E.O. Smith football gears up for a new season
By Melanie Savage - Staff Writer
Storrs - posted Tue., Aug. 28, 2012
According to E.O. Smith High School head varsity football coach Jody Minotti, the program has grown more than three-fold since he took over three years ago - from 22 players to 68. Forty-six of those members will be playing at the varsity level, on a team comprised of a mix of sophomore, junior and senior students. Minotti attributes that growth, in large part, to support for the program. "We have an absolutely fantastic booster club," he said. "Teachers, administrators, parents, all have been tremendously supportive of the program."
“We have about 14 seniors,” said Minotti, after a preseason scrimmage against Granby High School on Aug. 25. Some of those players are new to the program this year. Others, like starting quarterback Kodey Duplissie, have been playing for the program since they were freshmen. Duplissie was named team captain his sophomore year, and has retained the title ever since. This year, he shares the role of co-captain with senior running back/middle linebacker Didier Moncion and senior running back/defensive lineman Anthony Dignoti. “He has continued to be a better leader every year that we’ve had him here at E.O. Smith,” said Minotti.
Moncion is expected to play a significant role offensively this year along with Duplissie.
Last year the E.O. Smith Panthers struggled. Heading into the 2012-13 season, “They are in a much better situation, but that doesn’t mean we’re anywhere near where we need to be,” said Minotti. “Their effort today [against Granby] was incredible. We have no lack of effort.” The approach, according to Minotti, will be to “get better every week. Obviously every coach wants to win every game. But we take it day by day, one game at a time.”
Assisting Minotti for the 2012-13 season are: Max Manin (Defensive Coordinator); Royston Jordan (Offensive Line/Wide Receivers); Ron Parlante (Offensive Line/Defensive Line); Justin Gillette (Wide Receiver/Safeties); and Mike Thibodeau (Offensive Coordinator).