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Pequot Conference realigns into three divisions; Canton in West with Granby

Canton defensive lineman Pearse Walsh (70) and linebacker Henry Bonini (7).

Canton defensive lineman Pearse Walsh (70) and linebacker Henry Bonini (7) against Windsor Locks last fall.

The Pequot Football Conference is realigning for the third consecutive season. The 19-team league is moving back to a three division format with six teams in each division (West, East, South).

Enfield, which will be a co-op team with Fermi, will play one more year in the league but won’t be in a division. Enfield will be merging with cross-town rival Fermi and is scheduled to join the Central Connecticut Conference in the fall of 2016.

The Pequot Conference used three divisions in 2013 but went back to two division (Uncas, Sassacus) in 2014 after Housatonic/Wamogo dropped its varsity program. Avon is leaving the league to begin playing in the CCC this fall.

The three divisions are very similar to what they were in 2013. The differences are that SMSA/University moves to the West Division, Coginchaug moves to the East Division, the absence of Avon and Housatonic and Enfield playing as an independent team within the league.

West Division: Canton, Granby, Gilbert/Northwestern, SMSA/University, Lewis Mills and Nonnewaug

South Division: Valley Regional/Old Lyme, Morgan, North Branford, Hyde, Haddam-Killingworth, Old Saybrook/Westbrook

East Division: Coginchaug, Ellington/Somers, Windsor Locks/Suffield, Cromwell, Coventry/Windham Tech and Stafford/East Windsor

Each team will play five teams in their division plus four games against teams from other divisions. Teams were ranked based upon their results in 2014.

Canton, which won the Uncas Division last fall and earned a spot in the CIAC playoffs for the first time, is the top seed in the West Division. The Warriors (10-2, 9-0 Uncas) will play their five divisional opponents along with the top seed from South (Valley Regional) and the East (Coginchaug) along with the No. 2 seeds from the South (Morgan) and East (Ellington/Somers). Valley Regional (12-0, 9-0) won the Class S Large Division title last fall while Ellington/Somers (9-3, 8-1 ) lost in the Class M Small Division semifinals.

Canton is also looking for a 10th game to add to its schedule.

The Warriors are one of three teams in the state still looking for a new head coach. Canton athletic director Craig DeAngelis said that a five-person committee will interview three candidates in the coming week for the position. He declined to identify the candidates.

Canton is looking to fill the coaching spot once held by Paul Philippon, who resigned in December after three seasons due to the uncertain future for the program. With the graduation of eight seniors, there are just 18 returning players – eight juniors, nine sophomores and a freshman. Philippon has since returned to coach at Bristol Eastern, where he works.

Granby, Lewis Mills, Nonnewaug and Gilbert do have 10 games on their schedule because they picked up games with Enfield. Like Canton, SMSA/University currently has nine games on their schedule. 

West Division tentative schedules
Subject to change 

Canton
Sept. 11/12: SMSA/University

Sept. 18/19: open
Sept. 25/26: at Nonnewaug
Oct. 2/3: Gilbert/Northwestern
Oct. 9/10: at Morgan
Oct. 16/17: open
Oct. 23/24: Coginchaug
Oct. 30/31: at Ellington/Somers
Nov. 6/7: Lewis Mills
Nov. 13/14: at Valley Regional/OL
Nov. 20/21: open
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: at Granby 

Granby
Sept. 11/12: at Gilbert

Sept. 18/19: Enfield
Sept. 25/26: SMSA/University
Oct. 2/3: at Lewis Mills
Oct. 9/10: at Valley Regional/OL
Oct. 16/17: open
Oct. 23/24: Ellington/Somers
Oct. 30/31: at Morgan
Nov. 6/7: Nonnewaug
Nov. 13/14: at Coginchaug
Nov. 20/21: open
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: Canton 

Lewis Mills
Sept. 11/12: open

Sept. 18/19: at SMSA/University
Sept. 25/26: Gilbert/Northwestern
Oct. 2/3: Granby
Oct. 9/10: at Haddam Killingworth
Oct. 16/17: at Enfield
Oct. 23/24: open
Oct. 30/31: Old Saybrook/Westbrook
Nov. 6/7: at Canton
Nov. 13/14: Coventry/Windham Tech
Nov. 20/21: at Stafford/East Windsor
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: Nonnewaug 

Gilbert/Northwestern
Sept. 11/12: Granby

Sept. 18/19: Nonnewaug
Sept. 25/26: at Lewis Mills
Oct. 2/3: at Canton
Oct. 9/10: Hyde
Oct. 16/17: open
Oct. 23/24: at Windsor Locks/Suffield
Oct. 30/31: Cromwell
Nov. 6/7: open
Nov. 13/14: North Branford
Nov. 20/21: at SMSA/University
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: Coginchaug 

Nonnewaug
Sept. 11/12: at Enfield

Sept. 18/19: at Gilbert/Northwestern
Sept. 25/26: Canton
Oct. 2/3: SMSA/University
Oct. 9/10: at Old Saybrook/Westbrook
Oct. 16/17: open
Oct. 23/24: Coventry/Windham Tech
Oct. 30/31: Stafford/East Windsor
Nov. 6/7: at Granby
Nov. 13/14: Haddam-Killingworth
Nov. 20/21: open
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: at Lewis Mills 

SMSA/University
Sept. 11/12: at Canton

Sept. 18/19: Lewis Mills
Sept. 25/26: at Granby
Oct. 2/3: at Nonnewaug
Oct. 9/10:  North Branford
Oct. 16/17: open
Oct. 23/24: at Cromwell
Oct. 30/31: at Hyde
Nov. 6/7: open
Nov. 13/14: Windsor Locks/Suffield
Nov. 20/21: Gilbert/Northwestern
Thanksgiving, Nov. 26: open

Gerry deSimas, Jr., is the editor and founder of The Collinsville Press. He is an award-winning writer and has been covering sports in Connecticut and New England for more than 30 years.

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