Semi-pro football team moving to New Milford, leaving Danbury

Photo of Currie Engel
New Milford Fire is the town's new semi-pro football team owned by New Milford High alum Daniel Lacasky

New Milford Fire is the town's new semi-pro football team owned by New Milford High alum Daniel Lacasky

Photo courtesy of team photographer Michael Boucher

NEW MILFORD — No longer will New Milfordites have to schlep to the Meadowlands to watch a football game, shelling out wads of cash to watch the Giants play from nosebleed seats.

The arrival of semi-pro league New Milford Fire means football games will be right in town. The team will play 10 games in the regular season with the possibility of more if they make it to the playoffs.

New Milford Fire, which recently changed its name from Connecticut Fire, moved from Danbury to New Milford, and filed for 501c3 non-profit status. The team is owned by Daniel Lacasky, who grew up in town and graduated from New Milford High School in 2011.

“For me, this is coming home,” Lacasky said. “New Milford is a loyal town. New Milford is a hardworking town. We’re looking for fans who will love us through the good times and— it’ll happen— when there are bad times.”

But Lacasky is really hoping to bring home a championship.

Last year, the team won their league and was ranked No. 5 nationally.

Lacasky, now a Newtown resident, used to be a tackle on a semi-pro football team but after a heart attack at a young age, retired to coaching. He founded his own team, the Connecticut Fire, in late 2019 and held the team’s first practice in February of 2020 just before the pandemic began.

With help from New Milford Mayor Pete Bass, the team has already started settling into their new hometown.

“He’s been very hands on he’s come to a practice before,” Lacasky said. “He’s been very helpful in the process being a liaison.”

One big focus is on outreach. Players and coaches plan to integrate into the town at the local level by partnering with other non-profits for events and youth activities. On their Facebook page, the team has announced they will be assisting with the Derby Pop Warner football skills camp towards the end of May.

Tickets are expected to sell at $10 per person, with free tickets for students and children 12 and under. The profits will be used to pay field fees and for player development and trainers, Lacasky said.

All profits from the concession stand during the team’s games would go to the Green Wave Gridiron Club, according to Lacasky, which is a non-profit supporting the football community in town, but is unaffiliated with the school or their atheltic department.

The team is hoping to hold practices at Pettibone and home games at New Milford High School’s turf field, which was the subject of contentious debate during a recent Board of Education meeting.

Some raised concerns at the meeting about wear and tear of “grown men” on the high school’s fields.

“The Board of Education and the school district are excited to work in conjunction with the town to bring a team dedicated to supporting our youth into New Milford,” wrote school Superintendent Alisha DiCorpo in an email to the News-Times.

“Ms. Faulenbach and I look forward to meeting with members of the organization and the town to discuss the specifics regarding the field request use and parameters in the near future.”