The Central Connecticut Conference revealed its all-conference football team this week and more than 40 local athletes made the cut from the seven area schools.
Starting in Tier 1, Diego Ortiz and Cameron Bond were the selections from New Britain following a rebuilding season for the Hurricanes. Ortiz and Bond were New Britain’s primary running backs during its 1-9 campaign.
Seven athletes from Southington joined the tier 1 team in Jack Barnum, Jackson Rusiecki, Austin Pszczolkowski, Ryan Delmonte, Nate Hunt, Gavin Anderson and Lincoln Cardillo. Barnum threw for 1907 yards and 17 touchdowns under center while Delmonte led the receiving corps with 599 yards and seven touchdown grabs. Rusiecki and Pszczolkowski led the Blue Knights defense as its top two tacklers with a combined for 179.
In Tier 2, Berlin and Newington totaled 13 players on the team between the two programs.
The Redcoats saw Jon D’Amore, Will Gomes, Marcus Kelly-Johnson, Toby Lavender and Jamie Palmese picked while Paddy Brown, Sam Cultrera, Austyn Howe, Chase Leonard, Jordan Middlebrooks, Miguel Rivera IV, Josiah Ross and Shakir Smith were the Nor’easters chosen.
Palmese pushed Berlin on offense with 1256 rushing yards and 17 scores while D’Amore recorded 156 tackles on defense, which topped the Redcoats totals by more than 85.
Brown passed for 2212 yards as Newington’s quarterback this season, Howe ran for 370 yards, and caught for 801 yards for 20 touchdowns and Leonard was second on the team in tackles with 31.
Bristol Central, Bristol Eastern and Plainville earned at least five nominations each in Tier 3, with the Rams topping out at eight selections.
Tre Blair, Damion Glasper, Malachi Jones, Dan Lauretti, Anthony Paulino, Julius Powell, Victor Rosa and Mason Stokes were picked from Central following its first playoff berth since 1987.
Rosa solidified his spot as one of the best in the state with 41 rushing touchdowns on 2730 yards and also threw for 871 yards for the Rams.
The newly-announced Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year capped off his high school career with a 9-2 record in 2021.
For the Lancers, Luke Dauphinee, Alex Marshall, Conor McCormick, Austin Shorette and Alex Vita were selected.
Marshall was impressive all season for Eastern as the senior back tallied 1728 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns while Austin Shorette was strong on defense for a team that allowed more than 30 points just twice.
Narrowly missing out on the final playoff spot in Class M, the Blue Devils had MJ Bakaysa, Michael Cavallo, Justin Emery, Gabe Hernandez, Cameron Lamothe, Alex Santini and Joseph Vasquez make all-conference.
Bakaysa came along nicely at quarterback for Plainville while Emery and Lamothe were his top options on the line.