Stamford Advocate

Getting excited

FCIAC coaches eager for competitiv­e Alliance games

- By Scott Ericson

No football team in the FCIAC puts as many miles on their bus any given year than Danbury with the closest league opponent being Ridgefield 10 miles away.

The next closest school is Wilton 17 miles away and then the rest of the schools in the league are each a little further away.

In fact, Danbury has is going out of the FCIAC to play its closest road game this season.

That is all thanks to the Connecticu­t High School Football Scheduling Alliance and a road game 12 miles up Route 7 in New Milford.

“We are in an interestin­g dynamic up in Danbury. We are closer to Newtown, who we played a couple years ago, and closer to New Milford. That sets up the potential for rivalry games in our area,” Danbury coach Augie Tieri said at Tuesday’s Ruden Report FCIAC Media Day. “To get to play those teams is cool. I thought it was awesome to play Newtown. That is a rivalry I hope eventually manifests itself.”

The Alliance — in 2017 to create more competitiv­e regular-season games — is allowing teams from all over the state to play each other. For teams traditiona­lly in the middle of the FCIAC pack, the hope is that the games outside of the conference offer more competitiv­e matchups.

Tieri said while he is excited for games in the Hatters’ backyard, he would be equally pumped up for a game across the state against a team of equal talent.

“I wouldn’t mind traveling halfway across the state to play some teams,” Tieri said. “You want to get out and play different teams from different leagues. Look at the conference we play in, it’s like the SEC (college). It’s a gauntlet and there are no easy games. Not to say an out-of-conference game is easy, but it’s just cool to get out of the league and play teams we match up well with.”

Norwalk’s Alliance game this season is against Cheshire, a team coach Pat Miller knows very well.

“I coached at Sheehan for nine years and they were right down the road,” Miller said. “I joke with them

that I go to coach an hour away and I still end up playing Cheshire. The Alliance is exciting games. You get to see teams you wouldn’t normally see and we always like the challenge. It’s always fun to play teams you don’t normally see.”

Westhill opens with FCIAC powerhouse­s Greenwich and Trumbull before playing two Alliance games against Hamden and Amity.

While the Westhill coaches and players are firmly focused on Greenwich, they are hoping to have two competitiv­e games against the two SCC schools.

“We get a lot of experience from the teams we play in the FCIAC which is the best league in the state of Connecticu­t. If we get to play against some other competitio­n, I always enjoy that,” Westhill coach Aland Joseph said. “I especially like that we can go out and play teams from other conference­s that are similar to our caliber. We don’t know too much about Amity or Hamden but we will learn down the road. We are excited to play other teams and this year we get both of those games at home but down the road, it will be fun to take a road trip, especially somewhere far.”

Bridgeport Central will have to travel the shortest distance of any team for its three Alliance games against city rivals Harding and Bassick along with Stratford which is 6.3 miles away.

Central opens with powerhouse­s New Canaan and Darien before traveling to Stratford and Bassick the following two weeks.

“Harding and Bassick are two hometown games, city games and we are lucky to have that as our rivalries,” Bridgeport Central coach Tom Broschardt said. “I absolutely think it’s a good thing if the Alliance games are matched up evenly. You see some coaches complainin­g that ‘I don’t want to play this team or that team.’ We will line up on Friday or Saturday and we will play anyone. You play who you play. I do think the scheduling needs work and needs to be evened out. I came from New York where in the Catholic League it was A, AA, AAA and you could move up depending on what you’ve done. I’m not sure if that’s the route we will go here in the future?”

 ?? David Stewart / Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Westhill’s David Moody goes up to catch a pass during Day One of the Grip It and Rip It football tournament in New Canaan on July 9.
David Stewart / Hearst Connecticu­t Media Westhill’s David Moody goes up to catch a pass during Day One of the Grip It and Rip It football tournament in New Canaan on July 9.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States