Ansonia stars among notable Connecticut HS football players to choose colleges on National Signing Day

Photo of Sean Patrick Bowley

ANSONIA — A city's mayor isn't typically the kind of dignitary in attendance at the local high school's National Signing Day ceremony. But Ansonia mayor David Cassetti and his family were proudly present in the Ansonia High School Library Wednesday afternoon. 

There, son David Cassetti Jr. and fellow captains Alex Romanowski and Chris Kaminski were putting a cherry on their 2022 Class S championship season by announcing their college football destinations: Cassetti signed to play at NCAA Division II University of New Haven and Romanowski and Kaminski both announced they would be playing at Division III UMass-Dartmouth.

"With Ansonia, the school and the community all go together, so everybody's extremely proud," coach Tom Brockett said.

Though not the ballyhooed event it once was due to the introduction of an early signing period in late December, National Signing Day — the start of the NCAA's official signing period for Division I and II athletes — still saw some notable state players make their college decisions Wednesday.

Cassetti, who, along with Romanowski, was a New Haven Register First Team All-State selection, will be joined at UNH by fellow Connecticut players Giovanni Vicens (OL) of Derby, Brian Rose (WR) of Stamford and Nehemiah Johnson (WR) out of Capital Prep.

Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic back Freddie Camp, another Register first-team all-state player, signed with Rhode Island. Granby/Canton quarterback Will Migliaccio (to Marist), Hartford Public defensive back Elijah Perry (Central Connecticut), Hamden Hall quarterback Ethan Coady (Pace) and teammate Ian Rose (Stony Brook) were among some of the other notable state signees.

Register second-team all-state lineman Howard Stedford also signed wth Pace. His former teammate, 2021 Register All-State first team linebacker Michael Reddick, who played a postgrad season at Taft after winning a state championship at Maloeny, is committed to play at Brown. [View our ongoing compilation of CT signees and commits here].

For Cassetti, who ran for 2,204 yards and 33 touchdowns as Ansonia went 13-0 and won its first state championship since 2016, New Haven's appeal came from its strong football tradition and its rapidly-growing athletic program and facilities as the University prepares for a potential move to Division I.

"They definitely have something going there," Cassetti said of UNH. "They're definitely investing a lot of money in their football program. They have a brand new facility (the Peterson Center), which is crazy. I just really liked it."

The advice Mayor Cassetti gave his son when he was a young football player, applies all over again at UNH. "I told Dave from the beginning, from the time when he was a little kid, you've got to start at the bottom and work your way up and you've got to prove yourself," he said. "It's all up to him."

Both Romanowski and Kaminski reveled in their college decisions, and nodded toward their younger brothers — freshman lineman Jacob Romanowski and junior end Preston Dzubina — to continue Ansonia's storied tradition. "Stay in the weight room and he'll be here too in the next three years," Alex Romanowski said of his brother.

"Preston wants to be here too, next year," Kaminski said of his brother. "You'll have to keep working and get another championship."

A number of prominent players announced they would be joining state programs as preferred walk ons, including two state players of the year: Law quarterback John Neider and Barlow's Danny Shaban. Neider was the Gatorade and Connecticut High School Coaches Association's player of the year. Shaban was the Register's player of the year.