The Blue Devils will not be pushed around
- COACH — RICH BOSHEA (8th season, 41-23)
- RESIDENCE – Ken Strong Stadium, West Haven
- PPROVISION CATEGORY — LL
- CONFERENCE – CCS Level II
- RECORD 2021 — 8-2
- RETURN OF STARTERS (off/def) — 4/4
- BECOME ROBINSONSr HB/S (5-10, 180)
- PRESTON DENNOSr LB (5-9, 175)
- NICK CONLON, Sophia. QB (5-9, 160)
- CONNOR SAINTSr LB (5-9, 175)
- JAH’ZIRE MASSEYSr FB (5-10, 195)
[REASON TO CHEER]
The offensive line had a strong showing at Berlin linemen’s camp in the offseason, finishing second. So they won’t be pushed around.
[REASON TO FEAR]
The lines are brand new. The Westies will especially miss all-staters Joe Hawkins and Kyshawn Togba.
West Haven were a toe stub against Hamden after supplanting the Green Dragons in the Class LL playoffs. Still, the 8-2 finish, coming on the heels of the canceled pandemic year and a few lackluster, non-West Haven seasons reinvigorated the program, especially coach Rich Boshea.
By all accounts, that enthusiasm has continued this season. He wears Boshea as he battles another battle with throat cancer, diagnosed earlier this year. Boshea remains at the helm of the program, although assistant Tom Unger (a former head coach himself) has taken over duties that Boshea is unable to perform.
“He’s our undisputed leader no matter what,” Unger said. “My job is to make it easier for him. He’s been a coach here since 1985. He does everything for the kids. We have such a good group of kids and they’ve really given him a bit more strength to get through this ordeal.”
On the field, the Westies will rely heavily on a group of returning veterans, led by halfback and safety Deven Robinson, West Haven’s star fullback who ran for nearly 1,000 yards off the wing- T, fullback Jah’Zire Massey and sophomore quarterback Nick Conlan. Nick, the youngest of the town’s well-known Conlan brothers (the eldest two, Jake and Zack, now play on the road at the University of New Haven), took on the role in his third game as a rookie and led the Westies to a 7-1 Final.
The defense, meanwhile, will revolve around the play of seniors Preston Denno, who played there after leaving QB, and Connor Holy at linebacker. Robinson will run through center field safely.
Although the line is being revamped, Unger likes the band’s dedication. “They worked really hard to fill those shoes,” he said.
Their development will be essential as West Haven battle for the Class LL playoff spot that eluded them a year ago. West Haven is playing a second season in SCC Tier II, likely for the last time. The schedule is no pushover, though, with a huge crossover game against city rival Notre Dame-West Haven in the Soderman Bowl at Veterans Field and then another with rival Shelton.
[THE BIG GAMES]
- at Notre Dame-West Haven, September 9, 7 p.m.
- SHELTON, October 21, 7 p.m.
- HAMDEN, November 11, 7 p.m.