Football: Shelton Gaels make most of summer break

It may be too early to begin counting down the final days until the start of high school football season, but members of area teams, including Shelton High, have been hard at work in summer weight and endurance training, as well as 7 on 7 sessions at St. Joseph High in Trumbull.

Two nights each week, the Gaels worked on offensive patterns and defensive plays as players get on the same page while taking on opposing team defenses and offenses. After each series, the teams alternated offensive and defensive roles during half hour blocks of time, then moved on to face another team.

In addition to the host St. Joseph Cadets, teams included Trumbull along with South-West Conference schools and Southern Connecticut Conference foes including Fairfield Prep.

“In the morning we go to conditioning. It’s pretty much a full day thing,” Shelton quarterback Jake Roberts said of the offseason training. “It keeps us in shape. It helps with training, it helps with getting the quarterback and receiver on the same page so when it’s time for the season we’re ready to go.”

Players don’t wear pads or helmets during the 7 on 7 play, but are working their way toward being fully in football game mode.

“It helps a lot. It’s super-important for our season. We’ve got to get ready,” said linebacker and running back Tyler Janik. “It’s a lot of fun just competing with your whole team.”

Everything these players do is designed to pay off in the form of winning success week by week during the regular slate.

“That’s why we’re here. We’re just trying to get better for the season,” Janik said.

The Gaels begin the season on Friday, Sept. 7, when Cheshire visits at 7.

A non-conference game will take place on Friday, Oct. 12, when the Gaels visit Masuk of Monroe at 7.

The annual Thanksgiving morning matchup with Derby is a road tilt for the Gaels, beginning at 10.