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Wilton Youth Football Celebrates Fantastic Fall

WILTON, Conn. – The final numbers for the Wilton teams this fall in the Fairfield County Football League were staggering. The teams have had success in recent years, but this year’s teams set a standard of excellence that will be hard to duplicate.

Wilton teams shared the championships in the third and fourth grades. The fifth-grade team won a title for the third straight year. Wilton’s sixth-grade Black team lost once in the regular season and finished as the league's runner-up. The final total for the four grades, each of which had two teams, was 66-9-1. By far, Wilton’s teams were the dominant ones in the league this fall. Darien won two championships, while Fairfield won one.

But trying to assess how the Warriors’ program became dominant is hard to pinpoint.

“We’re not all about winning,’’ league president Eric Dean said. “Our general philosophy is the same as the Fairfield County Football League. It’s a fun, healthy competitive environment. We have had a lot of good coaches who have a solid background. I think a lot of the credit goes to the kids. They just want to go out and play.”

Wilton’s fifth-graders have set the bar high. Wilton Blue, coached by Chris Previte and Bill Ronk, scored its third straight league title with a 22-6 win over New Canaan in the championship game. The team finished 10-1, while the league’s other fifth-grade team went 7-2.

The fourth-grade squads did even better. Both teams were perfect at 10-0. The third-grade teams went 8-1 and 7-1-1. The sixth-grade teams were 8-2 and 6-2. But Wilton’s seventh- and eighth-grade teams combined for just one win all season. Its younger age groups, however, were phenomenal.

“A lot of the credit has to go to Bruce Cunningham, the coach of the varsity team,’’ Dean said. “He attends a lot of games, and he runs a skills clinic that a lot of the players participate in. His interest has created a level of excitement that has helped the whole league.”

Wilton’s success this fall is in line with its recent football success in the younger age groups. Two teams won titles in 2010, with another taking second. Three age groups won titles in 2008 and 2009.

Lacrosse, soccer and baseball have been sports mainstays for Wilton boys. Over the past few years, the football program has taken hold as well. This year, more than 400 boys played tackle or flag football, and the league had 140 cheerleaders.

“Our motto is one town, one team,’’ Dean said. “We still hold to that mentality. Each team supports the other, and it goes up and down our league. It’s one big family supporting one another.”

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