Saturday, December 31, 2011
New England Roundup: Connecticut
By Roger Brown
Masuk High School quarterback Casey Cochran made it official Thursday when he signed a national letter of intent to play football at the University of Connecticut.
Cochran, Connecticut's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2010 and 2011, gave a verbal commitment to Connecticut in August, and said it's a honor to be able to play college football in his home state.
“Not that many college players get to stay at home and play for the state school,” Cochran said. “I believe Coach Pasqualoni (Connecticut coach Paul Pasqualoni) is a very good coach. I really like the coaching staff and everyone on it. I got closer with them during the offseason, so it was a very easy choice once the [scholarship] offer came.”
Cochran completed his high school career as Connecticut's career leader in passing yards, completions and passing touchdowns. He is scheduled to graduate from Masuk in early January and will begin college classes on Jan. 17.
His early enrollment will allow Cochran to participate in spring practice.
Cochran chose Connecticut over several Ivy League schools. His first scholarship offer came from Boston College, but BC pulled that offer last year after it changed offensive coordinators.
Cochran's father Jack has coached high school football at Bloomfield, New Britain and New London. He guided his teams to 14 state championship games and won eight state titles during his 16-year coaching career.
He coached Casey during his freshman season at New London. Casey transferred to Masuk for his final three years of high school.
“UConn became a very good option for him once Pasqualoni took over,” Jack said. “We have a relationship that goes back to his days as the coach at Syracuse. I think Casey felt very comfortable with his decision. Looking forward to watching him play in college.”
Cochran was one of 26 players named to the 2011 Connecticut High School Coaches' Association All-Star Football Team. Here is the complete team:
QB — CASEY COCHRAN, Masuk
WR — AARON BERARDINO, Windsor
WR — NICK VITALE, Hand
WR — THOMAS MILONE, Masuk
RB — ARKEEL NEWSOME, Ansonia
RB — MIKE MASTROIANNI, Xavier
RB — ALEX MANWARING, Ledyard
RB — BRENDAN LYTTON, Torrington
RB — KYLE McKINNON, New London
RB — DAVE DiGIORGI, Holy Cross
OL — AUSTIN WEZENSKI, Xavier
OL — DYLAN VANO, Ansonia
OL — RENNICK BRYAN, Hillhouse
DL — SEAN MARINAN, Xavier
DL — JOE DeMICHELE, Hand
DL — LUDOVIC RICHARDSON, Notre Dame-West Haven
DL — COLE ORMSBY, Windsor
LB – TYLER WOOD, Ansonia
LB — SHANE NASTAHOWSKI, Greenwich
LB — AUSTIN CALITRO, Danbury
LB — KEVIN McDONOUGH, New Canaan
LB — MARK ZURLIS, North Haven
DB — DELSHAWN WILSON, Norwalk
DB — RYAN MURPHY, Xavier
DB — TOMMY UNDERCUFFLER, Berlin
DB — RYAN JACOBUCCI, Xavier
NEW LONDON'S STREAK HALTED
Richard Bronson scored a team-high 21 points to lead the Hillhouse boys basketball team to a 64-61 triumph over New London in the Doc Hurley Classic at Weaver High School.
The loss ended New London's 28-game winning streak. The Whalers were 27-0 last season, when they won the Class L title.
Providence-bound guard Kris Dunn scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in the loss.
New London led 49-45 entering the fourth quarter, but missed seven of its nine free throw attempts in the final eight minutes. The Whalers missed 15 of 36 free throw attempts in the game.
BROOKFIELD COACH STEPS DOWN
Brookfield girls basketball coach Tom Marks handed in his letter of resignation last week, days after the season began. Marks cited personal reasons.
Lisa Schang has been named Brookfield's interim coach. Brookfield is off to a 1-5 start this season.
Marks has also coached the cross country team at New Milford for the last 15 seasons.
Roger Brown has covered high school sports in New England since 1992. He currently covers high school and college football in the Northeast for ESPN/Scouts Inc.