"GN" football here to stay. A look at the 2011 team.
Gilbert/Northwestern sophomore, John Lippincott, is expected to play a big role on the 2011 Yellowjackets football team. Lippincott, younger brother of standout Bobby, who graduated in 2011, came up big for "GN" in his freshman season.
WINSTED: Trying to get back to a place your not used to getting to is never an easy task.
Just ask Scott Salius and his Gilbert Yellowjackets football team.
Nine months removed from a trip to the semi-finals last December, the 2011 “GN” squad has lost some key players but returns as many and has something amongst them you can’t teach. Experience.
It’s the feel of being there, in not one, but two playoff games after a 8-2 regular season which ended with a tremendous 9-3 overall record.
Looking back, it certainly was a magical run for Salius and his team, a team that won just two games four short years ago.
Their initial monumental game came in a 7-0 win over rival Avon on the road, November 20.
Five days later, the ‘Jackets rolled over Housatonic in the Berkshire Bowl by a 37-18 score in Falls Village, to get themselves into the postseason.
A home game of sorts was played at Torrington High School in the first round of the Class M State Tournament and is was a night to remember for the team from Winsted.
It was over fast as senior quarterback Bobby Lippincott led his team out to an astounding 35-0 lead at the half on their way to a 41-6 playoff rout.
Running back Devon Molway, who returns for “GN”, had 88 yards rushing that night and caught one of three touchdowns Lippincott threw.
Salius now faced an unfamiliar problem; playing a ton of games in a short period of time. The Yellowjackets would play four games in 15 days but I don’t think anyone on that team would trade the time for anything.
Perhaps freezing that 14-12 lead they took on eventual Class M champion Hillhouse near the end of the first half on a cold Municipal Stadium turf in Waterbury would have been nice but the Academics had just too much firepower for “GN” and the ride came to an end.
What didn’t come to an end though, was the advancement of an up and coming program that is no longer going to sneak up on people.
In that semi-final game, Molway rumbled for 110 yards on 14 carries and even as their numbers dwindled because of injuries late in the game, the “GN” spirit never did.
Gone are Lippincott, hard nosed blocking back Kyle Jones, all purpose back/receiver Drew McCarthy and lineman Charlie Shea and Jackson Reidy.
While one Lippincott has departed, a younger one stepped up nicely in his freshman season.
John Lippincott saw considerable time during the regular season and the playoffs and will be counted on this year even more.
Word has it younger brother is a better punter than big brother. We will see. For Salius, it never hurts to have a big leg at your disposal.
Another player with a big leg that returns, J.P. Dulac, has become one of the teams emotional leaders on both sides of the ball. Dulac handles the kickoff and field goal duties as well.
All talk of “GN” football starts and ends with defense. It’s been the Salius way since he got here and it has not let him down since.
The game plan against the high powered Avon Falcons in November was brilliant. The highly favored and hometown Falcon’s could get nothing done after scoring at will over the rest of the Pequot Uncas division all season.
Beating Avon put the program at that next level. The losses had been incredibly one sided over the years but slowly but surely, the Yellowjackets started to match up better.
In 2011, the schedule starts off fast and doesn’t slow down until Thanksgiving and hopefully beyond.
Two key home games start the year.
Game on will be played at Van Why Field on September 16 under the lights against Coventry/Windham Tech.
One of the “GN” two losses came in a 28-20 road loss to Coventry in a game that saw the
visiting team lose the lead after being crushed by a wave of injuries,
The following Saturday, Enfield comes to Winsted on Saturday afternoon.
Two good tests that should allow Salius and his 2011 team the chance to start carving out their own memorable season.