Law football coach Haley impressed with players

Jonathan Law football coach Chris Haley proud of his team's non-season.

Jonathan Law football coach Chris Haley proud of his team's non-season.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

The CIAC Board of Control officially ended plans for an alternative football season on Jan. 14. That decision didn’t affect how Jonathan Law coach Chris Haley will remember this non-season.

“We had a phenomenal fall, even with the modified season,” Haley said. “Our kids showed up in all-out fashion through grueling conditioning every day. Our kids didn’t show the frustration. They build them Devon tough and they were ready to go. At the end of the day, players show up to play and win, but when they first canceled the season it didn’t take the wind out of their sails.”

After the fall football season was canceled because the sport was designated high risk on Sept. 29, the CIAC put forth plans for an alternative football season to run late winter. But when the CIAC announced it would be postponing the winter season into January, the die was cast on football’s future.

Haley said: “I was 100 percent thinking we were going to play. It started with the conditioning, logging all the (COVID-19) stuff and see what the number response was and then we were going back to school. I thought we had a chance to play up to the 11th hour.”

Law players kept working.

“As far as controlling what they can control the players did a great job with that. We did 7-on-7, the final game for that was Nov. 7 so I haven’t seen them in two-and-a-half months,” Haley said.

The final decision hurt.

Haley said: “With the direction things were headed I think even our kids knew it was coming. It was terrible news and I reached out to every (13) senior that night. None of this has been in our control since the pandemic hit.”

Any safe plan that gets his players back on the field is fine with Haley.

“I’m hoping something can be worked out for spring ball, but there are concerns with getting all the spring sports in that didn’t play last year,” he said. “Maybe it can be worked out where we can pick up time with our kids. If not, we will end up with kids putting on shoulder pads in the fall that have never played a varsity snap.”

Haley praised his players for their ability to stay focused.

“They did a great job on grades, 30 kids on the team made the honor roll. They are doing what they can to reshape the program. We had a great fall installing stuff with new coordinators (Jim Esposito defense, and Ryan Pearson offense). It is a shame we didn’t get to compete and that is what I told my seniors.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354