FCIAC

State awards pile up for FCIAC football players

Many football players from the FCIAC earned All-State honors as they were selected to the two prominent All-State football teams.

The Connecticut High School Coaches Association announced its All-State teams last month while the 85th New Haven Register All-State Football Team was more recently released earlier this month.

Nineteen football players from the FCIAC were selected to their respective CHSCA All-State teams.

Numerous players were also honored at the annual Walter Camp Football Foundation Breakfast of Champions on Saturday. Click here for that story.

The CHSCA selects All-State teams for the four classifications in which there are state playoffs – Class LL, Class L, Class M and Class S. After those four all-state class teams were chosen, the association then selected its preeminent all-state team in which its top 20 players in the state were moved up the Top 20 team.

The FCIAC, which had perennial powers Darien (Class LL) and New Canaan (Class L) emerge as champions in the state’s two largest class playoffs (based on school size of male enrollment), had three players on the Top 20 team.

Darien’s two selections were Andrew Steuber (offensive tackle/defensive end) and Finlay Collins (running back/linebacker) while the other Top 20 pick from the FCIAC was New Canaan’s Ryan O’Connell (wide receiver/defensive back).

The Top 20 players were not designated toward the offense or defense classifications, but positions were provided for reference.

The players selected to the Class LL, Class L, Class M and Class S teams were designated on either offense or defense.

The FCIAC had five of the 14 players selected to the Class LL All-State Offense and four of the 13 selections on the Class LL All-State Defense.

Staples tight end Ryan Fitton, Ridgefield wide receiver Chris Longo, Trumbull wide receiver Dan Hoffmann, Greenwich running back Kevin Iobbi and Ridgefield utility player Shane Palmer were the conference’s selections on offense.

The four FCIAC players on the Class LL defense were Norwalk defensive lineman James Makszin, Greenwich defensive lineman Ben Kraninger, Darien defensive lineman Quinn Fay and Greenwich linebacker Paul Williams.

There were 24 total players on the Class L all-state team. No FCIAC players were on the 11-player offense while a pair of New Canaan Rams – defensive lineman Jack Kircher and linebacker James Freyre – were the FCIAC selections on the 13-player defense.

St. Joseph had the three conference selections among the 27 total on the Class M all-state team. Wide receiver Jared Mallozzi was among the 14 picks on offense while linebacker Brian Harner and defensive back Nick Osborne were two of the 13 selections on defense.

Ryan Sweeney, an offensive lineman for Trinity Catholic, was the only FCIAC player among the 27 total on the Class S all-state team.

There were 125 players who earned all-state recognition in 2016 from the CHSCA including the Top 20 and the players on offense and defense in the LL, L, M and S classes.

The format for the 85th New Haven Register All-State Football Team includes all players from the state being chosen for either the All-State first team, second team, and third team along with Honorable Mention accolades on either offense or defense.

Steuber and Collins of Darien and New Canaan’s O’Connell, the three FCIAC players who made the CHSCA Top 20, also earned New Register All-State First Team honors.

Steuber was one of the three conference players among the 13 total players on the Register’s All-State First Team Offense.

Steuber, an athletic 6-foot-6, 285-pound senior two-way star, made the Register All-State First Team as offensive lineman who helped the potent Blue Wave average 437.1 yards per game and he also had 63 tackles for a dominant defense. Steuber, who has committed to play at Michigan, was previously chosen to All-FCIAC First Team, Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team, and USA Today All-USA Connecticut First Team.

Mallozzi, a 5-foot-9, 150-pound junior, was one of the two wide receivers chosen and Palmer, a 5-foot-9, 160-pounder senior, was selected as a utility player on the Register’s All-State First Team Offense.

Mallozzi racked up 1,886 all-purpose yards and 1,514 receiving yards as he averaged 15.1 yards per catch with his 100 receptions and he had 20 TD catches among his 21 total touchdowns. He made All-FCIAC First Team and USA Today All-USA Connecticut First Team.

Palmer may have been listed as wide receiver in game programs but he was the epitome of a “slash” player with 2,170 all-purpose yards and 22 total touchdowns. He averaged 7.9 yards per carry with his 969 yards rushing on 122 carries, had nine rushing touchdowns and a dozen TD receptions, and he averaged 17 yards per catch with his 43 receptions for 731 yards. He also had 470 return yards. Palmer made All-FCIAC First Team.

The FCIAC had five of the 13 total players named to the Register’s All-State First Team Defense in Fay and Collins of Darien, O’Connell and Kircher of New Canaan, and Norwalk’s Makszin.

Fay, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound senior defensive lineman, racked up 16 sacks among his 78 total tackles, including 22 for a loss, and he got his last four sacks in the Class LL championship game in which the Blue Wave won its 25thconsecutive game with a 28-7 victory over Ridgefield. Fay, who will attend Tufts University, previously made the All-FCIAC First Team, Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team and USA Today All-USA Connecticut Second Team.

Collins, a 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior linebacker, made the game-ending interception which sealed Darien’s thrilling 37-34 overtime victory over rival New Canaan on Thanksgiving Day. He had a season total 94 tackles, including 13 behind the line of scrimmage, and six sacks. Collins also excelled on offense as he had 15 total touchdowns and averaged 6.8 yards per carry with 973 yards on 143 rushes. Collins also made the All-FCIAC First Team, Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team and USA Today All-USA Connecticut Second Team. He will play lacrosse at the University of Pennyslvania.

O’Connell, a 6-foot, 190-pound senior, was another excellent two-way player who made All-State First Team as a defensive back. He had eight interceptions, a fumble recovery and 36 tackles. On offense he rushed for 577 yards on 108 carries and a dozen touchdowns, and he also had seven touchdown receptions and caught 31 passes for 559 yards. He previously was chosen All-FCIAC First Team, Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team and USA Today All-USA Connecticut First Team. O’Connell will play lacrosse for perennial national power North Carolina.

Kircher a 6-foot-5, 263-pound defensive lineman, had five sacks and 43 total tackles, including 10 for a loss, and he caused a pair of fumbles. He was previously selected to the All-FCIAC First Team, Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team, and USA Today All-USA Connecticut Team.

Makszin, a 6-foot-4, 260-pound defensive lineman, had 46 tackles, including 14 for losses, and five sacks. The versatile senior also played some linebacker and was selected to the Walter Camp All-Connecticut First Team as an offensive lineman. Makszin also made the All-FCIAC First Team and USA Today All-USA Connecticut Team as a defensive lineman. He has committed to play football at Temple.

There were 28 more FCIAC football players who earned New Haven Register All-State accolades.

Trumbull senior quarterback John McElroy, Ridgefield senior wide receiver Chris Longo, Staples senior tight end Ryan Fitton, New Canaan offensive lineman Will Conley and Trinity Catholic senior offensive lineman Ryan Sweeney were five of the 13 players on the All-State Second Team Offense.

Senior defensive lineman Ben Kraninger and senior linebacker Paul Williams of Greenwich, Darien senior defensive lineman Cord Fox and New Canaan senior linebacker James Freyre made All-State Second Team Defense.

The four FCIAC players who made All-State Third Team Offense included Greenwich senior running back Kevin Iobbi, Trumbull wide receiver Dan Hoffmann, Staples senior offensive lineman Nick Roehm, and Ridgefield placekicker Petros Papadopoulos.

Westhill senior defensive lineman Brendan Holtzclaw, St. Joseph senior linebacker Brian Harner and Ridgefield senior punter Collin Lowe made All-State Third Team Defense.

The 12 FCIAC players among the state’s 104 All-State Honorable Mention players were Cory Babineau of St. Joseph, Brian Peters of Darien and New Canaan’s Drew Pyne at quarterback; Trinity Catholic running back Jonmichael Bivona; Norwalk’s A.J. Hall and Darien’s Tim Herget at wide receiver; New Canaan defensive lineman Dylan Myles; Darien linebacker Nick Green; defensive backs Nick Osborne of St. Joseph, Ridgefield’s Aiden Spearman and New Canaan’s Tom Root; and Darien special teams player Riley Stewart.