Law football staying the course

MILFORD - Jonathan Law football coach Chris Haley has tried to keep things afloat in what has been a turbulent offseason.

“We’ve never stopped practicing,” said Haley, who took control of the program last year when Erik Larka stepped aside. “Some schools have taken a break. Basically, what we tried to do in a rollercoaster of events is to keep things somewhat steady. We wanted to just keep going forward, regardless of what happens (constant changes).”

The Lawmen will begin playing a fall football season, the SCC Football-7x7/Lineman Challenge, when Notre Dame of West Haven visits on Saturday at 1.

SCC commissioner Al Carbone confirmed that the league principals approved a proposal of a five-week season, ending the first weekend of November. There will be 12 teams participating, according to Carbone: Daniel Hand, Shelton, Notre Dame-West Haven, Amity, Branford, Foran, Law, Hamden, Xavier, Lyman Hall, Sheehan and Guilford. A decision has not been made about Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross at this time.

A spring season has been proposed by the CIAC if COVID-19 metrics cooperate. Teams can practice in full pads starting Feb 27. Scrimmages can be held from March 6 to March 12 or 13 and game play will run from March 19 to April 17.

“We’ve been lucky. Throughout this whole thing we haven’t had any loss in commitment or energy from the kids,” said Haley, who boasts a roster of 57 players. “We picked up a freshman class of 24 which is amazing. Our senior number of 13 is small. We didn’t graduate a huge number and we return a lot of guys on defense which is good.”

Law is focusing on the we-are-us-model. Whatever comes, comes.

“With all that (yes we will; no we won’t play), our captains have done great job with that, keeping the kids heads down and working,” Haley said of senior Anthony DeFederico, a two-way standout on the line who returns for his second year as a captain, and junior captain Lucas Pinkus-Coyle.

Law, 2-8 last year, will have 30 to 35 players competing in its 7 on 7 opener. The 7-on-7 game is designed as a passing game, with no interior linemen, no blocking and usually one-hand touch to put down the ball carrier.

“They will be splitting the field with a varsity side and a JV side,” Haley said. “Solomon Mercado is our starting quarterback (replacing the graduated Mike Becker). Our frosh-more QB is Michael Neider. Solomon is 6-3, 190 pounds. He was a sophomore last year and got zero varsity snaps. This is a good opportunity for him to work with receivers in live time, live speed.”

Law will pass on the lineman challenge.

“We gave a survey to the linemen, and by a better than a 2-1 margin the kids said they will pass on that (Tug of War, tire flips and bag carries).” Haley said. “They will work out on their own with coaches.” Twitter: @blox354