The Berlin football team has lived in the top ranks of high school football in the state for many years.
This year will likely see the Redcoats stay in that stratosphere with 18 starters returning from a team that went 10-2 and advanced to the state playoffs semifinals. Berlin won its first game over Cheney Tech but was eventually knocked out by Ansonia.
Back to lead the Redcoats are junior quarterback Mitch Williams, running backs Kevin Main, Justin Gombotz and Scott McLeoud, linemen Mitch Blanchette, Chris Meucci, Hector Rodriguez, tight end Tyler Bouchard, Wojtus Zak and Kyle Young.
Williams threw for more than 1,500 yards and 14 touchdowns last season as a sophomore. Two running backs, Gombotz and McLeod ran for nearly 500 yards as juniors. Gombotz scored 12 touchdowns while McLeod added five. Main is a two-way threat with 25 receptions and 85 tackles on defense.
"We have a lot of returning players," said Berlin coach John Capodice, in his eighth year at the helm (71-19). "We hope to compete for the CCC title and the state playoffs.
"Our scrimmages have been tough. We have played Hand, Bridgeport Central, Southington, Masuk, Manchester and Cromwell. We have competed well against those very solid teams."
"We return a lot of kids who have played last year but I'm pleased that we have some new kids stepping in as underclassmen. Dante Vasi, Anthony Duong, Mitch Williams and Jake Eliades have done well. Senior Mike Tirinzoni is doing a good job along with senior Mike Pomian and junior kicker Pat Lomaglio."
Capodice said he is not sure who will be the top teams in the CCC Division but it is hard to believe the road to the the league title will not go through Berlin as they have won three staright titles.
Berlin starts the season Saturday at East Catholic at 1 p.m.
Sat., 9/15 East Catholic (At Cheney Tech) 1 p.m.
Fri., 9/21 Rocky Hill Home - Sage Park 7 p.m.
Sat., 9/29 Tolland Away - Tolland High School 1 p.m.
Sat., 10/6 Weaver Away - Weaver High School 3 p.m.
Sat., 10/13 Northwest Catholic Away - NW Catholic 7 p.m.
Fri., 10/19 Rockville Home - Sage Park 7 p.m. Homecoming
Fri., 10/26 Plainville Home - Scalise Field- Sage Park 7 p.m.
Fri., 11/2 Platt Home - Scalise Field- Sage Park 7 p.m.
Fri., 11/9 Bloomfield Away - Phil Rubin Stadium 7 p.m.
Wed., 11/21 New Britain Away - Veteran's Stadium 6 p.m. (Home Team)