Wethersfield senior Justin Nardella leads the Eagles football team onto the field prior to a home game against Bristol Central on Nov. 5. Photo courtesy of Grafx.Eagle
For the second time in three seasons under head coach Matt McKinnon, the football team at Wethersfield High School won eight games and made the playoffs.
Along with winning a conference crown, the Eagles also had several memorable wins that highlighted the season, including one-point victories at rivals Windsor and Middletown.
“This was one of the best teams to ever come through Wethersfield High School,” stated McKinnon. “We always played hard, giving it our all every single game,” stated McKinnon. “The coaches were so proud of this team and all they accomplished.” “
Sophomore quarterback Cam Righi engineered an offense that ran for 235 yards per game and scored 27 touchdowns on the ground.
Righi, a University of Connecticut baseball-commit, was named to the Connecticut High School Coaches Associations Top-26 team after rushing for nearly 1,200 yards on the ground and scoring 14 rushing touchdowns. He also threw for nine more touchdowns through the air.
All-State defender Kaleb Garcia led a defense that allowed less than 13 points per game in the regular season.
Garcia finished with an incredible 27 tackles for loss, including a team-high 14 sacks.
Evan Christian was also named all-state for his work as a tight end/quasi sixth offensive lineman. Christian also made a big impact defensively.
Garcia and Christian are part of a large senior class that also included all-conference players Luke Whitaker, Justin Nardella, Felipe Lozano, Joey Yost, and Ethan Lemos.
McKinnon said that – despite being robbed of their sophomore season because of the Covid-cancellation – the departing seniors set a standard of excellence by winning a pair of conference titles and making the playoffs twice.
“They were the hardest workers in the weight room. [They] led by example for the entire program to follow, and set the tone for the underclassmen to take over,” added McKinnon. “They were an honor to have in our program and will be missed.”
Righi will again head a team next year that will feature returning all-conference running back Jova’n Hill, who had over 1,000 all-purpose yards and found the end zone nine times.
McKinnon believes the cupboards are again full for next season, saying several of the young players made huge impacts in 2022 and that the coaching staff has already starting planning for the 2023 season.
“We have tremendous momentum going into the off-season. Our players are ready to get after it in the weight room,” added McKinnon. “We are going to be very fast on offense and very aggressive on defense.”
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Sports Editor for the Rare Reminder, Glastonbury Citizen, and Rivereast News Bulletin