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Shoreline football schools talk with SCC and may reach out to ECC

By Ned Griffen

Publication: The Day

Published March 12. 2013 4:00AM

The future of the Valley Regional/Old Lyme cooperative football team could feature road trips to Milford and Montville instead of Falls Village and Winsted.

The eight Shoreline Conference teams that play in the Pequot Football Conference talked Monday with Southern Connecticut Conference commissioner Al Carbone about joining that league for football only.

A source told The Day that some Shoreline schools have encouraged inviting Eastern Connecticut Conference representatives to its next AD meeting.

All eight Shoreline football programs - Coginchaug, Cromwell, Hyde of New Haven, Haddam-Killingworth, Morgan, North Branford, Old Saybrook/Westbrook and Valley/Old Lyme - are Class S, which would make the ECC a better fit than the SCC.

Jimmy Zanor of the Shore Line Times had tweeted over a week ago that some Shoreline schools were interested in joining the SCC. The New Haven Register was the first to report Monday that the talks involved all eight schools.

"Right now, it's all discussions," Morgan athletic director Kevin Rayel said. "What's driving (talks) is that we don't know what direction the Pequot League is going to go. You don't know which schools are leaving or not leaving, so we're just talking with some people."

No changes are imminent as the Shoreline and SCC schools are locked into their schedules for the next two seasons.

"Ever since Derby left (for the Naugatuck Valley League), I've been trying to go after schools to join the league," Carbone said. "So it's kind of refreshing that these eight schools are interested together, but it's up to us to put together some sort of my proposal. They seem interested in putting something together."

The Pequot recently released its schedule featuring three, seven-team divisions. It had previously used two, 11 team divisions, but was forced to adjust after the East Hampton/Vinal Tech co-op announced it was moving to the Constitution State Conference.

Multiple sources also said Avon has applied to join the Central Connecticut Conference in all sports.

Enfield, another Pequot team, will consolidate with neighboring Fermi to give that town one high school starting as early the 2014-15 academic year. Fermi plays in the Central Connecticut Conference.

"We're very happy with the Shoreline in all sports," Rayel said. "Some of the travel we do with the Pequot, the (SCC) is geographically closer."

Carbone said he would talk to SCC football coaches and athletic directors about the potential addition of the Shoreline eight and see what ideas they had.

The SCC would have 27 football programs if it and the Shoreline came to an agreement. It would likely prompt the league to add a third division and place nine teams in each.

"They (the Shoreline ADs) expressed that they'd like to all be together (in one division)," Carbone said. "(Three divisions) would allow you to schedule eight games (within a division)."

Thirteen of the SCC's 21 football programs are in Class LL or L.

Hillhouse of New Haven (451 boys), East Haven (459), Foran of Milford (474), Law of Milford, Lyman Hall of Wallingford (499) and Sheehan of Wallingford (450) are all Class M programs.

n.griffen@theday.com

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