Shelton football goes live on Saturday

SHELTON - Shelton will be playing a fall football season, albeit a SCC Football-7x7/Lineman Challenge that finds the Gaels hosting Foran on Saturday.

“They like the idea that we are having something, and moreso that the CIAC put in some firm dates in for the spring. It seems like they are committing more to it now, which is nice because it gives the kids something to shoot for,” Shelton football coach Mike DeFelice said.

SCC commissioner Al Carbone confirmed that the league principals approved a proposal of a five-week season, ending the first weekend of November. There will be 12 teams participating, according to Carbone: Daniel Hand, Shelton, Notre Dame-West Haven, Amity, Branford, Foran, Law, Hamden, Xavier, Lyman Hall, Sheehan and Guilford. New Haven has not announced whether Hillhouse and Wilbur Cross will be permitted to participate.

The 7-on-7 game is designed as a passing game, with no interior linemen, no blocking and usually one-hand touch to put down the ball carrier.

“The kids were excited to hear that and to have a competition (7 on 7) to get ready for the spring season,” DeFelice said. “We’ve done some in the past over summers. The nice thing about this is that we can coach them, instead of the kids getting together and going off on their own.”

Shelton will get as many players as possible in on the action.

“In total we’ll have about 30 sophomore-through-senior,” DeFelice said. “We’ll mix it up and get everyone reps. It won’t be about winning 7 on 7, it will be about whether the kids execute and perform the way we want them to perform.

“As long as both teams have enough kids, we are going to have a varsity and JV at the same time on either end of the field. As for freshmen, last I heard there was nothing concrete on that.”

Playing in a passing league offers its own challenges.

DeFelice said: “Defensively, we want to see what kids can cover against all these spread offenses and how well they play their zones, how well they react to the football.

“Offensively, finding a weak corner to pick on 7 on 7 doesn’t get us better by exploiting it in a passing league,” he said. “There will be times our best receiver will be taken away by a defense. We have 3 other guys we can throw the ball to, and they have to know what they are doing.”

Tim Santos, Andrew Mysirlidis and Carson McKinnon are team captains for a team looking to find a quarterback to replace the tandem of James Curley and Mike Callinan.

“Not having springs, there wasn’t an opportunity for Xavier Sandor (senior) or Shane Santiago (junior) to fight for the job,” DeFelice said. “Once practice begins before springs, we’ll have a better look. Right now, it falls to the senior.”

A spring season has been okayed by the CIAC if COVID-19 metrics cooperate. Teams can practice in full pads starting Feb 27. Scrimmages can be held from March 6 to March 12 or 13 and game play will run from March 19 to April 17. Twitter: @blox354