New Milford football look to rebound in Week 2
NEW MILFORD — After a whirlwind start to his tenure as New Milford High football coach, Larry Badaracco is looking forward to really beginning a new era of Green Wave football.
Badaracco was named the head coach for the 2014 season after the unexpected resignation of John Murphy and just 19 days before the start of fall practice.
The first season resulted in plenty of offense and a 3-8 record. The second season will feature a team and staff that are more in tune with each other and what they are trying to accomplish.
“I was able to get with the kids full time in the offseason and it was an awesome experience,” Badaracco said. “We worked out throughout the winter, spring and summer and I really got an opportunity to become more familiar with the kids and develop more of a relationship with them. We had a fantastic spring game, got a lot of work done and had a very productive summer.”
There are 13 seniors on this year’s team, three of whom are captains. Quarterback Tyler Hansen, linebacker Chris Ryan and offensive lineman Brian Santivanez are joined by junior lineman Alexander Pitser as captains.
The 2015 building process got off to a bit of a slow start with a 41-20 loss at Stratford last Friday. The Green Wave managed to pull within 21-14 about midway through the third quarter on a Hansen touchdown run.
But it was all Stratford from there as the defense, which was a trouble spot last season, didn’t make stops down the stretch. The Green Wave last year scored 337 points, which ranked fifth in the Southwest Conference, but they allowed 352.
Hansen, who threw for more than 2,100 yards and had 30 TDs last season, will help the Green Wave put up their share of points once again and he once again has All-SWC receiver Matt Ryan to throw to, but the defense will have to make improvements for New Milford to surpass last season’s win total.
“When you have Tyler Hansen on the field you are going to score points,” Badaracco said. “Defensively it’s a mentality, we have to instill a sense of pride defensively and when its time to stop somebody in crunch time we need to be able to come out and do that.”
The defense will have its work cut out for it on Friday night as the Green Wave take on defending Class M-Large state champs Brookfield. The Bobcats opened the season with a 27-13 victory over New Fairfield on Sept. 11.
“You are talking about the No. 8 team in the state, so they have everything they need to be successful and compete for a state championship from top to bottom,” Badaracco said. “Brookfield is a well-coached team, they have great size, athleticism. Brookfield is just a really good football team. Obviously, our goal is to come out and compete at a high level and come out of there with a win. That’s always our goal.”