South Windsor High School football focuses on bouncing back

By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
South Windsor - posted Fri., Aug. 24, 2012
Andrew Knipple holds the bag for a trap block from Garret Pugliese. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.
Andrew Knipple holds the bag for a trap block from Garret Pugliese. Photos by Christian Mysliwiec.

For South Windsor High School football coach Mike Bullock, this season is about rebuilding and taking another swing at success. “After coming off a 1-9 season last year we're trying to rebound and get to where we've been in previous years,” said Bullock. “We were above 500 teams in years previous to that and that's where we expect to be again.”

In those years, however, they had a large senior base to carry the team. When that talent graduated, Bullock and the team faced difficulty remaining competitive. “We lost 50 seniors in the last two years, so we lost quite a bit of experience,” he said. “But I think we have some kids that are ready to step up and take over.”

Bullock has a young team this year, with a large group of juniors and less players from other classes. Younger players join transfer students in getting acclimated to how the rest of the team plays. Bullock will be relying on a group of seniors who earned experience from extensive playing time last year to help advance the newer players.

“We have a core of good players, but we need to develop some of the younger guys to have that success this year,” he said. Bullock said that many of the returning players were on the defensive players. The goal now will be to build up the offense.

“We added some new coaches to the staff and combined with good players, we have the ability to turn that corner and be a team with a winning record,” he said.

New to the staff of coaches is Frank Leon, who is coaching special teams, defensive line and junior varsity defense, and Mick Dunn, who is working with freshman offense as well as varsity running backs. They join defensive coordinator Eric Sharon, offensive coordinator Dave Hodge, junior varsity offensive coach Steve Kaczmarek, freshman defense coach Jeff Scott, linebacker coach Derrick Butler, wide receiver coach Zack Nagle and team manager Randy Barlock.

“We're working hard to get back to a winning season this year,” said Bullock.

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