BERLIN - Defense is one of the biggest question marks for the Berlin football team coming into the 2018 season.
After losing defensive lineman Kevin Starfstrom, defensive back Matt Wojciechowski and linebacker James Mazzarella, the Redcoats have been in search of key contributors to fill those spots.
“We did lose those three main tacklers,” senior Alex Halkias said. “But we have eight players on defense coming back, so I don’t think it will be that big of a deal, but their presence will be lost and it will be felt.”
Junior Danny Lynch showed potential early in the 2017 season, as the outside linebacker had 19 tackles. He will be stepping in as a new starter this season, along with Larry St. Pierre, as he moves from linebacker to strong safety.
Senior Tyler Dinkins will grab one of the cornerback slots. Dinkins recorded 35 tackles in four games last year. Sophomore Marco Scarano will also be stepping into a new position as outside linebacker.
“We lost some really good kids, some really good players,” Berlin coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “But various points in the season last year we had a lot of injuries. So, a lot of the guys who are stepping up, to fill those roles, played a lot last year. We’re in a unique position.”
All eyes will be on Scarano. Last season he collected eight tackles and deflected two passes.
“We do have a lot of young kids stepping up,” quarterback Kevin Dunn said. “Marco is a really talented kid and is going to help us out a lot this year. But those guys, the tacklers, you can’t really replace them. You have to try to ease the impact that they had. On the defensive side we definitely have to try to do that.”
But Zach Hrubiec will be paving the way just as he did last season. He posted 77 tackles, 28 of those for a loss, a year ago. Hrubiec has already drawn interest from a number of Division I colleges.
“The school’s that are really interested are UConn and CCSU,” Hrubiec said. “But as for right now I want to do everything I can for this team so we can win the state championship.”