NEW HAVEN – Greenwich senior defensive lineman Mozi Bici was the state’s Player of the Year as he led a contingent of 12 players from the FCIAC selected to the 87th New Haven Register All-State Football First Team which was recently released.
And for good measure, Greenwich head coach John Marinelli was named Coach of the Year. Marinelli’s Cardinals won the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Championship Class LL Football Playoffs on Dec. 8 with a 34-0 victory over New Canaan, coached by John Marinelli’s father, Lou. Greenwich finished 13-0 and was ranked first in the two final state polls – one voted on by the coaches and the Register poll voted on by the media.
A total of 26 players were chosen to the Register’s all-state first team – a dozen each on offense and defense, and two on special teams.
Greenwich had four players while fellow conference members New Canaan and Class M champion St. Joseph each had three players chosen to the first team. St. Joseph routed Berlin, 70-18, in the Class M final on Dec. 8 to finish 12-1.
Senior quarterback Gavin Muir, senior linebacker Jack Feda and senior defensive back Ryan Raybuck were the other Greenwich players selected to the first team.
Bici, who will play at Brown next year, set school records of 17 sacks in one season and 57 career sacks this year for a Greenwich defense which shut out six foes.
The New Haven Register began selecting all-state teams in 1932 and it is now one of the longest continuous all-state high school football teams in the country.
The Register began naming a Player of the Year in 1969. That makes Bici the 50th Player of the Year and he is the ninth player from the FCIAC awarded that distinction since former New Canaan High School star and Notre Dame All-America wide receiver Pete Demmerle was the first FCIAC player so honored in 1970.
Former New Canaan quarterback Kurt Horton was the Player of the Year the following year.
The other six conference players who have been named Player of the Year prior to Bici include New Canaan’s Scott Overback in 1990, Trumbull’s Daryl Parler in 1991, New Canaan’s Chris Silvestri in 1993, Greenwich’s John Sullivan in 2002, New Canaan’s Zach Allen in 2014 and Darien’s Mark Evanchik in 2015.
The three St. Joseph players selected to the 87th New Haven Register All-State Football First Team were senior offensive lineman Rob Milhaly, junior defensive lineman Jermaine Williams and senior punter Luke Kirby.
The three New Canaan Rams who were all-state first-teamers included senior wide receiver Quintin O’Connell, senior offensive lineman Jack Stewart and senior linebacker Garrett Braden. Stewart who will play at Michigan and Braden will play at Rice next in the upcoming 2019 college football season.
The other two FCIAC players who made the all-state first team were Ridgefield defensive lineman Jackson Mitchell, who will play at UConn, and Darien senior linebacker Connor Fay. Mitchell and Fay both made the all-state first team for the second consecutive year as they were two of the five juniors on the 2017 squad. Mitchell was chosen as a wide receiver last year.
Bici, Muir, Stewart and Fay were the four FCIAC players who previously also made All-FCIAC First Team, Connecticut High School Coaches Association All-State First Team, and Walter Camp Football Foundation All-Connecticut First Team this year.
As for the 14 other players not from the FCIAC who made all-state first team, the other eight players who were selected on offense were Bloomfield’s Ky’Juon Butler, New Britain’s Shawn Robinson, Newtown’s Dan Mason, East Hartford’s Jaquan Allen, Daniel Hand’s Jack Flanagan and Phoenix Billings, Middletown’s Nygell Smikle, and Windsor’s Dohnje Cassanova; while the five who made all-state first team on defense included Hand’s Ben Corniello and Ian Butler, Seymour’s Cade Klarides-Ditria, East Hartford’s Raquan Tompkins and Maloney’s Victor Marquez. East Haven’s Evan Damian made it as the kicker.
The Register also selects players to all-state second team, all-state third team, and honorable mention status and there were 14 more FCIAC players who made either of those teams.
The FCIAC had five of the 12 offensive players selected to the 87th New Haven Register All-State Football Second Team. They included quarterback David Summers and wide receiver Will Diamantis of St. Joseph, New Canaan offensive lineman Jack Conley, Darien offensive lineman William Keating, and Greenwich offensive lineman Jack McBrearity.
George Harrington of Staples and St. Joseph’s Mike Morrissey both made all-state second team as defensive lineman.
The three FCIAC players who made all-state third team on offense were New Canaan quarterback Drew Pyne, St. Joseph running back Jaden Shirden and Greenwich running back Tysen Comizio.
The three conference players who made all-state third team on defense included Greenwich defensive linemen Edward Iuteri and Emilio Camou, and St. Joseph linebacker Cole Dasilva.
St. Joseph linebacker Jesse Lawson was the conference’s lone honorable mention.