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Hand of Madison played and beat some of the best football teams in Connecticut this season, including two state champions.
The Tigers were rewarded for their efforts by being chosen No. 1 by the voters in The Day’s final Top 10 state coaches poll.
Hand (13-0), the two-time defending Class L champion, beat Class LL champion Xavier of Middletown, Class M champion Hillhouse of New Haven, West Haven and North Haven during the regular season. It beat South-West Conference runnerup Masuk in the state semifinals and unbeaten Windsor in Saturday’s final.
The Tigers received 11 of 13 first-place votes.
Class S champion Ansonia (14-0) finished second and received the other two first-place votes.
Xavier (12-1), Hillhouse (11-2) and Windsor (11-1) round out the top five.
Class LL runner-up Norwich Free Academy (12-1) finished sixth. Montville (9-3), which won at top-seeded Wolcott in the Class M quarterfinals, was the only other local team to receive a vote.
See Tuesday's edition of The Day and visit www.theday.com for the complete poll and reaction from Hand coach Steve Filippone.