BY KEN MORSE
The scenario is becoming quite familiar. Win the last game of the season on Thanksgiving Day against Ansonia, wait ten years, and do it again. The Greyhounds wouldn’t mind changing up that scenario just a bit, but first and foremost they have a football season to play and it all begins on Sept. 9.
“Quite honestly the only thing on our minds right now is Gilbert Sept. 9th,” said Naugy senior quarterback Blake Stone. “That’s what is up on the bulletin board in the locker room right now. That is our only goal at this point, as it should be. I took snaps in all but three games last season so I’m very comfortable taking over in the pocket and don’t expect us to miss a beat.”
The Hounds return a slew of players this year that won accolades last season including two All-State players, five All-NVL players and one All-Iron Division player. No one is being recognized as all-anything just for showing up this year.
There is much work to be done and coach Chris Anderson and company are hard at work putting the pieces in place to give the Greyhounds the best chance possible for success, and to defend their NVL title.
For the ground and pound Hounds, success begins from the ground up as they return the entire backfield, led by Michael Deitelbaum (All-State, All-NVL), the hard as nails runner that if given an inch will take a mile. Senior Cayden Martin (All-Iron) can give you that bowling alley feel as he charges ahead for yardage.
Then there is the swift and multi-talented Jett Hall (All-NVL) that can literally leave tacklers in the dust. Yet this sturdy offense does not begin and end in the backfield. It all starts in the trenches.
Led by a pair of senior All-NVL linemen, Jacob Scianna and captain Jake Sanchez, the running game has proved to be the Hounds’ most lethal weapon. Seniors Kani Burrell and Justin Ramos add to the experience up front along with senior captain Vin Ferrucci at tight end.
“We have a lot of experience coming back but it all starts up front,” said Deitelbaum. “The seniors would like to go out and finish what we started. It felt like we left a little bit out there on the field in the state playoffs and we would like to finish what we started, but we can’t lose our focus. Our focus needs to be on our first opponent and then go from there.”
Between Deitelbaum (580 yards, 11 TD), Martin (505 yards, 7 TD) and Hall (850 yards, 9 TD), the new quarterback Stone will have a lot to work with running the Wing-T offense. The Naugy defense played a huge role in the team’s success last year, including the 14-7 Thanksgiving Day victory over Ansonia that snapped the Chargers’ 104-game NVL winning streak.
“There is a lot of returning talent on this team,” said Hall. “I’m just the junior and I know that these seniors would like to go out and be successful in their final season and I would like to help them do that. Last year we were trying to get accustomed to a new coach and a new system. Now we are all on the same page and raring to go.”
Coach Anderson and his staff would like to see this team turn that page and begin a new chapter. They certainly have the talent to do it and if experience counts for anything they are locked and loaded. First things first, however, and the first thing on the agenda is the season opener. The Greyhounds host new NVL co-op Gilbert/Northwestern/Housatonic on Sept. 9 at 7 o’clock under the lights at Veterans Field.
Greyhound football focused on season opener
BY KEN MORSE