Trumbull football coach Petroccio feels for his players

Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio hopes spring practice will bring some normalcy back for his players.

Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio hopes spring practice will bring some normalcy back for his players.

David G Whitham / For Hearst Connecticut Media

Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio tried to write a note to his players after the word came down from the CIAC Board of Control on Jan. 14 that there would not be an alternative football season.

“It was hard to put into words through email what I’m feeling for my players,” said Petroccio, who typed his thoughts down and then deleted them on numerous tries. “I would love to call a team meeting and talk with all of them, but we are all handcuffed.”

The fall football season was canceled by the CIAC because the sport was designated high risk on Sept. 29. A plan was then put forth 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.

“It’s a shame, although I thought it was going to be difficult to do,” Petroccio said. “If winter sports had started on time and we were in a little better place with COVID-19 I thought we would have a shot. Once they delayed winter, I don’t see how they could have fit it in.”

Having spring practice would give teams an opportunity to get back on track.

Petroccio said: “I think what coaches are trying to get done is to have at least 10 days of spring football. If that hopefully happens it will be up to the CIAC. We want to get back to some form of normalcy, hit the reset button and start fresh. It would be an opportunity to be with your kids and hopefully that will happen.”

The longer decisions are delayed, more confusion can set in.

“Parents are concerned that there may not be a season in the fall, and that can open up a another can of worms,” Petroccio said. “Do you leave your kid in their school? Where do you take them? It is a mess. I think it has been difficult for everyone.”

Senior players not only lost a season, but COVID-19 has impacted future plans as well.

“Getting players recruited has been difficult to say the least,” Petroccio said. “On top of the fact that these seniors don’t have any film to send, only junior film, the NCAA has allowed every single freshman class to repeat their freshman year athletically. That cuts down on how many recruits you can bring in to the next class.

“It doesn’t allow kids to have on-campus visits. We are working behind the scenes. I’ve called a bunch of coaches and we have kids that are being recruited which is great. Hopefully it will work itself out, but everything is one hurdle after another.”

william.bloxsom@hearstmediact.com Twitter: @blox354