AVON, September 6 – The last two seasons have been difficult for the Avon High football team. They’ve seen a drop in the number of players in the program. They used to have three teams in the program but for the last two seasons, they have just had the varsity and junior varsity team due to budget cuts and lack of players.
With the drop in the number of athletes in the program, it’s been difficult for Avon to compete in the Central Connecticut Conference – even though they are in Division III where they belong as one of the smaller schools in the 32-team CCC.
After nine consecutive winning seasons and three CIAC tournament berths, including eight straight winning campaigns in the Pequot Conference, Avon has won just four of 20 games the last two years.
Still, veteran football coach Jeff Redman is optimistic that the Falcons will grow in 2018. The growth may not show up in the win column but he hopes that the program will be stronger.
With the season opener a few days away on Saturday at East Catholic in Manchester, Redman has 35 players in the program. When preseason workouts began in August, he had just 25 players. “I keep getting them every day,” he said.
Redman is a teacher in the school. He knows the kids and they know him. It has helped in recruiting players for the program. He has been impressed with their work ethic.
“They’ve made the full commitment,” he said. “They’re working hard and they’re doing a nice job.”
This is Redman’s second stint in Avon. He was the head coach for four years (1995-98) but could never get a job in the high school. So, he began coaching at Conard High in West Hartford where he was the defensive coordinator from 1999-2016.
Avon (3-7, 1-3 CCC Division III East) has some talented players. They may not have enough if some players get injured over the course of the year. “If we were to stay healthy all year, we could be competitive,” he said. “Hopefully, we won’t get bit by that injury bug. Losing one or two players can make all of the difference.”
Avon’s top player is on the line – 6-foot-6 Henry Schrecengost, a 290-pound senior who plays on the offensive line and at nose tackle on defense. Redman told GameTime CT that the Falcons will be running a majority of their offense behind Schrecengost. “That’s our game plan. Go ahead and stop it,” Redman said with a grin.
“(Schrecengost) is a diamond in the rough,” Redman said. “He moves well. He’s strong. He’s really fast and he has good feet.” Redman said Boston College, Villanova and Bryant College have expressed interest in Schrecengost.
Six-foot running back Dan Quick looks to start at running back with Jadon Folkwein (98-455 rushing, 3 TDs) and senior Tim DelGallo should be under the center Sam Obie at quarterback.
Look for sophomore Quandrell Stewart, a speedy athlete to get some touches offensively at quarterback, too, with some passes being thrown to tight end Chris Chute and split end Vito Cataleno. Guard Gabe DeJesus has looked sharp in preseason scrimmages. Most will be playing on both sides of the ball
“We are a power team,” Redman said. “We’re running a lot of single wing and spread formations. (On defense), we’re an attacking defense just we did at Conard. You’ll have to be on (your game) because we’ll put some pressure on you.”
The Falcons open the season with three consecutive road games including the season opener at East Catholic, which went 0-10 a year ago.
“It’s not about winning this year,” Redman said. “It’s about building that positive atmosphere for the boys to come out and play football.”
NOTES — Avon is scheduled to play four of 10 games under the lights including two at home under temporary lights. The Falcons will host Northwest Catholic on Friday, Sept. 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the first home game of the season during Spirit Week. Avon will also host Simsbury in the Valley Gridiron Classic for the first time on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. All of the previous Valley Gridiron Classic games were held in Simsbury — even if Avon was the designated home team. … This is the 59th season of Avon High football, which began in 1960.
|Avon football 2018|
|Saturday, Sept. 8 – at East Catholic, 1:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sept. 15 – at Tolland, 6 p.m.|
|Saturday, Sept. 22 – at RHAM, 1 p.m.|
|Friday, Sept. 28 – N.W. CATHOLIC, 6:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 6 – BERLIN, 2 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 20 – BLOOMFIELD, 1 p.m.|
|Saturday, October 27 – at Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver, noon|
|Saturday, November 3 – ROCKY HILL, 2 p.m.|
|Friday, November 9 – at Plainville, 6:30 p.m.|
|Tuesday, November 20 – SIMSBURY, 6 p.m.|
|CCC Division III East|
|CCC Division III West|
|x-won division title
y-qualified for CIAC tournament