With the high school football season set to begin this weekend, the Connecticut Sports Writers Alliance is pleased to release the 2018 Connecticut high school football record book.
This is the 19th edition of the record book, a compilation of records and historical information from newspapers, team statisticians, coach’s records and individual research. Some of the new information in this year’s record book includes:
- An update of year-end state coaches and sportswriters polls with voting for each season.
- Additional history for some of the state’s co-op football programs.
- State players named to USA Today’s All-USA Connecticut football team at the end of each season.
- The New Haven Register’s Coach of the Year award that dates back to 1997.
Several athletes, coaches and teams established or tied new state records in 2017.
- Westhill’s Zaire Ragain and Hillhouse’s Prince Boyd, Jr., each set a new state record for most sacks in a game with 6½. Ragain had 6½ sacks against Trumbull on November 4 while Boyd had 6½ against New Milford on September 15.
- Middletown’s Michael Aresco set a new state record for most field goals in a career (24) and most points kicking in a career (225).
- New Canaan’s Grant Morse tied the state record for most field goals in a single game (4) with four against Pascack Valley, New Jersey on October 28. He hit from 43, 21, 21 and 33 yards.
- Westhill set a new state record for most sacks in a game with 16 against Trumbull.
- Greenwich set a new state record for most sacks in a season with 65 in 13 games.
- With nine victories in 2017, New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli set the career record for wins as a coach with 340. He is one of three state coaches with more than 300 wins and one of 18 that have won more than 200 career games.
The oldest individual record belongs to Stamford’s Earl Gillespie and Stamford’s Gaynor Brennan who each kicked 12 extra points in a single game. Gillespie did it 105 years ago in 1913 against Paterson, N.J., while Brennan did it against St. Francis Prep from Brooklyn in 1920. As recently as 2003, New Britain’s Chris Roberts was 11-of-13 on PATs in a win over Maloney.
It’s been over 100 years since Torrington’s Raymond “Ducky” Pond set a new state record that still stands with two kickoff returns for a touchdown in a win over Simsbury on Nov. 16, 1917.
Ansonia head coach Tom Brockett still has the top winning percentage in state history with a .930 winning percentage (148-11) since he began leading the Chargers in 2006.
Our local teams from the Farmington Valley are well represented in the record book, too.
Farmington’s Brandon Williard is No. 6 on the single game rushing record board with 508 yards on 37 carries against Plainville in 2002. Farmington’s Greg Balicki holds the state record for most tackles in a single season (212), set in 1996.
Avon’s Colin Moore is ranked in the top 15 for career rushing yards with 5,217 yards on 682 carries from 2009-12. He rushed for at least 100 yards in 21 consecutive games in 2011-12, good enough for No. 2 on the all-time list.
Moore’s 19 two-point conversion runs in 2011 is No. 2 on the single season list for most two-point conversions. Only Rockville’s Joe Calaci had more (22) in 1969.
Avon’s 707-yard rushing performance in a win over Windsor Locks/Suffield/East Granby in 2014 is the second-highest rushing effort by a team in a single game. Only Torrington in 2012 ran for more with 853 yards against Sacred Heart.
Simsbury’s Phil Pope shares the state record with Bobby Valentine of Rippowam-Stamford and Newtown’s Ben Mason for most interception returns for a touchdown in a career. Both have returned five interceptions for TDs. Pope played at Simsbury from 1966-68 while Valentine, who managed the New York Mets and Boston Red Sox, played at the now-closed Rippowam from 1965-67. Mason played at Newtown in 2015 and 2016.
Granby running back Connor Field is tied for eighth on the list for most consecutive games rushing for at least 100 yards. Field ran for 100 yards on 16 consecutive occasions from 2014-15. The state record is held by Bristol Central’s Tim Washington with 25 games in a row from 1999 to 2001.
Farmington holds the state record for most fumble recoveries in a single game with nine against Avon in 1974. Canton is No. 2 on that list with eight fumble recoveries in a 1952 win over Gilbert.
Click on the following link for the 2018 Connecticut High School Football Record Book.