New Britain City Journal

New Britain's Weekly Online Newspaper

The Sports Journal

‘Canes Football to Play One Game at a Time

The New Britain High School football team will kick off its season on Friday against Northwest Catholic at Veterans Stadium at 7 p.m. Head Coach Tebucky Jones, who has compiled a career 13-17 record, said that they have made many changes in the offseason and have worked to simplify many things, including how they approach each game.

“We want to go out and play one game at a time,” said Jones, who is entering his fourth year as the head coach of the team. “We want to control the clock with our running game and of course, keep our opponents out of the end zone.”

New Britain has always been known for its hard hitting defense and last year wasn’t much of an exception. In fact, with numerous players returning from last year’s defense, it might prove to be one of the best defenses New Britain has seen in quite some time. According to Jones and defensive coordinator Jeff Marino, their focus will be to stop the run and will also work to find different way to continuously put pressure on the quarterback throughout the entire game.

However, on the offensive side of the ball, they struggled at times throughout the season, which led Jones to bringing in a new offensive coordinator, Elvin Silva. Silva has coached for over ten years at the youth level in various organizations and most recently, the Junior Hurricanes program. Now at the high school, he plans to take a more aggressive approach now that he has older and more experienced players he can work with. His message to his players? Think less and play faster. Jones said that they will work to establish the running game early on when they have the ball, which will then open up the passing game as the game progresses.

This will be the first season that the team plays on the new turf field that has been in use since July. It is one of the premier fields in the entire state of Connecticut and will add countless benefits to the city. The field has received many positive reviews from city officials and others who have seen the field.

However, for those who coach and play on the team, it can have a few negative effects on the way the game is played. For example, New Britain High School Varsity Soccer coach Matt Denecour said that he and his team liked it better when it was grass. That’s because the ball rolls faster on turf due to less traction and it makes it harder to set up various plays and to keep things moving in the right direction. Jones agrees with Denecour but also noted that it was an upgrade.

“I always thought it was the best when it was grass, but our kids are looking forward to getting the season started on the new field,” said Jones. “The good news is that with the new field turf, the field won’t get messed up, especially if there’s soccer games before us. In addition, other towns such as Manchester and Southington still have grass so this is an upgrade. We can have more events without the field getting torn up.”

According to Jones, the team will be returning several standout players for the 2014 season. They include Marcus Torres, Elvin Silva, Alex Swaby, Charles Gaskin, Joshua Graves and Karell Largent. It is his hope that these are the players who step up as leaders and help the younger players learn the Hurricane way and become a dominant force on the football field.

The Golden Hurricanes last won a state championship in 2004 under the direction of legendary, yet controversial, high school coach Jack Cochran. While this year’s team is focused on one game at a time, success each week can lead to more success down the road as the season goes on and you never know what may happen.