Football Knights face youth movement
The Stamford High football season was a mixed bag last year.
In their six losses, the Black Knights struggled in every facet of the game and did not offer much resistance to opponents.
On the other hand, the team won four games including its two most important, defeating both Trinity Catholic and Westhill to claim the city championship.
It was a sign of resilience that despite getting blown out by some of the league’s top teams, Stamford kept grinding to accomplish one of its major goals.
This season may be more of that mixed bag as a young team tries to find itself on the field.
Like last year, the team will have a shot at the city crown if it can figure it all out against its rivals.
With just two starters back on offense and five on defense, the Stamford is going young at many positions and throwing the players into a trial by fire in the daunting FCIAC.
“We are a work in progress. We are a young bunch,” Stamford coach Jamar Greene said. “We have talent and we have athleticism, but we have a lot of guys who are going to be playing their positions in varsity football for the first time. We have a lot of juniors and sophomores and some seniors coming back but not a lot of returning experience.”
Isaiah Johnson and Terry Forrester are in tight competition for the quarterback job, with the whoever does not get the starting nod likely moving to another skill position.
“The offense is looking pretty good. We have some new receivers and some new linemen. I feel like we will be good both running the ball and passing it,” Forrester said. “We need to get our discipline down. We need to be disciplined in games and we need to come to practice and work hard and run everyone else off the field.”
Lenny Garcia is an elusive running back and a change in style from the bruising backs like Cam Freckleton and Tyrell Diaz Stamford has run out the past few seasons.
One player with nearly more experience than the rest of the roster combined is three-year starter David Marciczkiewicz who plays on the offensive line and linebacker on defense.
“We are low on seniors and have a lot of young guys who we need to step up in their roles,” Marciczkiewicz said. “We have a lot of athleticism but also some inexperience. That’s OK because we are going to get the young guys right before Warde. Like last year, we have to keep that mindset to keep working and keep grinding.”
Greene said the defense, much like the offense, will be learning on the job and how the new players respond will determine the direction the season takes.
The defense has five seniors but not all have varsity experience.
“We have a lot of guys starting on defense for the first time,” Greene said. “We have five seniors starting on defense but three of them are starting for the first time. We have a bunch of sophomores who we are going to throw into the fire now, because we have to. Hopefully long term, junior and senior year, they are helping us win games.
The schedule is not easy. After opening with Warde, who beat Stamford 28-27 in the opener last year, the Black Knights hit the road for three-straight games at Ridgefield, Trinity Catholic and Darien with a matchup against St. Joseph coming in late October.