CANTON – The building process is continuing with the Canton High football team.
The Warriors soared to new heights in 2014, winning a Pequot Division Uncas Division championship, beating Avon in overtime and qualifying for the Class S tournament.
Canton fell hard in 2015. With a young, small and inexperienced team, the Warriors didn’t win a game. They scored 96 points and gave up 386 – both milestone records since the team was reborn in 2007.
Canton has a new coach this summer – Mike Guy, who coached for over a quarter century at Housatonic Valley, winning 104 games and two league championships. He took the Mountaineers to the 1990 Class S championship game.
Once again, he is in a similar position that he was at Housatonic – coaching teams with a small number of players. The first days of practice this fall at Canton were filled with individual instruction and teaching.
“Everything is going well,” Guy said. “The kids are great and enthusiastic. The coaches are working hard and the kids are responding. I’m exciting with what is going on.”
Dante Boffi, who has spent time as an offensive coordinater at Avon and SMSA, is on the staff along with Sean Coles, who led the Warriors to the Class S championship in girls lacrosse this spring. Josh Penn, a former Gilbert School linebacker, rounds out the staff.
Canton (0-10) won’t be brimming with experience this year. Only four seniors are on the team and there are just 24 players on the squad. Guy is hoping to attract a few more players once the school year begins so that the Warriors could possibly play some junior varsity games.
“We want to see the kids execute some fundamentals on the field and we’re working on that (in practice),” Guy said. “Some have been lost.”
Guy sees positive things ahead for the Warriors. “I saw kids on a regular basis in the weight room this summer, in the seven-on-seven passing league,” he said. “There is enthusiasm and commitment here.”
The Warriors have two scrimmages. They’ll host SMSA/University on Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. on the turf field at the high school. On Thursday, Sept. 1, they’ll travel to Coventry to face the Patriots beginning at 6 p.m.
On Tuesday afternoon, players from the newly-formed Wolcott Tech/Housatonic/Wamogo co-op team will be in Canton for a controlled scrimmage and workout. Players from Housatonic and Wamogo have been playing junior varsity ball for the past two seasons due to a lack of players. But they’ll get a chance to play varsity football again by teaming up with Wolcott Tech.
Canton will be in the Western Division of the Pequot Uncas Division with Lewis Mills, Gilbert/Northwestern and Nonnewaug. Canton will play three of their Western Division contests in the first three weeks of the season.
The Warriors have three night games on the schedule including a home contest against Ellington on Friday, October 14.
CANTON 2016 schedule
Saturday, Sept. 10: NONNEWAUG, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 17: at Gilbert/Northwestern, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Sept. 24: at Lewis Mills, 1 p.m.
Two bye weeks
Friday, Oct. 14: ELLINGTON, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 21: at North Branford, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 29: CROMWELL/PORTLAND, 1 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 4: at Morgan, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 12: VALLEY REGIONAL/OLD LYME, 1 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 19: at CREC co-op, 11 a.m.
Thursday, Nov. 24: GRANBY, 10 a.m.