North Branford football Coach Mark Basil saw his team’s hard work pay dividends in the . The T-Birds not only exceeded his expectations by going 9-1 during the regular season–with their only loss being –but the team earned a home game in the state tournament and several players garnered postseason accolades.
The team–which held an overall record of 9-2 for the season after –was led by senior captains .
“Their hard work instilled respect, loyalty and dedication in all of their off-season preparation,” said Basil. “Through months of hard work in the weight room, passing leagues, summer training and competitions, they built a chemistry amongst their teammates that brought them closer and made them a successful team.”
In addition to the captains, Basil wishes the rest of the senior class good luck as well including Chris Scala (DB), Tom Steinke (DB), Conor Healy (WR), Eric Berlepsch (C), Steve Saunders (OT), Ryan Magnotti (DB), Rob Martino (SE), Mitch Mongillo (DT) and Sal Sabetta (SE).
“Steve Saunders, Rocco Morgan and Eric Berlepsch really did a great job stepping in and solidifying the offensive line around Hunter and Franco,” said Basil. “Our skill players lived up to our expectations. We knew that we had the personnel to make plays if we got the time to make the throws and in return the passing game opened it up for our ground game.”
Basil notes the team’s biggest accomplishment as “opening up the offense with an aggressive passing attack allowed for more balance.” North Branford averaged approximately 40 points a game to go with approximately 400 yards per game, setting a number of records.
“We are looking forward to building on that next season,” said Basil. “I believe that our defense will be outstanding next season. I was extremely proud of this group of players for the effort they gave every week and for how they conducted themselves in the classroom and community.”
Several T-Birds were also recognized for their talents on the field, earning All-League honors. First Team honorees were Franco (LB), Hunter (DT), Saunders (OT), Brandan Basil (QB), Dale Hausman (RB), Joe DeLucia (Flex) and Chris Caron (SS). Gary Falanga (LB), Magnotti (DB) and Cory Onofrio (WR) were named Second Team; while Bobby Miller (DB) and Berlepsch (C) earned Honorable Mention nods.
Here's a look at the CIAC's T-Birds' 9-1 regular season results. Click on the score for the game story.Fri., 9/16 Valley Regional/Old Lyme Away - Valley Regional High School
[Directions] Fri., 9/23 Haddam-Killingworth Home - Colafati Field - NHBS
[Directions] Fri., 9/30 Morgan Away - Peters Complex
[Directions] Sat., 10/15 Old Saybrook/Westbrook Away - Old Saybrook High School
[Directions] Fri., 10/21 East Hampton/Vinal Tech Home - Colafati Field - NBHS
[Directions] Fri., 10/28 Cromwell Home - Colafati Field - NHBS
[Directions] Fri., 11/4 Coginchaug Home - Colafati Field - NHBS
[Directions] Sat., 11/12 Nonnewaug Away - Nonnewaug High School Football Field
[Directions] Fri., 11/18 Lewis Mills Home - Colafati Field - NHBS
[Directions] Wed., 11/23 Hyde Leadership Away - Veteran's Field, West Haven