Football: Trumbull Eagles have pieces in place

Trumbull High football coach Bob Maffei realizes that this could be a special season for his Eagles.

The veteran mentor also knows that to play into the postseason, Trumbull must find a way to defeat a string of fellow contenders, beginning with its opener at Ridgefield High on Friday at 7 p.m.

“I think any time you take the field you have to be ready,” said Maffei, whose Eagles went 5-4 last season. “Right out of the gate we face Ridgefield and that will be a major test. They have the second longest win streak in the FCIAC (behind Darien).”

The Tigers finished 2015 with a 7-2 record, good for ninth in the eight-team Class LL playoffs. Ridgefield averaged 33 points per game and allowed just over 16.

Trumbull went 5-4. It put up 30 points per start and gave up 23.

Johnny McElroy returns to quarterback the Eagles.

As a junior he threw for 2,025 yards and 19 touchdowns.

“We’re pushing him hard in the preseason,” Maffei said of the 6-foot-1, 180-pound senior. “Johnny Mc is a three-year starter and has some good skill kids to work with.”

Markeese Woods was the go-to player for Trumbull as a sophomore. He ran for 477 yards and seven touchdowns, returned two kicks for scores, and totaled more than 1,000 all-purpose yards. Woods gained 179 yards on 18 receptions with two touchdowns.

“Markeese is bigger and faster,” Maffei said. “He’s put on fifteen pounds.”

Trumbull’s receiving corp is second to none.

Danny Hoffmann caught 77 passes for 946 yards and seven touchdowns.

Patrick Daley was on the receiving end of 18 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown.

Peter Ravetta caught 13 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns in only seven games.

Dustin Siqueira made the most of his 11 receptions, as he averaged 26.7 per catch for 187 yards and three scores.

“We’ll be fun to watch,” Maffei agreed. “With Raverta, Daley and Zach Lombardi we have a lot of weapons.

“Danny Hoffman is an incredible athlete. He’s added fifteen pounds but didn’t lose his quickness. Danny is great in space, and in a tight spot is tough to tackle.

Jake Dudal will center an offensive line that boasts Jakub Pirog and Parker DellAquila at guard, Joe Turner and Eric Palinkas at tackle.

Ryan Cranston and Ryan Ruff will do the place kicking.

Ryan Kelly, Adam Tolk and Jake Chamberlain will be at linebacker.

Playing up front will be Odai Dayoub, Dudal, Turner and Harrison Klas. Turner sacked the quarterback 11 times as a junior. Overall he had 45 tackles in eight games, 18 for losses.

Troy Murray (two interceptions) and Angelo Tuccinardi will be at cornerback.

Dustin Siqueira, Zach Heche and Trevor Arganese will man the safety positions.

“It’s that time of the year and everyone chomping at the bit to get started,” Maffei said. “We have six great captains and each has a specific responsibility. Jake Dudal with the linemen, Danny Hoffmann with the receivers, Harrison Klas with special teams, Dustin Siqueira with the back seven on defense, Ryan Kelly in the box (up front on defense) and Johnny McElroy with the offense.”