Isaiah Boddie's first season as head coach of the New Britain football team ended with a 1-9 record following its loss to Berlin on Nov. 19.
The Hurricanes had their hands full with a largely inexperienced roster and following a lost season in 2020, Boddie's first season in charge was anything but ordinary.
“You look back on the good and the bad and you take it as a whole,” Boddie said. “As a first year coach it was a learning experience, lots of things I can learn from, lots of things I can get better at. In exit meetings, we talked about things we can get better at.”
It's one win came against Manchester at the beginning of October, but New Britain received solid seasons from seniors Diego Ortiz and Anthony Calvelli. Ortiz powered the running game while Calvelli was its top receiver on a young team learning how to compete on a game-to-game basis.
While losing those two will be tough for the Hurricanes to replace, they return numerous names that now have a year of varsity experience under their belt that are feeling good about the future.
“I think we highlighted a lot of positives individually and growth they had as a player,” Boddie said. “All the kids agreed there's a lot of things we need to work on and get better on. Those freshmen and sophomores, they made a lot of strides from game one to game 10. Now they have an entire offseason to get bigger and stronger.
“Donovan Campbell, Cameron Bond, Dameer Bailey, Tyrone Richardson, Eli [Rodriguez] , Alexis Sanchez, a lot of the kids coming back now have varsity experience,” Boddie said.
Despite the final result, Boddie felt New Britain's loss to Conard was an important step for the program as a whole.
“We flipped the switch a little bit and understood how to win at the varsity level,” Boddie said. “I know we didn't win that game but we were up and their quarterback kind of took over in the second half. I think that really was kind of a sign that we can compete and we can do this thing.”
The Hurricanes fell in overtime, 39-38, to a team that picked up wins against Newington and Southington later on in the year.
When Boddie took the job, he understood it wasn't going to be a quick fix. Given that New Britain is just three years removed from a 9-1 regular season record, the potential is there for the Hurricanes to return to its former glory days of the early 2000s.
“This is just a building block, a stepping stone to where it was almost 20 years ago,” Boddie said. “We were one of the premier programs in the state. I knew it wasn't going to be easy. With anything in life there are going to be rough patches. I think we're heading in the right direction.”
Ryan Ames can be reached at 860-801-5094 or on Twitter @_RyanAmes.