Ansonia rolls on
Ansonia rolls on
Train roll on.
Tell me you weren’t surprised. Tell me you expected Thursday night’s NVL championship football game at Municipal Stadium to turn out like it did – Ansonia 33, Holy Cross 0.
First of all, the Chargers 45-14 win over Holy Cross in October might have sent a hint as to the outcome. But forget that. No offense to Holy Cross and its fine season but how about just the idea that it was Ansonia and football isn’t just ingrained in the community’s blood, victory is.
Not that the Chargers never lose. It was only last season that Naugatuck pulled off a major upset Thanksgiving Day to grab the NVL title. There are state championship losses here and there. Just not that many compared to the other side of the leger.
It is one great team after another, one great player after another.
Torrington’s gift to the Hartford Courant, seven-time Connecticut sportswriter of the year Own Canfield once called Ansonia, “the most famous little football town in New England. “ Owen knew.
But just to refresh some gaudy numbers, how about this: a state record 24 state championship game appearances with 16 victories in almost every class from S to L. Ten titles in 13 years from 1976-`89. Since 1983 the New Haven Register’s No. 1 team in the state four times and No. 2 five times. A Class S school guys, size-wise a shoe closet compared to some of the giants like Southington and Danbury who measure their students in the thousands.
An Ansonia Gridiron Hall of Fame that includes names like Roger Ings, Jack Hunt, Pop Shortell, Art Thomas, Willie McFarland and Mike Andante. Football fans will recognize the names.
It is not a good football program it is a legendary football program. The Chargers have done it with passing, rushing, kicking and defense. Unlike a lot of programs that fit the talent to the program, the Chargers fit the program to the talent.
You have a Luke Richmond, you throw. You have a Roger Ings or Montrell Dobbs, you run. The Chargers have always adjusted and opponents have suffered.
This season is no different. Ansonia graduated Dobbs who ran for 8,276,234 yards and 172,000 touchdowns a year ago or something like that. All-State, all-everything, future Hall of Famer, a familiar figure in the Connecticut record book.
There’s no way Ansonia can recover from that, right? Oh, they’ll still be good, that’s a no-brainer. But, they can’t replace a Dobbs, right? Wrong. We should have known. And along comes Arkeel Newsome.
Now, you don‘t forget a runner like Dobbs and nobody is walking around thinking Montrell who. But, gee, the Chargers haven’t missed a beat or a yard or touchdown for that matter thanks to Arkeel Newsome.
How about these for numbers with at least two games left in the season – 2,495 yards and 41 touchdowns. Are you kidding? Entire Pop Warner leagues don’t score that much and some teams haven’t scored that much. They can only dream.
Speedy, shifty, slippery. Doesn’t it ever end? Not for the opponents. You could ask anybody but start with Holy Cross. He ran for 294 yards and five touchdowns the other night. The season is a montage of spectaular runs and touchdown heaven. Heck Arkeel has spent more time in the end zone than the guy that paints the lines. Another star in a century of stars.
The defense never gets enough credit but Matt Hall, Jh’Mel Trammel, Jake Lovera and Co. tossed a shutout in the championship game.
You can look at Ansonia three ways. As an opponent you can hope they have the down year which happened once in the 14th century. Okay just a little exaggeration. There was a year a while back and the coach never returned. Different story.
You can hope Ansonia is Ansonia and you are better, the noble attitude. Or you can do your darndest and at the end just appreciate what Ansonia is when it comes to football.
When you look at the program and what it has been and continues to be and you look at the superb coaching with current coach Tom Brockett and before him Jack Hunt and down the line, and you look at the players like Arkeel Newsome, just don’t say you were surprised at the Charges’ romp Thursday night.
The blue and white, they are Ansonia. They win and win some more. Train roll on.