Football: Trumbull taking on Greenwich at SHU

Odai Dayoub, Colton Nicholas, Adam Tolk and Eric Palinkas are Trumbull High captains. — Andy Hutchison photo
Odai Dayoub, Colton Nicholas, Adam Tolk and Eric Palinkas are Trumbull High captains. — Andy Hutchison photo

The Trumbull High football team’s regular season begins this weekend with a game versus FCIAC rival Greenwich High, with kickoff at Sacred Heart University set for 2:30 p.m.

The game can be seen live at HAN.Network at 2:30 p.m. Pregame starts at 2 p.m

“I’m so glad the preseason is over with. I hate preseason. Now you can focus on an opponent,” Trumbull Coach Bob Maffei said after his team wrapped up an Aug. 31 scrimmage with visiting Masuk of Monroe.

Greenwich outscored Trumbull 42-32 last fall when the Eagles went 7-3. Greenwich finished 7-4.

A goal for Trumbull this year is to come out on top in those close contests — the Eagles also fell 46-33 to Ridgefield a season ago — and qualify for the postseason.

“You always want to win a championship. I take it one game at a time,” said Maffei, adding that his squad expects to win every week but certainly doesn’t take anything for granted. “When the scoreboard turns on it gets very competitive.”

Junior linebacker Adam Tolk, senior defensive tackle Odai Dayoub, junior quarterback Colton Nicholas and senior offensive guard Eric Palinkas are team captains.

“I’m excited to start the season and see what happens,” Palinkas said.

“It’s fun to get back at it. We’ve been working hard,” Nicholas added.

“I think we’ve got a solid group. We’ve just got to clean up the mistakes and sharpen things,” Dayoub said.

“We’ve got a good group of guys and we’ve got a lot of heart,” Tolk said.

Nicholas is stepping in full time for Johnny McElroy (2,235 yards, 27 TDs).

As a sophomore, Nicholas completed 8 of 15 passes for 92 yards and two scores. He rushed the ball for 113 yards and a touchdown.

“I think Colton’s going to be a really good quarterback. He’s in sync with his receivers (Aiden Clark, Peter Schmitz and Ryan Cranston). They’ve been playing together for a long time,” Maffei said. “Sprinkle in new kids and some veteran kids who played a few years, hopefully we can get it done this year.”

Returnees include three-year starters: linebacker Joe Turner, running back/cornerback Markeese Woods and wide receiver/running back Pat Daley.

Other key players are defensive back Devin Dicocco and defensive end Chris Briganti.

The Eagles have been working hard in the weight room and out on the practice field, and are striving to make that effort pay off with a successful campaign.

The opener against Greenwich is officially a home game for the Eagles.

Trumbull, following visits to Fairfield Ludlowe and New Canaan, the latter of which defeated the Eagles last year, will host Trinity Catholic of Stamford at McDougall Stadium on Thursday, Sept. 28, starting at 7 p.m.

The annual Thanksgiving Day contest against rival St. Joseph is Nov. 23 at St. Joseph beginning at 10:30 a.m.

“They’re all big,” Maffei said of the matchups. His team will also play home games against Norwalk and Darien, and visit Danbury and Westhill of Stamford this fall.

The Eagles held opponents in the teens if not single digits in all seven of their triumphs, and have a experience back in the fold.

Tolk had 51 tackles, Turner 44 stops including 11 quarterback sacks, Briganti three sacks and DiCocco an interception.