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Defending champion Hand voted No. 1 in preseason top 10 football poll – The Collinsville Press
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Defending champion Hand voted No. 1 in preseason top 10 football poll

Hand’s Colin McCabe breaks through the defensive line in last year’s Class L championship game in New Britain. McCabe ran for a game-high 144 yards and two touchdowns in Hand’s 54-14 win over Maloney.

Hand-Madison, a team with a 24-game winning streak and the last two Class L championships, is the top ranked team in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register’s top 10 preseason football poll as voted by media members across the state.

Hand went 13-0 last year and rolled to the championship scoring 54 unanswered points to beat Maloney, 54-14. The Tigers return a deep team led by QB Phoenix Billings, running back Colin McCabe and lineman Ben Corniello.

Hand received 22 of 25 first place votes with defending Class M champion St. Joseph-Trumbull receiving three first place votes.

New Canaan is ranked No. 3 with Greenwich, who finished No. 1 in the final poll after winning the Class LL championship, is ranked No. 4. Darien comes in at No. 5.

Three Central Connecticut Conference teams are in the top 10 with defending Class S champion Bloomfield at No. 7, Southington at No. 9 and Windsor at No. 10.

Avon opens their season on Friday night at Bloomfield (12-1) at 7 p.m. “We have to play them at some point,” Avon coach Jeff Redman said. “They’re just really good.”

Simsbury will face Southington this season while Farmington will be challenged by Windsor this fall.

The Granby/Canton co-op football team received one vote from one of the 25 media members voting in the poll. The Bears open the season on Friday night at Stafford facing the Stafford/East Windsor/Somers co-op squad.

The GameTimeCT/New Haven Register sportwriters top 10 football poll. First-place votes in parentheses and points tabulated on a 30-28-26-24-22-20-18-16-14-12-11-10-9-8-7 basis.

Preseason, Monday, September 9, 2019

Team Rec. Pts. LY Class
1. Hand (22) 13-0 724 2 L
2. St. Joseph (3) 12-1 668 3 L
3. New Canaan 10-3 642 4 L
4. Greenwich 13-0 548 1 LL
5. Darien 9-2 530 8 LL
6. Shelton 10-1 524 7 LL
7. Bloomfield 12-1 440 5 S
8. Newtown 11-1 372 5 LL
9. Southington 10-1 361 nr LL
10. Windsor 9-3 266 nr L
Others receiving votes: Fairfield Prep (10-2) 222; Ansonia (11-1) 203; Platt High (9-3) 181; Sheehan (10-2) 159; Cheshire (3-7) 91; Haddam-Killingworth (11-2) 66; Berlin (11-2) 56; Branford (6-4) 52; Ridgefield (6-4) 46; North Haven (8-3) 37; Killingly (10-2) 28; Naugatuck (9-2) 23; Norwich Free Academy (6-4) 22; New Britain (10-2) 20; Masuk (5-5) 16; Staples (7-3) 16; Maloney (10-3) and West Haven (5-5) 12; Danbury (4-6); Middletown (9-2) and Rockville (7-4) 8; Woodland Regional (9-2) and Granby/Canton 7 .
The following voted: Bill Bloxsom, Hearst Connecticut Media; Sean Patrick Bowley, GameTimeCT; Bryant Carpenter, Record-Journal of Meriden; Ryan Chichester, Bristol Press/New Britain Herald; Gerry deSimas Jr., Collinsville Press; Mike DiMauro, The Day of New London; Erik Dobratz, WTNH-8; Scott Ericson, Stamford Advocate; Michael Fornabaio, Connecticut Post; Ned Griffen, The Day of New London; Mark Jaffee, Republican-American of Waterbury; Ryan Lacey, Danbury News-Times; Gabby Lucivero, NBC CT; Mike Madera, Walter Camp Football Foundation; Kyle Maher, Journal-Inquirer of Manchester; Shawn McFarland, Hartford Courant; Joe Morelli, New Haven Register; Keith O’Brien, GameDay CT Sports; Pete Paguaga, GameTimeCT; Dave Phillips, Shoreline Newspapers; John Pierson, WTNH-8; Dave Ruden, The Ruden Report; Rich Zalusky, The Chronicle of Willimantic; Jimmy Zanor, Norwich Bulletin; Joe Zone, WFSB-3

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 35 years. He was inducted into the New England High School Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2018.

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