With the season rapidly approaching, the Brunswick School and Greenwich High School football teams gathered for another preseason meeting Tuesday in order to prepare themselves for the 2022 campaign and they indeed, got plenty of work in, while showing some positive signs.
Unlike last year, when the Cardinals and Bruins scrimmage featured an actual game format, Tuesday’s meeting at Brunswick’s artificial turf field was a controlled scrimmage.
“Overall, the scrimmage was great,” Brunswick first-year coach Wayne McGillicuddy said. “The guys flew around, they had fun. Mistakes were made, but they were made at 100 miles per hour, so it’s easy to coach mistakes, especially when the effort is there.”
Greenwich begins its regular season at SWC opponent Newtown on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m., while Brunswick opens its season with a home game against The Hun School Sept. 17 at 2 p.m.
“There’s always a bit of bragging rights that come with these Brunswick-Greenwich games,” said Greenwich coach Anthony Morello, who is entering his fourth season at the helm. “Coach McGillicuddy and I talked numerous times in the lead up to this to make sure that it’s nothing more than what it needs to be.”
“We need the work, they need the work and the best possible way to get yourself prepared is to go up against the best competition you can find,” Morello continued. “Brunswick has Division I players like Miles Walker (offensive lineman). “We definitely came out feeling good with where we’re at.”
An offensive tackle, Walker, who stands 6-foot-6 and weighs approximately 285 pounds, will be looked upon to power the Bruins’ strong offensive line. Walker will continue his football career in the Big Ten at Ohio State next fall.
“Miles has been working so hard,” McGillicuddy said. “We have four offensive linemen that are looking to play in college and they’re all college-sized offensive linemen.”
Senior Jack Wilson took most of the reps at quarterback in the scrimmage for the Cardinals, who registered a record of 7-4 in 2021 and lost in the Class LL Tournament quarterfinals.
“The offense was sound today,” Morello said. “They were executing the game plan, we had guys in the right places. Jack did an excellent job, the running backs ran well and the offensive line gave him time to throw.”
The Bruins have a quarterback competition going, involving junior Elijah Cromartie and senior Wolf Hill. Both would be first-season starting quarterbacks, as Danny Lauter started under center in 2021 and is now playing at Georgetown University.
“From what I was able to see, I thought it was fine,” McGillicuddy said of the Bruins’ offensive performance on Tuesday. “Once you sit down and you digest it – obviously mistakes were made. We’re trying to iron things out.”
Brunswick qualified for the NEPSAC Class A Mike Silipo Bowl last season, where they faced Deerfield Academy. Deerfield edged the Bruins, 35-28, for the title, while Brunswick finished with a record of 7-3.
“We lost 28 seniors last year and now we’re trying to find their replacements, so a lot of guys are playing different positions,” McGillicuddy said. “There are a lot of new faces. A lot of guys are learning new positions.”
Senior wide receiver Thomas Delgado was one of Brunswick’s standouts on Tuesday, catching two touchdown passes, one of which he showcased his speed, while scoring off a screen pass. Junior wideout Tyler Lloyd also hauled in a touchdown pass for the Bruins. Defensively, Brunswick junior defensive back Blaine McClure intercepted a pass and ran it back more than 50 yards for a touchdown.
“I thought the defense flew around, they were flying to the ball,” McGillicuddy said. “We have a little bit different schemes they are working on, so we’re focusing on getting everyone on the same page.”
For Greenwich, senior wide receiver Charlie Dixon caught a long touchdown pass from Wilson, while junior George Vomvolakis ran for a touchdown. Senior Sergot Boone kicked a pair of field goals for the Cards, who had a kickoff return for a score. Senior Jack Konigsberg and Vomvolakis received the bulk of the carries for Greenwich, which returns offensive linemen Jake Kiernan, Peter Vomvolakis, Vinny Insinga, Teddy Flynn and Drew Falla.
“Overall, we’ve gotten a lot of work in but there are still a lot of areas to improve,” Morello said. “But you can tell by being out here that the starters have been here before. These athletes have been in tough situations before and they rally around each other.”
McGillicuddy is looking forward to officially beginning his tenure as head coach of the Bruins when they host Hun School on Sept. 17.
“I’m so thankful to be here, the boys are phenomenal,” he said. “It’s exciting and I’m looking forward to the challenges. We’re trying to not let the highs get too high and the lows get too low. At the end of the day, we try to execute every day and continue to build and keep going forward.”