MSG Varsity Announces “All-Connecticut” High School Football Team…

MSG Varsity Announces “All-Connecticut” High School Football Team…
1 comment, 12/17/2013, by , in LOCAL, SPORTS

As the headline stats, sports network MSG Varsity released its “All-Connecticut” team for the 2013 season. You’re probably wondering why I’m putting quotations around “All-Connecticut”. The network chose only players from teams in the FCIAC (Fairfield County), with a few from the SWC and SCC.

So what’s the problem?

The problem is MSG Varsity neglected to recognize anyone outside of Fairfield County that had a standout season. Most notably, Ansonia’s Arkeel Newsome, who broke just about every state rushing and scoring record there is.

I understand, MSG Varsity isn’t available everywhere, only in areas where Cablevision and Optimum are available, which again, is pretty much Fairfield County. My only thing is if you’re going to name an “All-Connecticut” team, include all of Connecticut.

Here are the Player and Coach of the Year, with a quick analysis, and who I think would a better pick, if it was a true “All-Connecticut” team;

MSG Varsity “All-Connecticut Team – 2013

Player of the Year – Cole Harris, New Canaan – Harris had 170 tackles, seven sacks, six forced fumbles, four interceptions, three fumble recoveries, a blocked punt, and five total touchdowns this season, which saw New Canaan win the FCIAC and Class L state championships. Impressive indeed, especially in a year where offense dominated, but people care about scoring, which leads to my pick…

My Pick – Arkeel Newsome, Ansonia – Anyone covering all of Connecticut wouldn’t hesitate to nominate Newsome. As I said before, he broke just about every rushing and scoring record the state has, while leading Ansonia to another NVL title and their 3rd straight Class S state title.

Coach of the Year – Tom Shea, Fairfield Prep – Prep has made it back to the state championship for the first time since 1988, all thanks to Shea. Prep won 7 games in a row to make it to the title game, defeating rivals Xavier and West Haven (twice). Shea did have star players to count on, but just about any coach that made it to the playoffs did.

My Pick – Ed McCarthy, West Haven – Call me bias, because I live in West Haven and graduated from West Haven High School, but Coach Mac broke the all-time wins record this year. At least Tom Shea can say he beat the winningest coach in history twice in one season. Arguments can also be made for Ansonia’s Tom Brockett, who lead his team to a 3rd straight state title, or even Newtown’s Steve George, who faced unbelievable odds, given what the town has been through over the past year.

Rest of the Team:


QB — Jordan Vazzano, St. Joseph
QB/RB — Nick Cascione, New Canaan
RB — Mufasha Abdul-Basir, St. Joseph
RB — Will Bonaparte, Ridgefield
WR — Nick Lombardo, Darien
WR — Shane Miller, St. Joseph
OL — Joao Rocha, New Canaan
OL — Jordan Ewud, Joel Barlow
OL — Nick Ward, Staples
OL — Pete Mestre, St. Joseph
OL — Steve Hashemi, St. Joseph
ATH — Colton Smith, Fairfield Prep


DL — Connor Buck, New Canaan
DL — Mark Evanchick, Darien
DL — Mike Schuchmann, St. Joseph
DL — Jack Wynne, Greenwich
LB — Cole Harris, New Canaan
LB — Nick Crowle, Fairfield Prep
LB — Zach Allen, New Canaan
LB — Michael Root, New Canaan
DB — Jack Shaban, Joel Barlow
DB — Lars Pederson, St. Joseph
DB — Griffin Ross, Jr., Darien
ATH — Austin Longi, Jr., Greenwich
K/P — Peter Swindell, So., New Canaan

Again, I understand that MSG Varsity only caters to Fairfield County and other parts of Connecticut close to New York, but calling this an “All-Connecticut” team is borderline blasphemy. It’s more like “All-Fairfield County”. I’m not saying these kids didn’t have a great year, because they did. It just isn’t “All-Connecticut” worthy. Half of this team is made up of players from St. Joseph and New Canaan.

Just the fact that Arkeel Newsome is left of this list bothers me. The kid ran for 259 yards the in Class S title game! Ansonia gave him the key of the city! The list goes on and on, and he got left off the list because MSG Varsity doesn’t reach Ansonia.

Bottom-line, this isn’t the go-to “All-Connecticut” team. We’ll have to wait and see what the Connecticut sportswriters say…



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This list that MSG Varsity compiled is severely short of information on CT football players.  If MSG Varsity only caters to Fairfield County, then they should call it the All Fairfield County list.  As you said, Arkeel Newsome should definitely be up there.  I mean, the kid broke 10,000 yards rushing in his career.  How does that NOT deserve a place on the all state list.  Some of the kids on this list are definitely talented, but there are others.  Joey Salemme of Seymour, Tanner Kingsley of Woodland Regional, Jake Ward of Morgan, Chris Young of Rocky Hill, and the list goes on.  If MSG Varsity wants to provide a true picture of the state, then they need to start watching players in other counties.  The talent is widespread and many players deserve recognition.