Coach Tom Drew relects on summer, looks ahead to season

Football coach Tom Drew took his Foran team through OTA's last week. The Lions will condition this week. Contact drills begin on Saturday.

Football coach Tom Drew took his Foran team through OTA's last week. The Lions will condition this week. Contact drills begin on Saturday.

John Vanacore / Hearst Connecticut Media

Foran High football coach Tom Drew is ready to put the football in the end zone and send his players into the scrum and see who comes out with it.

Entering his fourth season, Drew laughed at the Junction Boys reference to finding die-hard players. And while no blood will be shed, competition for playing time is wide open in Woodmont this fall.

“That is what we are telling them. Starting positions are there to be earned,” Drew said of his 70 candidates. “Our coaches were talking the other day and tried to put together a depth chart. We couldn’t. There are kids we don’t even know yet who will play important roles. There are a lot of opportunites out there.”

Drew was happy with the CIAC’s three-day OTAs (organized team activities).

“The last three days gave me time to get the new kids signed up to HUDL (to find playbook). The OTAs were beneficial. We took them out and showed them what a normal practice would be like. We went over stretching. It was more about the makeup of what a practice will be, what our expectations are,” he said. “We were able to utilize these three days to do the paperwork, hand out equipment. Now we can start with our allotted conditioning time and play football.”

Players worked out over the summer, but Drew noted: “You always have some guys working. Families were able to go away together. This week will be fine good for us. Whenever we can be together as a team is great. As coaches, we need to see where the kids are in terms of conditioning. That is one of the safety components.”

Foran will have two scrimmages before its season opener at Lyman Hall on Sept. 10.

“Every year we do a squad scrimmage at Cromwell (Saturday, Aug. 28 at 2). Killingly and Hartford Public are usually there,” Drew said. “We’re going to game scrimmage at Coginchaug (Sept. 3 at 5). We’ve done that since I’ve been here. The past couple of years it was Eric Becker who was Coginchaug’s head coach. When Becker left, Mike Eagle took over. They are two of the guys I’ve coached under. It’s always been a good competitive clean game. I have a lot of respect for those two.”

Mike Farrell will call the offense this season.

“Mike believes in having a balanced offense with our pass/run ratio,” Drew said. “Our elder offensive linemen are stout. I’ve seen what they can do. I’m intrigued by them. We have two running backs, A.J. Edmonds and Matt Miller that are top notch kids. Our line and run game are going to be more involved in our offense than at any time since I’ve been here.”

COVID

“This time around we are more positive about being able to play. The CIAC came out with their guidelines. I’m not hearing the doom and gloom of a year ago. We know things could creep back up again, but for us we’re full go to have as normal of a season as you can have,” Drew said.

CT ALLIANCE

“I think the kids are looking forward to it,” Drew said of out of league CT Alliance games with Notre Dame-Fairfield, Weston, Barlow and Brookfield. “The SCC teams we play every year. For coaches and players there is the unknown. In the SCC you are familiar with what they like to do on offense and defense. It will be a good experience for our players.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354