Reed: Decision Was Mine

New London — David Reed said after Saturday's game that he wasn't recruited to play at New London High School.

Reed, a senior, is at the center of allegations brought forth by New Britain High School Principal Thomas Reale against Jack Cochran, who was the head coach at New Britain for four seasons before taking over at New London this year. Reale has accused Cochran of trying to recruit three New Britain players after he was hired at New London and filed a complaint last week with the CIAC.

Mike Savage, the CIAC's executive director, told The Day last week that a retired high school principal with extensive CIAC experience will look into the allegations.

CIAC officials will begin their investigation today at New London High School.

“Nobody forced me to come here,” Reed said. “Nobody told me to come down here. It was my own decision. I thought it was the best decision for me and my brother's future. ... I didn't like New Britain at all. Not at all. I was trying to get out of there as soon as possible. ... I like (New London) a lot. I like the way people treat me. And I came here on my own will.”

Nurse provides remedy

Dan Nurse was a steady runner for New London last season and could be counted on to give a solid effort every week.

Nurse is proving to be even better as a senior. He's in the best shape of his career and has been a featured back for the Whalers.

“Last year, I was always taught that if I'm running, I should just try to go through the guy,” Nurse said. “We have a new coach this year, coach (Darrell) Hill, and he's taught me that I have speed and power. So instead of just trying to run through everybody, because I won't be able to, run away.

“What he exactly told me is, ‘Run not to be touched.' So that's what I do. I run, get away from people, and if it comes down to it and I need to lower my shoulder and hit somebody, then that's what I'll do.”

Nurse had 22 carries for 179 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's 47-21 win over Waterford. He also threw a 16-yard touchdown to Reed on a halfback option.

“The big thing about Dan Nurse is that this is the first time in his life that he's been in shape,” New London coach Jack Cochran said. “He went through an offseason conditioning program, which he has never done before, and it showed today.”

Said Nurse: “I don't think I'd have been as much better as I am this year without coach Cochran or coach Hill.”

Anger management

Jim Buonocore is pleased to be coaching “good kids” at Fitch.

He would like them, however, to play with more of a mean streak.

“That's one thing I'm trying to do with this football team, get them upset,” Buonocore said after Friday's 41-10 win over Norwich Free Academy. “We really just have a great group of kids. They're nice kids. They have to get a little more angry and little more (ticked) off.

“That was my message on the board today when they walked into the fieldhouse: “Get (ticked) off”. We need to get some anger up inside of us. Be great kids and nice kids off the field. That's what I want. But when you step on this field, we need to play with fire and passion.”

News and notes

Ledyard ran one of its favorite gadget plays to perfection Friday night at East Lyme: the wingback option pass. Brandyn Michalak threw a strike to Derek Berry for what proved to be the game-winning score. Asked whether he ever worries the play won't work, Ledyard coach Bill Mignault said, “not if we execute it right.” ... Bacon Academy coach Mark Congdon, on the addition of lefthanded quarterback Brendan Counihan to the lineup: “We have to be more balanced. You can't play every week with nine guys in the box and expect to run the ball.” Counihan, who missed the first two games of the season with mononucleosis, was rusty, going 2-for-8 with an interception. But he had a perfect pass to Ronald Haag for a touchdown and nearly tossed a 27-yard touchdown while scrambling on a fourth-down play. The pass went off the fingertips of Dan Zaccaro – who had both his defenders beat — in the end zone. “Coming in, I thought this was a winnable game,” Congdon said. “Unfortunately, (Montville senior) Anthony Giansanti can make plays. ... The kid is an unbelievable athlete.”

Bacon opened the season with easy wins against RHAM of Hebron and Wright Tech of Stamford before playing Montville. “You try to tell them every week in the ECC is going to be like this,” Congdon said of the closely contested, physical game with the Indians. ... In their loss to Waterford, the Montville fullbacks ran four times for 1 yard. “We asked these guys this week, we were going to establish a fullback game,” Montville coach Walt Sherwin said. “And I think we did that.” Fullback Jake McFee had nine carries for 83 yards, including bursting through the line for a 47-yard touchdown run. Running backs Glen Robitaille and Taylor Lewis combined on 16 carries for29yards. “This year, we started with one go-to guy — that's Anthony Giansanti,” Sherwin said. “I know Robitaille and Lewis are getting better learning cuts.”

Montville senior running back/linebacker Tom Cedio, on Giansanti going down after a late hit in the final seconds of the first half: “I knew we could do it, but he's a big part of this team. I can probably say for everybody, we were scared when he went down. ... Thanks to Plainfield's move from the Lower Medium to the Small Division, fans of the teams got an early taste of the old Thanksgiving Day rivalry. “This isn't a knock on anyone, but this isn't the Putnam team of a year or two ago, but it's still Plainfield-Putnam,” Plainfield coach Patrick Smith said. “We know they're going to come out and play and we're going to come to play. It's not Thanksgiving, but this rivalry is as big as it used to be. It's a pride thing.”

Zach Wheeler's career already is off to a memorable start. Wheeler, a first-year fullback for Stonington, carried the ball 28 times for 134 yards and a touchdown in Friday's 34-7 loss to Windham. The rest of his team accounted for about 50 yards. Wheeler gained the bulk of his yards pounding it into the heart of the defense.

“He's a hard runner,” coach A.J. Massengale said. “He's such a level-headed kid. He's intelligent. He's a hard-working kid.”

Stonington's offensive line also deserves credit for opening holes for the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Wheeler who was rarely brought down by just one tackler.

“That's a nice big offensive line,” Windham coach Brian Crudden said. “He has a real nice group to work with.”
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