PLAINVILLE - The Plainville football team knows full well itâ€™s not in a position to take any opponent lightly. But for the first time in close to two years, the Blue Devils have to be considered the favorite headed into todayâ€™s game against the Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver co-op.
Plainville is now riding a 14-game losing streak, having not won a game on the field since a 40-0 rout over an Enrico Fermi team playing in its last season on Oct. 23, 2015. Officially, the Blue Devils won by forfeit over Berlin the following Saturday due to CIAC-imposed sanctions resulting from recruiting violations, although Plainville was not the winner on the field that Halloween day.
Yet the Bulkeley/HMTCA/Weaver co-op is currently on a losing streak thatâ€™s more than twice as long - 29 games. The team, then playing as just Bulkeley High, last won on Sept. 27, 2014, also over Enrico Fermi.
The Bulkeley co-op continued that trend in its opener last week, falling to a 27-0 defeat at Berlin. But Plainville, meanwhile, showed some very positive signs in an 18-13 loss against visiting Bloomfield, a traditional Class S state power.
â€śThatâ€™s what I wanted to see,â€ť Plainville head coach Tim Shea said. â€śI wanted to see them play hard. I wanted to see energy. I wanted to see a fight. That stuff we got.â€ť
The good news was that the players were disappointed they lost, he added.
â€śIt shows theyâ€™ve got some competitive spirit and competitive fire,â€ť Shea said. â€śThe next day they all came to work and there was no sulking. It was more of a driven attitude.â€ť
While Plainville came up short on some opportunities last week, including a key fourth-and-1 play on the 12-yard line, the improvement from last year was unmistakable.
After being shut out in three of their first four games last season, Plainville scored last Friday on a pass from junior quarterback Frank Griffin to Cody Marquis of about 18 yards, plus a run by Griffin of about eight yards.
â€śThe kids played hard,â€ť Shea said. â€śWe had opportunities last week. Some we capitalized on, some we didnâ€™t.â€ť
Plainville named three seniors as team captains before last weekâ€™s game: Nick Cianchetti, Ben Root and Marquis.
Cianchetti said the team is fully focused on beating the Bulkeley co-op today.
â€śWeâ€™re going to learn from our mistakes that we made in that game [last week], and not make them again. And weâ€™re going to push forward to get our first win this weekend,â€ť he said. â€śEveryoneâ€™s 100 percent in. Weâ€™re going to play as hard as we can.â€ť
The importance of getting the victory today cannot be understated.
â€śItâ€™s going to be the world,â€ť Cianchetti said. â€śThatâ€™s what weâ€™ve been working for since two weeks after Thanksgiving last year. Thatâ€™s all weâ€™re looking forward to, is to get our first win, and get the ball moving from there.â€ť