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2014 Chatham Cougars Football Preview

 

The Cougar’s 2013 record was 0-10. And that right there is proof that numbers just don’t say it all. Jason Izsa took over a struggling program and didn’t win a game last year. And what does Chatham do? They hire him back. Because winning is about fighting through adversity, and doing it as a team. This Chatham team–coaches, players, and community–is going to pull together and make this season about something way beyond football, a pride they’ll draw on later in life when they remember the season they resurrected a program.

What Went Wrong in 2013
Chatham needed to develop a run game. They had a tough defense and dangerous passing game but just couldn’t get the job done without an explosive ground attack.

Good News for 2014
Last year QB Alex Sands battled it out with senior Sean Landolfi and the Cougars offense will be reaping those rewards this year. Expect senior WR Pat Caufield to be paired up with Sands. And when Sands isn’t throwing, he’s got returning RB Matt Nestler to hand the ball off to, as well as returning linemen Colin Ness, Chris DeSante, Mark Kellstrom, Mike Mulford, and Ryan Barnett. Also, at WR/DB is Pat Caufield, who started at corner last year, which means that defense has experience in that all-important secondary.

Chink in the Armor
Confidence! This Cougars team hasn’t won a game in two seasons. They need to have a short memory and bucket loads of pride to go into this season with a winning attitude. Good news? They have a second-year coach made of steel rebar.

Forecast for 2014
Opening against Randolph and Sparta is tough for any team, and this Chatham squad is going to need to play for pride. This team is better than their record and they need to prove it, then bring it to Montville to show their old coach what they can do.

Chances to Win States
The Cougars need to stop the bleeding and it’s going to take strong leadership and guts to get it done. Chatham has all the talent it needs. It needs to play tough against Par Hills especially, which will put them in a good position for a playoff bracket.

Biggest Game
I’m going to the Montville game because I want to be there when those players prove something to themselves against their old ball coach (10/2, at Chatham, time TBA).

Random Awesomeness
This football team invited ECLC, a school for students with severe learning and language disabilities, to play football with them. Then, the Chatham football team invited the ECLC school back for a re-match, the second time for a game of basketball. This team may not have won a game in two years, but they’re winning at something much bigger than football. This is their year to bring it all home!

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