Toughness will advance program at Jonathan Law
Derrick Lewis is the football coach at Jonathan Law, but after coming over from Bassick of Bridgeport to take over the program, Lewis can also be considered an expert on the heart and mind of an offensive lineman.
What Lewis sees from his front five in Devon has made the former All-Stater at West Haven and star performer up front for Southern Connecticut State, has made him happy.
“They’ve really bought into the weight room. They’ve bought into being offensive lineman,” Lewis said. “They stay together, they fight together. They are as raw as a group as I’ve coached, but they are gritty and block through the whistle.
“Schematically, they are fine. What I like most is they are pushing each other to be better and they have what we want for this program — toughness.”
The Lawmen opens its season with an SCC-FCIAC Football Challenge game against Harding of Bridgeport on Wednesday, Sept. 10, at 7 p.m. The Presidents went 3-8 a year ago, including a 32-14 win over Law.
“Drew Carolan is our best offensive lineman and will play left tackle at 6-1, 225 pounds,” Lewis said. “Brandon Chiaraluce is a junior at guard and junior Dylan Lucas is at center. Colin Dipisa is a senior at right guard with Brendan Ahearn at right tackle.”
Law, which went 4-7 a year ago, will run a multiple-spread uptempo offense.
“Giovanni Marzullo is a superior athlete and will start at quarterback,” Lewis said. “Max German and Tim Caldwell will be at tailback and we have two big wides we can use in the slot in 6-3 Sean Rice and Tucker Saley. They both have good hands and are good blockers.
“Dylan Vienneau is a basketball kid who decided to give football a try and has done well. Tyler Cavallaro will play wide in our spread offense.”
Law has scrimmaged Fairfield Ludlowe, St. Joseph of Trumbull, New Milford and Stratford, as well as taking part in practice sessions with Naugatuck High.
“Because we’re implementing new schemes on offense and defense, like most teams across the country at this time of the season, I’d give the nod to our defense,” Lewis answered when asked which side of the football is ahead of the learning curve.
“We will play a pro-style defense with four up front. It’s caught on like wild fire. We have speed where we need to, and while we’re not going to win foot races, part of our coaching philosophy is to play solid between the numbers (hash marks).
“We’ll have a rotation up front with the players on the o-line switching in.
“German is our outside backer, or rover back. Logan Danville and Joe Coury have had tremendous camps, read the box well, and are the inside backers. Jarod Butts is also a linebacker.
“Marzullo will be our free safety, where he can react to the play. Caldwell is our weak safety and has been very aggressive with some big hits.
“David Patrick is our boundary corner, with Tim Edson on the other side. Vienneau will play in the secondary as well.
“We’ll be creative in our coverages and the kids have done a good job learning what we need them to know. The big thing is keeping the play in front of them and playing a good help defense.”