Hand tops H.S. football preseason Top 10 media poll

Two-time defending CIAC Class L champion Hand begins the 2019 high school football season as the top-ranked team in the GameTimeCT/New Haven Register Top 10 media preseason poll.

Hand received 22 of 25 first-place votes. The Tigers return the bulk of an offense that scored 653 points in 13 games and averaged 50.2 points per-game last season, both of which rank 11th all-time according to the Connecticut High School Football Record Book.

Hand should be challenged more in both the regular season and playoffs this fall. For starters, the Tigers were moved up into the top tier of the Southern Connecticut Conference, one of the state's toughest divisions.

Second-ranked St. Joseph, last year's Class M champion, received the other three first-place votes and was moved up to Class L this year.

Third-ranked New Canaan, last season's Class LL runner-up, was moved down to Class L. It hosts St. Joseph in Week 4 (Oct. 4).

Defending LL champion Greenwich is fourth, followed by Darien, Shelton, defending S champion Bloomfield, Newtown, Southington and Windsor.

Norwich Free Academy was the only local team receiving votes. Killingly was the other Eastern Connecticut Conference team that received votes.

The Day's Top 10 coaches' poll will debut next week following the upcoming Week 1 schedule.

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