Hawks getting into a groove

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By Kyle Brennan, Citizen’s News

Woodland’s Benjamin Brooks (44) tackles Derby’s Carlos Allen (1) for a loss during a game Sept. 17 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland football team is starting to find its groove early in the season, and the Hawks think it’s only going to get better from here.

Woodland improved to 2-0 with a 40-0 victory over Derby on Sept. 17 in the Hawks’ home opener before a sizeable crowd.

“We feel good to get our first two wins of the season and it is definitely building our team’s confidence, especially with tougher games coming up in the next couple of weeks,” senior Nate Bodnar said.

The easy win also may have represented a turning point early in the year for Woodland, which struggled during the preseason and the first couple of weeks without having its full roster available. Moving forward, Bodnar said the Hawks will be excited to have every player back on the gridiron.

“I think now that we are at full strength and have two wins with us, our team is going to be playing with a lot of confidence,” Bodnar said. “With Jay DeAngelo and Josh Morales back on the field, it is also going to add experience to the team, which is something we need with a young roster. I think we have a really good chance at doing a lot of great things and beating the better teams in the league.”

Woodland’s Jay D’Angelo (55) forces Derby’s Jayzair Barbera (10) out of the pocket during a game Sept. 17 at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. –ELIO GUGLIOTTI

After a home meeting with Kennedy on Sept. 24, Woodland will remain home Oct. 1 for its first real test against Torrington. After that, the Hawks won’t be home again until Nov. 5.

Bodnar said his team loved feeling the home crowd’s support against Derby for the first time in two years.

“It was amazing,” Bodnar said. “There is really no better feeling then playing in front of all your friends and family in the community. To finally be back after almost two years was such an amazing feeling.”