BEACON FALLS — After qualifying for the CIAC football playoffs last season for the first time in three years, Woodland is ready to take even more steps to win the program’s first league and state titles since 2005.
Citizen’s News dropped in at the Hawks’ practice last week to talk to the team’s captains before their scrimmage against Guilford and North Haven. Seniors Matt Zaccagnini, Zach Plourde, and Tom Gendreau were named captains by head coach Tim Shea this off-season.
Below is Woodland’s preview capsule, featuring this year’s key players and thoughts on the team and the league from Shea. CN will have an in-depth preview of the Hawks before they open the season on Sept. 15 at home against Sacred Heart.
Coach: Tim Shea (fourth year, 18-14)
2010 Review: 7-4 overall; 5-1 NVL Copper; Copper runner-up; Class S semifinalist
Key Returners: Tom Gendreau (Sr., OL/LB, capt.), Zach Plourde (Sr., FB/LB, capt.), Matt Zaccagnini (Sr., RB/LB, capt.), Zach Happy (Sr., TE/LB), Vigan Mulahu (Sr., OL/DL), Dave Alves (Sr., OL/DL), Ryan Wilkinson (Sr., OL/DL), Eric Collodel (Jr., OL/DL), Anthony Scirpo (Jr., WR/DB), Jeremy Clark (Jr., OL/DL)
Key Losses: Jack DeBiase, Craig Genz, Jake Pinho, Ian Bures, Rob Johnson
Newcomers to Watch: Kyle McClintick (Sr., WR/DB), Brian Reis (Jr., WR/DB), Nick Brown (Jr., FB/LB), Kevin Brennan (Jr., OL/DL), Joe Fancher (Jr., RB/DB), Tanner Kingsley (So., QB), Brian Zaccagnini (So., WR/DB), Taylor Tucciarone (So., RB/DB), Levi Fancher (So., TE/LB), Gage Rek (So., OL/DL)
Coach’s Thoughts: “We would like to be one of the eight [playoff teams] for Class S. We want to compete for a Copper Division championship. We return our fronts on both sides of the ball this year. We will rely on their experience to help us win games. We need our young skill kids to mature and get better every week. We will come out and play hard each and every Friday night. … I think the league is more balanced than ever this year. Any one of five teams could win the Copper. The league will be very competitive every week. This will be a fun season to watch. You are going to get good football from Week 1 until Thanksgiving.”