BERLIN - The last time the Berlin football team matched up against Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver was when they were originally Weaver back in 2015.
A lot has changed since then. Weaver co-opted with Bulkeley and HMTCA and not only went 0-10, but lost 16 seniors. The Bulldogs also have a new head coach, hiring former SCSU assistant coach, Teriko Roberts.
And tonight the Redcoats will welcome the Bulldogs to Class M after being in Class LL in 2016.
“I expect a well coached team,” Berlin head coach Joe Aresimowicz said. “We saw some film on them from a scrimmage they had. They looked very athletic, and I think it’s going to be a good game.”
Aresimowicz and the rest of the Redcoats, however, are eager for the season to begin full swing.
“I just want it to start,” Aresimowicz said. “These kids have been working since the week after the playoff loss [Regional Valley/ Old Lyme] to get ready for Friday night, so I think we just want to get it, get out there and make it happen.”
“They have athletes and they have good coaches, so that’s usually a good combination,” he added.
Despite what Bulkeley is bringing to the table, the Redcoats are focusing on themselves.
“We have to come out and execute our stuff and not necessarily worry about what they’re doing but that’s always tough, it’s the first game,” Aresimowicz said, “I’m nervous, I think everyone is nervous.”
Berlin did all they could to prepare for tonight’s matchup. With limited film, the Redcoats turned to their fundamentals.
Zach Hrubiec is feeling especially confident going into Week 1.
“We anticipate to protect our home field, and anticipate to come out with a W,” Hrubiec said. “We’ve been prepping all week, just looking at the film, prepping for what they’re going to bring. We feel like we have the advantage and we’re going to take the win. Personally, it’s not going to be easy, we can’t come into a game thinking it’s going to be easy, but we have full confidence that we are going to win this game.”
Hrubiec isn’t the only Redcoat that is ready for game one. Kevin Dunn will be starting his for game as the team’s starting quarterback.
“If you look back to last year when he had to play in the Valley game when our starting quarterback went down to now, he’s a different kid, he’s confident,” Aresimowicz said. “He’s worked with a quarterback coach for the last six months. He looks like a quarterback. He makes incredible throws and good decisions.”
This season, the Redcoats have a lineup that could be hard to beat. A win tonight would be a start.
“This is probably the deepest line up I can remember us having,” Aresimowicz said. “Even if we went to the No. 2 or 3 guy it’s not an incredible drop off, that’s always important, but we’re young. It’s going to be the first time for most of these players with the lights on at a Friday night at Sage Park, seeing how they’re going to react to that is going to be interesting.”
Shelby Iava can be reached at (860) 801- 5096 or email@example.com