Hand tops The Day's first state coaches' poll of 2019

There are two obvious takeaways from The Day's first Top 10 high school footballs tate coaches’ poll of the season — all the voters have great respect for Hand and the top-tier of the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference.

And for good reason.

Two-time Class L champion Hand (1-0) starts the year at No. 1 as it received 12 of 13 first-place votes. The Tigers finished 11th all-time in total points scored (653) and points per game (50.2) last year and returned many of those players.

The next four teams are from the FCIAC — in order, defending LL champion Greenwich (1-0), St. Joseph (1-0, the 2017 Class S and 2018 Class M champion), LL runner-up New Canaan (1-0) and Darien (1-0), the latter which won Class LL from 2015-17.

Greenwich received the other first-place vote and is ranked second despite all of its turnover. It graduated much of last season’s powerhouse that finished first in The Day's final poll. It also has a new head coach, assistant and former player Anthony Morello, as John Marinelli left to become an assistant at Arizona.

Southington (1-0), Shelton (1-0), Newtown (1-0), defending Class S champion Bloomfield (1-0) and Fairfield Prep (1-0) round out the Top 10.

Norwich Free Academy (1-0) was the only area team to receive votes.

Week 2 is juiced up by interleague matchups as part of the Connecticut High School Football Alliance. There will be 26 crossover games involving teams from the Central Connecticut Conference, Eastern Connecticut Conference, FCIAC, Southern Connecticut Conference and South-West Conference.

Two of those Alliance games are Top 10 matchups on Friday night. Newtown plays at Fairfield Prep (6), and Southington travels to Darien.

n.griffen@thedayday

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