Tomahawks' training camp opens

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Aug. 16, 2013
Glastonbury High School football player Mark Shettle gets some air in a hurdle drill during the second day of practice on Aug. 15. Photos by Steve Smith.
Glastonbury High School football player Mark Shettle gets some air in a hurdle drill during the second day of practice on Aug. 15. Photos by Steve Smith.

Glastonbury High School's varsity football team dropped the Class LL semi-final game to Xavier last December, and it was the third consecutive time a Tomahawks' state title bid was ended by the Middletown school, but Glastonbury coach Scott Daniels isn't about to start the year by worrying about the past.

“Can we get by those guys? If you look at the scores, no we can't,” Daniels said, adding that the Tomahawks (9-1 regular season, 10-2 including playoffs) were competitive in that game, but. “It's a tough pill to swallow. We thought we matched up well.”

Turning to 2014, the focus doesn't go any further than week one's matchup against another rival – Southington (which Glastonbury beat in last year's quarterfinals, after losing to Southington in the regular season), which is a Thursday night game on Sept. 12.

Glastonbury graduated 23 from the team last year, including about seven (depending on formation) key players from each side of the ball, including all-state players Josh Hill and Ben Berey.

Senior Jalen Ollie returns as the likely starting quarterback, but as in years past, Daniels said many numbers will be called to line up under center.

“I'm going to have a couple of guys in there to run different packages,” Daniels said. “Last year, we used eight different guys at quarterback. We'll plan to do the same thing. Whatever a guys' best assets are, we will use them.”

Overall, the offense will have the same pass/run balance, but with a slight tilt toward throwing. “We'll have packages for Jalen, and the other guys who will fill in,” he said. “We might have more emphasis on the throw, but we've got to see how camp goes and what we have for receivers.”

The backs and receivers, Daniels said, look like a faster, more athletic group this year. “Our skill guys are good, strong, and fast,” he said. “We'll use those guys. We'll get them the ball.”

On the offensive line, center Ben Colasante and right guard Justin Kretzmer are returning, and five players will compete for the remaining three spots. “It's going to be a big camp for the line guys,” Daniels said.

Also new for this year's team are five of the assistant coaches, although the program will use the same schemes. Defensive coordinator Bob Tigno remains, with his 40-plus years of experience.

The schedule-makers were not friendly to Glastonbury either, adding Windsor and Norwich Free Academy to the schedule. Both of those teams played in their division's state finals in 2012.

“We take them one week at a time,” Daniels said. “We play good teams, including Hall and Newington. You've got to play good teams and beat them if you want to be in the playoffs. You've got to play consistenly and not make mistakes. In the past years, we've made mistakes and lost games because of them.”

The outlook, Daniels said, is as optimistic for this season as it was in the past years, and the players again have the right attitude.

“I'm not going to say we're a playoff team, but that is our goal,” he said. “Our goals are to win our conference, and to do it the right way. Our kids want to win. They go into every game thinking they are going to win. They don't get intimidated. They support each other and work hard.”

Glastonbury begins the regular season with a Thursday night game vs. Southington on Sept. 12. For a complete schedule, visit www.casciac.org.


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