NEWINGTON - The Newington football team is looking to make some positive strides this week.
After back-to-back losses to Farmington and Platt, the Indians are hoping a trip to South Windsor this afternoon can make a little bit of a difference.
After going 8-2 last season and reaching the Class LL playoffs for the first time since 1998, the Bobcats have not had as much lucky this year. South Windsor lost nearly every single key contributor from the team a season ago and is out to a 0-3 start.
Some of the Bobcats’ key losses include quarterback Connor Kapisak, running backs Julian Ibes and James Tamburro, wide receiver Colin Ryan, linebacker Brandan Mabey and lineman Alex Valente and Dylan Hodge, putting South Windsor in the same position as Newington.
“We’re definitely not going to underestimate our opponent, we’re in no position to do that,” Indians coach Jason Pace said. “We know it’s going to be a hard fought game. We’re in a similar situation being young and inexperienced, but we’re looking forward to trying to take a step in the right direction.”
“Last year they were a really good team,” running back Dylan Nees-fair said. “This year, they lost a bunch of seniors so anything can happen.”
The last contributing players from last season’s team are running back Ronnie Pinkard and wide receiver Royale Richards. It’s resulted in South Windsor managing just one touchdown through three weeks and giving up at least 40 points in each game, including a 44-0 drubbing to New Britain last Friday afternoon.
The Indians believe the key to success is having a good week’s worth of practice, as they noticed from the week prior, limited focus and effort only gets a loss.
“No one put in the effort during the week of practice or the Platt game,” Nees-fair said. “We realized as a team that if we work together and actually put in the effort we’ll have a successful season.”
Newington running back Izayah Ciarcia added, “Not coming out strong was a big factor in our loss against [Platt]. I think we’re going to do well this week because we practiced well together as a team.”
Dividing up the offense and defense up over different days has also proved to be beneficial for Newington.
“On Monday we had an offensive meeting,” Ciarcia said. “We were going over the scouting report on defense on Tuesday and what they like to run so we can know what to take advantage of on defense. I feel we’ve been really focused this week and it’s helped.”
The Indians just have to show it on the field.