St. Joseph football coach Della Vecchia not surprised

St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia wasn't surprised when the alternative season was canceled.

St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia wasn't surprised when the alternative season was canceled.

David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

St. Joseph football coach said goodbye to his seniors, but it came well before the CIAC Board of Control officially canceled an alternative football season during its Jan. 14 meeting.

“The day before our last game in the private league, we treated that as our last game of the year,” Della Vecchia said. “We went through our traditional stuff, our last game rituals with senior speeches. I told the kids then that we weren’t going to be playing again.”

After the fall football season was canceled because the sport was designated high risk on Sept. 29, the CIAC put forth plans for an alternative football season to run late winter. But when the CIAC announced it would be postponing the winter season into January, the die was cast on football’s future.

Della Vecchia said: “I never felt comfortable with a second season. I didn’t think there a shot, it was just lip service.”

Spring practice is under consideration, and that would be a change for St. Joseph.

“We are trying to get spring ball back. Traditionally I haven’t done it because our baseball and lacrosse teams have gone so deep into the playoffs,” Della Vecchia said. “We really never had enough kids to do it and every year our quarterback plays one of those sports. In light of what happened this year, we have to do it. If not, how well do you even know your kids? Maybe from the JV level. Freshman haven’t played a game, so we need the spring back.”

Getting his players together with college recruiters has been taxing.

Della Vecchia said: “It has been a nightmare. Many of the schools are holding back. They have seniors holding scholarships, and every kid has an extra year. Plus, they have to find out which of their players may be transferring.”

Finding a home with a Prep school for one season is a crowded alternative.

“Prep Schools are getting inundated with kids so finding spot is hard. And they will be in the same boat next year, they will be fighting for spots with their class, those coming from prep school. It is crazy,” Della Vecchia said.

Della Vecchia reported that All-State defensive lineman Jermaine Williams will be going to Central Connecticut and offensive tackle Dennis Elrod will prep at Milford Academy.

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354