Season Preview: 'Year 3' could be Plainville football's time to shine

Published on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:02


PLAINVILLE - For the rest of the world, it’s 2018. For the Plainville High football team, it’s simply known as “Year 3.”

Plainville head coach Tim Shea took over the program in 2016 and inherited a team decimated by graduation losses. With many sophomores and other underclassmen in key roles, the Blue Devils endured an 0-10 season as they gained valuable experience.

Last year, after another rough start to their season, the Blue Devils started to live up to their promise in the second half of the schedule, rebounding from a 1-4 start to finish 5-5. In the process, the team, despite losing some key seniors to graduation this past offseason, gave its followers plenty of reason to believe this season could be a big one for the program.

“We’re hoping to turn the corner,” Shea said. “There’s still a lot of challenges every week, but there’s considerable development, and we’re looking forward to playing every week.

“This is something the senior class has talked a lot about for three years now and now it’s their chance. I tell them, ‘What do you guys want to be about? What do you want to be remembered as?’ So, we’ll see how that pans out the next few months.”

Back is third-year quarterback Frank Griffin, who earned all-conference honors in the CCC Division III West last season. He’ll have his favorite target back in fellow returning senior all-conference player Brady Callahan, who can also line up at running back.

“We have a good number of our skill kids back,” Shea said. “Brady [Callahan] is our do-everything guy.”

Other key skill position players include senior running back Brendan Quilter, senior receiver Marcos Gutierrez and promising sophomore receiver Christian Collin, along with a now-healthy junior running back Mason Sarra.

“We’ve still got the good mix of older kids and younger kids,” Shea said. “The older kids lead the way and the younger kids play up to that standard. It’s not easy, of course, it’s not going to be easy. We are a work in progress.”

Other key newcomers are sophomore receivers and defensive backs Dom Chambrello and Xavier Pastor.

“We’ve got to develop, and we need to get better up front, first and foremost,” Shea said. “We’ve got to out-block [and] out-tackle. If we can do those, we’ll be OK. If we can’t block and we can’t tackle, it’s going to be much the same.”

While there’s work to be done, the Blue Devils are looking for big things this season.

“A lot of these kids who are seniors got to play as sophomores. They grew up in the program, from what their sophomore year was, our 0-10 year, and then last year, 5-5, starting to turn the corner, and a lot of them are anxious to see what this year holds for them,” Shea said. “We’re optimistic and excited to see how it’s going to go.”

Plainville’s approach - focusing on one game at a time - will not change.

“We are still dealing with high school kids, so we’re not going to overlook anybody,” Shea said. “We’re going to take [on] Bloomfield first, then Bulkeley, then Rocky Hill, then Berlin. That’s how we’re going to approach it.”

Callahan said the team is focused on meeting its goal of reaching the postseason.

“We did put in a lot of hard work over the offseason. We’ve been making some improvements, and we’re just hoping to do better than last year and make strides toward getting in the playoffs, which is what the ultimate goal is,” he said. “We’ll be able to if we’re all working hard and stay in focus the whole entire season.”

Posted in New Britain Herald, Plainville on Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:02. Updated: Wednesday, 5 September 2018 21:05.