Seeking to build off last season’s 6-4 mark and Class M state playoff appearance, Jonathan Law’s football team will rely heavily on its quickness and size in certain areas on the gridiron.
“We have great speed at the skill positions and great size in our two returning middle linebackers,” Law coach Erik Larka said. “The speed that we have at the running back and wide receiver position allows us to create mismatches against the defense. We have two athletes that have gone to nationals in track and field and another on the school 4×100 team.”
Mike Plaskon and Naheim Washington have raced at the national level, and Ethan Saley is a 4×100 meter relay runner during track season.
Larka, in his third year leading the Lawmen and sixth overall as a head coach, has a lineup that lost 15 seniors from a year ago.
Among the graduates are Justin Abe, who puts on the pads for the University of New Haven, along with Andrew Paulus and Storm Furtado, both of whom are playing at UMass Dartmouth.
“We lost four of five starting offensive linemen. We have a great group ready to replace them, led by three seniors,” Larka said.
This year’s captains are Plaskon, who ran for 1,200 yards and 12 scores as a junior, Saley, with 618 receiving yards and eight touchdowns, Austin Danville, 8.1 tackles per game, and Sheldon Gargano with 6.4 stops per contest.
Zach Smith will be at quarterback.
Other key returnees include Zach Merchant (linebacker and tight end), Nick Hanna (offensive and defensive lineman), Vinny Schulte (wide receiver and linebacker).
Washington is a receiver and defensive back.
“I am looking to build off the great season we had last year,” Larka said. “I am looking forward to seeing all the hard work and dedication to the team, program and school pay off on the field and in the classroom.”
Law was seeded eighth in last year’s state bracket, and fell to top-seeded and eventual champion Killingly in the quarterfinals. “We are taking this season on a week to week. Each week will be a new season and the goal is to go 1-0 each week,” Larka said.
The season begins on Friday, Sept. 7, when Southern Connecticut Conference rival Sheehan of Wallingford visits Lawmen Stadium for a 7 o’clock kickoff. This stands to be a good early test given The Titans went 9-1 a year and lost to Joel Barlow in the Class M quarterfinals.
Sheehan will be led by quarterback Wes Terzi, who threw 23 touchdown passes for an offense that averaged 36 points a game. Top running backs are Jordan Davis and Terrence Bogan (14 touchdowns). Jake Smith and Aaron Simmons are key receivers.
Sept. 7 — Sheehan 7
Sept. 14 — at Weston 7
Sept. 21 — Bassick 7
Sept. 28 — at Cheshire 7
Oct. 12 — Stratford 7
Oct. 19 — Branford 7
Oct. 26 — at Daniel Hand 7
Nov. 2 — Guilford 7
Nov. 9 — at Lyman Hall 6:30
Nov. 22 — at Foran 10:30