Your 2014 football team forming a new legacy

Seth Wittstein ‘15
EE Contributor

The 2013 Trumbull football team was no joke. Finishing with a hard earned 8-3 record, they were a force to be reckoned with in the competitive FCIAC. Overcoming teams such as the Fairfield Warde Mustangs, Stamford Black Knights, Norwalk Bears, Westhill Vikings, Greenwich Cardinals, Wilton Warriors, Danbury Madhatters, and the Bridgeport Central Hilltoppers, the 2013 football team left their mark.

Come 2014, the football team was gutted. What survived graduation on offense were linemen Greg Goldman, Jon Newland, and Cory Haslem. As for defense, the one man left was linebacker Jack Kelly. Clearly, big shoes, or cleats, were left to be filled. But the team was up for the challenge.

Perhaps the biggest of shoes left to be filled are those of Quarterback Nick Roberts, and Wide receiver/Cornerback T.J Hayduk. Nick Roberts had been starting as Varsity Quarterback since his sophomore year, setting both high school and division records as a senior. T.J Hayduk had started both his junior and senior year, leading the Eagles in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns as a senior. Hayduk would move onto big things after an unforgettable season as he now is a part of the Division 1 AA U.R.I Rams football team. Both Roberts and Hayduk were a part of the Connecticut Elite 100 football team following the end to their final season as Eagles.

Carrying on the tradition of what it means to play Trumbull Football, there are six individuals who stepped up for the 2014 season to show they were the ones who could lead a near brand new Eagles football team. These players were senior captains Jack Kelly (Wide Receiver/Linebacker), Niko Principi (Wide Receiver), Adam Angelucci (Runningback), Greg Goldman (Offensive/Defensive Tackle), Connor Shea (Offensive Guard/Defensive End), and Jon Newland (Offensive Guard).

There is one thing all the captains agreed on unanimously as to the biggest change to this year’s team. That was the new face, or faces to the Quarterback position being junior Stephen Nagy and sophomore John McElroy. They explained how the two of them have different Quarterback styles.

“I play beside them almost every play. Stephen loves to scramble out of the pocket and can run harder than most running backs. John, on the other hand, is not to be looked past as a runner, but has a cannon as a right arm and is very comfortable throwing in the pocket.” Adam Angelucci explained.
Yet another thing the captains agreed on was what game they were most looking forward to playing their final season. That game they said, with much passion, was the much anticipated rematch against the Staples Wreckers. The Eagles suffered a 49-42 loss in overtime to the Wreckers last year at home, and you could see the fire light up in Jon Newland’s eyes when it was brought up.

“Losing to Staples last season in overtime was no doubt heart breaking. But that’s a game I swear I will never forget and I’m grateful I was able to play in it.” Newland said, “But there’s nothing I want more than to go into their stadium this year with my brothers, and ride out with a big win.”
While off to a shaky 0-2 start, the Eagles captains never once sounded as if they had lost confidence or had an ounce of quit in them. They are proud of the team despite what the scoreboard has said these last two games. They never lost their heart. They explained how they do not have the same raw talent as last year, but can make up for it with heart, desire, and ability to play old fashioned, smash-mouth football. The word heart is used a lot, and that is something that can make the difference between a good team and a great team.

“All I ask of the team is that you do right by your brother standing next to you every time you strap up that gold helmet. As long as you give your 100% effort in every practice and every game, there’s nothing else I, or anyone else could ever ask of you.” Niko Principi said.

While all of this year’s captains will be crucial in the success of the team, there is one in particular who has the most on the line. This player is Jack Kelly, as he aspires to be an NCAA collegiate athlete after playing football the most part of his life.

“This sport means the world to me, and I want nothing more than to go out with a bang alongside my brothers.” Kelly said. Kelly has been starting as a linebacker since his sophomore year, and wants to finish his senior year with his best record yet. As a sophomore the Eagles went 5-5, as a junior 8-3, and it is still possible for this year’s Eagles to finish with a 9-2 record. While this is the overall goal, Jack wants to take it week by week. He explains how you can’t win nine games in one week, and with each new week arises new challenges and new teams to focus on.

In response to the Eagles 0-2 start this year, Jack Kelly said, “What’s in the past is in the past, that’s that. But there’s something the coach of my favorite team (Tom Coughlin of the New York Giants) always says to his players when things don’t go their way. F.I.D.O. That stands for forget it, drive on. And that is exactly what we as team and brotherhood plan on doing.”

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