries, forcing him to rotate in some young players. “We’ve just got to get the consistency,” he said.

Nonetheless, Bullock said his team was “pumped” to be playing at Rentschler. “It’s a great experience,” he said. “And the town really was supportive.” In upcoming practices, the coach will focus his players on defense and tackling.

At half-time, the night’s game was dedicated to former SWHS athletic director, teacher and coach Jack Longo.  “He’s been such a long-term community member,” explained Wanner. “He’s a good guy to have around.”

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