FCIAC Football Media Day: Some Early Impressions

NORWALK — The Ruden Report hosted its third annual FCIAC Football Media Day on Tuesday at Bogey’s in Norwalk. Fifteen of the 17 teams were in attendance. For many of us, it was the first time to see the coaches and players from a number of schools since preseason training started.

Early September is a less than ideal time to start making bold predictions. Scrimmages are about as accurate an indicator as NFL exhibition games. We are unfamiliar with many of the new players that have been thrust into greater roles. Too much weight is often placed on tradition until the first games are played, which, with the new FCIAC schedule, except for Westhill meeting Bridgeport Central on Saturday will be delayed a week (two weeks for St. Joseph).


Extra Week Off Has FCIAC Football Coaches Adjusting … And Waiting

A year ago at this time, the excitement of a new football season had the FCIAC in its annual blaze. And because of an extra week on the schedule, a highly anticipated opening series of games with the SCC made Labor Day seem like the 4th of July, fireworks ready to detonate.

Now, as the holiday weekend and unofficial end of summer comes to a close, the feeling is one of malaise and restlessness. The CIAC imposed a regular-season limit of 10 games, and because the FCIAC was insistent on holding what will be its 50th league championship, the schedule has been reduced by another contest.


Stamford’s Ben Joseph Trying To Follow In Brother’s Footsteps

STAMFORD — The Stamford High School football team is going to have a familiar name on the roster this fall, the brother of an alumnus who went on to a professional playing career.

If the Black Knights can get the kind of strong effort they expect from Ben Joseph, it will help make for a successful fall season.

Joseph, a junior defensive end, is the younger brother of Alex, who had stints with several NFL and Canadian Football League teams. He is currently a member of Trenton in the Professional Indoor League but is recovering from a torn ACL.

Joseph, who was on the junior varsity last year, said he is proud of his lineage and credits training this offseason with Alex for an additional 30 pounds of muscle he has put on since last fall. He is now 6-foot and 210 pounds.

“It is actually kind of surreal and crazy,” Joseph said of playing on the same field his brother, 12 years his senior, once roamed. “I’m trying to follow in his footsteps and be like him.”


Hit Hard By Graduation Losses, Westhill’s State-Of-Art Uniforms Make It Favorite For Best Dressed

In sports, or with any competition or public appearance for that matter, half of the battle is a gray area that involves motivation, ability, strategy and determination.

The other half?

Not so gray.

To put it simply, half of the battle is looking good.

It worked for the inmates of “The Longest Yard” in their football game against the prison guards. It was true for those who visited “Fernando’s Hideaway” and looked “mah-valous” on the Saturday Night Live skit starring Billy Crystal. Looking good most certainly helped the marching band in the musical “The Music Man.” And don’t forget how the Ohio State Buckeyes and Oregon Ducks looked in last January’s college football national championship game.


A Year Away Has Given Norwalk’s Ireland Greater Appreciation Of Job He Loves

The most difficult part was game days, when he would stand off in the distance, away from the spotlight.

Sean Ireland had grown accustomed to center stage.

But a sabbatical taken last year for personal reasons reinforced both the Norwalk High School football coach’s love for the game and the players he worked with.

“It was hard,” Ireland said. “I wanted to make sure I gave free range to the coaches so I stayed back as far as I could. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.”
Ireland resumed his responsibilities last December, the day after the team banquet. Now he is back on the field, trying to help kids maximize their skills and, in the process, of course win games.