Road to HS Gridiron Gold Ends Saturday

It is championship week in high school football around this state. The CIAC finals are scheduled for Saturday.

Twelve high school football teams are slated to play for six state titles. The semi-final winners gathered for a special luncheon in Farmington on Wednesday, a tradition on the day after the playoff games.

Undefeated Glastonbury will take on Cheshire at 2 p.m. at Willowbrook Park in New Britain. The last time Glastonbury won a state title was over Cheshire 19 years ago.

Saturday's game features two of the best all-around players in the state. Glastonbury's Jordan Brown has rushed for more than 300 yards in each of the last two games.  While Cheshire is led by all around threat Billy Ragone, a player whose drawn the attention of several Ivy League schools.

Jordan Brown said he's been looking toward 'this day' for years. 

"We've been waiting for this since eight grade, since 1989, actually," he said.

Like Glastonbury, it is "turn back the clock" time in Newington. 

Some of the Indians' best years were also in the 80s, when Newington was one of the state's powerhouse high school football programs.

Newington earned its place Saturday by beating Simsbury Tuesday night, 28-7. Newington will take on Masuk High School for the Class L crown at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven at 2 p.m.

"This is a new experience for us," Newington senior Sean Parent said. "We go into the game hoping we can win, but if the outcome doesn't come out the way we want it to, this is still an excellent experience," he added.

In Class S, New London will meet Seymour at 2 p.m., also at ken Strong Stadium. Seymour is looking to send their longtime coach, Paul Sponheimer, out with another state title.

"On the last day, in the last game of the season - you couldn't write it any better than this," Sponheimer beamed.

His players had similar sentiments.

"We want to send him out on top and show him how hard we worked, and show him how good a coach he is," said Mike Osiecki.
"It would be nice to win back-to-back state championships," he added.

State high school football titles are nothing new in Ansonia.  The Chargers are looking for their third straight state championship and a state-record 17th overall championship.  Ansonia plays Cromwell for the Class S state crown in Trumbull at 7:00 p.m.

"I'm excited," senior Ronnie Bilodeau said. 

"This will be my third time in a state title game. It's an amazing experience. You'll never forget it," Bilodeau said. "We're psyched, and we want to take it home."

Saturday's Championship Games:

  • Class LL:  #1 Glastonbury (12-0) vs. #3 Cheshire (10-2) at Willow Brook Park, New Britain, 2 p.m.
  • Class L: #1 Masuk-Monroe (11-1) vs. #3 Newington (10-2) at West Haven High, 7 p.m.
  • Class MM:  #1 New Canaan (12-0) vs. #3 Darien (11-1) at Trumbull High, 2 p.m.
  • Class M:  #1 Brookfield (11-1) vs. #2 Ledyard (10-2) at Municipal Stadium, Waterbury, 2 p.m.
  • Class SS:  #1 New London (11-1) vs. #2 Seymour (11-1) at West Haven High, 2 p.m.
  • Class S:  #1 Cromwell (11-1) vs. #2 Ansonia (12-1) at Trumbull High, at 7 p.m.
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