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Lewis Mills looks to surprise some teams

Lewis Mills hopes to build upon some experienced skill players.

BURLINGTON – Lewis Mills begins their fourth year in the Central Connecticut Conference and hope to build on a solid start in their first two years in the league – excluding the 2020 season, which was eliminated due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mills has four starters returning on each side of the ball including last year’s leading rusher James Roben (110-404,5 TDs) and senior quarterback Jack Stanislaw, who completed 40 of 111 passes for 471 yards and nine touchdowns.

“The offensive and defensive lines have to develop fast to enable skilled players to perform at a high level,” Mills coach John Oko said. “On both sides of the ball, our line needs to work to be aggressive, physical units. We have a good number of solid skilled players, who are capable of making big plays. If we develop quickly, I think we can surprise (some of) our opponents.”

Linemen Ben Rewenko and Mark Gazowicz are ready to go on both sides of the ball.

Other top players include receiver Trey Gagne and backs Cole Ronalter (RB/LB), Evan Pannuto (RB/DB) and Noah Moriarty (RB/LB).

Oko is pleased with the kicking game, which could make a difference in a close game. Mateo Dozadelli and Cole Ronalter are excellent kickers and punters.

Seniors Dan Talbot (OL/DL) and Nate Talbot (WR/DB) should make an impact, according to Oko, along with junior Larry Weaver (QB/DB), sophomore Dozadelli at linebacker and freshman Cole Cormier (OL/DL).

The Spartans play in CCC Tier 4 with some of the smaller schools in the league that offer football so most games should be competitive. Mills will participate in the Connecticut Football Alliance again this year and will host Weston on Friday, Sept. 23 in Burlington.

Lewis Mills
Head coach: John Oko (5th season, 9-21, Career: 12 seasons, 25-87)
Last season: 4-6, 2-4 CCC Tier 4
Last winning season: 
7-3 in 2015
Last CIAC playoff appearance:
League championships: none
Opening day record: 
5-6. Most recent win: 2021: Lewis Mills 19, Capital Prep/Achievement First 6
Social media: Twitter — @LSMFootball1

Lewis Mills 2022 schedule
Thurs., Sept. 8: Plainville, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 16: Tolland, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 23: Weston, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 30: @Hartford Public, 7 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 14: @East Catholic, 6:30 p.m.
Thurs. Oct. 20: @Bristol Eastern, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 28: @Rocky Hill, 7 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 5: E.O. Smith, noon
Fri. Nov. 11: @NW Catholic
Tuesday, Nov. 22: Avon, 6 p.m.

2022 Central Connecticut Conference divisions (football)
Tier 1
(8 teams): Conard, East Hartford, Glastonbury, Hall, Maloney, Newington, Simsbury, Southington. Defending champions: Hall and Maloney 6-1
Tier 2 (8 teams): Bristol Central, Enfield, Middletown, New Britain, Platt, South Windsor, Wethersfield, Windsor. Defending champion: Windsor 7-0
Tier 3 (8 teams): Avon, Berlin, Bloomfield, Bristol Eastern, Farmington, Manchester, Plainville, RHAM. Defending champion: Bloomfield 7-0
Tier 4 (7 teams): East Catholic, E.O. Smith, Hartford Public, Lewis Mills, Northwest Catholic, Rocky Hill, Tolland. Defending champion: Avon 6-0

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

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