- CAM EDWARDS, Sr., RB/DB (5-11, 190)
- SEBASTIAN PIERRE, Sr., OL/DL (6-0, 270)
- BRANDEN GILCHRIST, Jr., OL/DL (6-1, 200)
- JACK CAHILL, Sr., WR/DB (5-9, 160)
- JUSTIN OLIVER, Sr., WR/DB (6-0, 170)
- JEREMIAH SIMEON, Sr., LB/FB/TE (6-1, 215)
- SHAWN BROWN, Jr., QB (6-1, 190)
- AJ MONTEIRO, Sr., LB/RB (5-9, 180)
- MIKE BELARDINELLI, Sr., OL/DL (6-1, 210)
- ANTHONY MOORER, Sr., WR/DB (5-10, 180)
It’s been 20 months since Pat Miller was hired as the head coach of the Norwalk football program.
Throughout that time, he’s been able to form a bond with his players. Now, they’ll be able to out their talents to the test.
“From a program standpoint and a coach taking over, basically I’ve been able to get to know the kids, they’ve gotten to know me and get familiar with how we do things now,” said Miller, who was the offensive coordinator of 2019 Class S champion Sheehan. “So from that standpoint, it doesn’t get much better than having an entire year to get to know each other. And now, that we’ve finally been able to get going, the kids are so excited.
“It’s just the best feeling in the world right now.”
There’s a lot to like about Norwalk’s potential as they restart for 2021.
The offense features a few explosive weapons and the defense, according to Miller, is “fast and physical.” Norwalk also has a large group of seniors, many of whom will play key roles.
“We have the potential to be something special,” Miller said. “We have 25 seniors and a lot of them are going to be impact players for us. We love what they do athletically in the 7-on-7s and running stuff. All we need to see now is who’s going to separate themselves when we put the pads on.”
Cam Edwards, one of those seniors, returns as a running back/defensive back and has the potential to be one of the best in the state, Miller said. He was Norwalk’s lead running back as a sophomore in 2019, and topped the team with 1,209 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns.
Shawn Brown, a junior, takes over at quarterback and Miller said he has the physical and mental tools.
“Shawn works as hard as any player I’ve ever coached,” Miller said. “He’s always texting me, calling me, asking what more can I do. Shawn does not take days off. He wants to be the best quarterback in the history of Norwalk. He just wants to compete and be great.
“That kid lives and breathes football.”
He’ll be throwing to several targets at receiver, including senior Jack Cahill, who saw some playing time as a sophomore. Miller said Norwalk is also expecting big years from seniors Justin Oliver and Jackson Luther.
The offensive and defensive lines feature several standouts, led by senior Sebastian Pierre (6-0, 270), junior Brendan Gilchrist (6-1, 200), senior Mike Belardinelli (6-1, 210).
“Hardest working group of kids I’ve ever been around,” Miller said of the O-line. “They love to lift and just be around one another.”
Defensively, the linebacking corps includes seniors Jeremiah Simeon (6-1, 215), AJ Monteiro (5-9, 180), Jackson MacDonald (5-10, 285) and Matt Hidalgo (6-1, 185).
The corners will be manned by senior Anthony Moorer and junior Jamar Alcena, two “physical and aggressive players, with Edwards and senior Zach Christinat as safeties.
Norwalk’s schedule features some interesting matchups, including a week-one clash at Ludlowe on Sept. 10. The Bears also face traditional FCIAC powers New Canaan, Staples and Darien, with an Alliance game against Cheshire.
Miller said the Bears feel good about where they are and need to maintain the focus on their team.
“We’ve got a great group of linemen who work really hard, we’ve got depth at receivers and running backs, and we feel pretty good about our quarterback,” Miller said. “We feel pretty good, but we can get our pie humbled in a hurry playing in the FCIAC. We’re focusing on us and getting better every day.”
- Sept. 10 — at Ludlowe, 6 p.m.*
- Sept. 17 — WARDE, 7 p.m.*
- Sept. 24 — at Danbury, 7 p.m.#
- Oct. 2 — CHESHIRE, 4 p.m.#
- Oct. 15 — NEW CANAAN, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 22 — at Bridgeport Central, 7 p.m.*
- Oct. 29 — STAPLES, 7 p.m.*
- Nov. 5 — at Darien, 7 p.m.*
- Nov. 12 — at Wilton, 7 p.m.*
- Nov. 25 — MCMAHON, 10:30 a.m.*
Home games in CAPS
#CT Football Alliance game
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