A First Look At the 2014 Amity Varsity Football Team

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Aug 282014

IMG_7221Although 82-degrees and humid is not the best weather in which to play football, the 2014 Varsity teams from Amity and Bunnell came together at Amity for the first scrimmage of the season yesterday.

Not as exciting as an actual game, scrimmages give the teams an opportunity to try out all the plays they’ve been practicing on another team.

With the coaches offering direction from the field (not just the sidelines) both sides played close attention to the athletes and the moves, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses before the season officially begins.

As with every sport, Orange Live will have to get used to the new faces, who’s wearing what number, etc. But we will be there covering the games and shooting photos through to the Thanksgiving rivalry.

Here are a few shots from Wednesday’s scrimmage.


Football: Falcons Soar Past Spartans

 Amity High School, Around Town, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Football: Falcons Soar Past Spartans
Oct 122013


Running Back David Buono comes in for the touchdown. (file photo)

Running Back David Buono comes in for the touchdown. (file photo)

By Nick Mirto

Orange Live Sports Writer


An unfortunate series of penalties, interceptions, dropped passes and fumbles stymied Amity’s early bid to grasp control of the game in a 42-28 loss to Xavier at Palmer Field Friday night.


On the second play from scrimmage, Spartan junior running back Spencer Thomas sprinted for a 62-yard TD run called back by a personal foul on a very late flag.  Two drives later, Spartan wide receiver Ben Feola dropped a pass at the Xavier 15 yard line.  The ball was deflected and intercepted.

On the next Spartan drive, senior Nick Bottone dropped a pass at the Xavier 40 with nothing but open field in front of him.  After a 66-yard TD run by Falcon quarterback Joe Carbone, Amity quarterback David Ryan threw an interception to senior Nathan Gonzales after trying to recover an errant snap and avoiding tacklers.  Gonzales would score three plays later on a 28-yard TD catch.  On the very next play from scrimmage, Amity turned the ball over on a Bottone fumble.

Falcon senior running back Andrew Meoli promptly scampered for a 32 yard gain before scoring from 8 yards out, pushing the score to 23-0 with 7:23 left in the first half.  This quintet of miscues not only derailed excellent scoring chances but also gave the Falcons control of the contest.


The Spartans finally dented the scoreboard with 6:07 left to go in the half on a Ryan to Tyler Burns touchdown connection from 54 yards out.  Senior Lyle Luth’s extra point cut the lead to 22-7.


Xavier junior Cole Thorburn returned the ensuing Amity kickoff 44 yards to the Amity 46.  The Falcons then, as they did all night, ran a series of zone read plays.  Defending on the defense’s reaction, Carbone would either keep the ball or hand off to Meoli, the running back.  The Falcons ultimately scored on a 5 yard TD run by Carbone – his second — to increase the lead to 29-7 with 32 seconds left in the half.  Carbone ran 20 times for 137 yards while Meoli galloped for 207 yards on 29 rushes.


After the intermission, the Falcons increased their lead to 35-7 on a Meoli 4-yard TD run with 6:26 left in the third quarter.  Amity immediately answered on the next series, as Ryan found sophomore Kevin Nusdeo for a 60-yard TD strike.  Ryan went 12-25 for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns and interceptions each.  Nusdeo hauled in two passes for 90 yards.


Amity scored again on a 66-yard interception return by Burns, his second “pick-6” in as many weeks.  With 11:36 left in the game, the Spartans trailed 35-21.  The Falcons answered 90 seconds later on a 56-yard Meoli TD – his third score – which all but put the game away.


Senior running back David Buono closed the scoring for the night on a 16-yard TD run with 4:28 left in the game.


Amity fell to 3-2 with the loss.  The Spartans play at Notre Dame West Haven next Friday at 7 PM.


Football: Galestormed

 Amity High School, Around Town, Home, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Football: Galestormed
Sep 282013

amity vs shelonBy Nick Mirto

Orange Live Sports Writer

Down 27-3 with 2:41 left in the first half, the Spartans had no choice but to have senior quarterback Dave Ryan spread the field and let it fly.  The process was sound, as Ryan threw for 4 TD passes and 252 yards for the rest of the contest.  However, the Gael offensive line and a 255-yard  effort from senior running back Jason Thompson prevented the desired result in Shelton’s 49-30 victory over Amity at William E. Johnson Field last night.

Shelton quarterback Mark Piccirillo dented the scoreboard three minutes into the game on a 10 yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Kyle Drost.  It was the first of four total touchdowns for the efficient signal caller.  Piccirillo went 17-25 for 241 yards with a pair of passing and rushing touchdowns and an interception.

After a Amity drive culminating in a Lyle Luth 39-yard FG, Shelton Michael Pingree returned the ensuing kickoff 50 yards to the Amity 42. From there, Piccirillo led Shelton on a 8 play, 42 yard march.  Piccirillo scored on a 2-yard plunge to extend the Gaels’ lead to 13-3 with 1:21 left in the first quarter.

After an Amity three-and-out, Piccirillo marched Shelton 70 yards on 8 plays to extend the lead to 21-3 with 8:48 left in the half.  Piccirillo threw for 65 yards on the drive.  The Gaels added their fourth score on an 8 play 87-yard drive, culminating with a 25-yard Thompson TD sprint with 2:41 remaining to go up 27-3.

That’s when Ryan and his receivers found a rhythm.  With 18 seconds left in the half, Ryan hit senior captain Joe Choiniere for a 20 yard-TD.  In the second half, after Piccirillo scored on a one yard TD plunge after an Amity three-and-out, Ryan connected with senior wide receiver Ben Feola for a 65-yard TD on the second play from scrimmage to cut the lead to 35-17. Feola added a 67-yard TD catch in the fourth quarter.  He caught 8 passes for 197 yards on the night.

Shelton went up 43-17 on a 33-yard TD gallop by Thompson with 7:20 left in the third, capping a brisk 3-play, 56-yard drive.  The Spartans would score twice more on Feola’s second TD and a 19-yard leaping grab by senior Nick Bottone as time expired.

Amity yielded 561 yards on 42 plays, including the 255 to Thompson.  Playing from behind all game, the Spartans only were able to gain 82 yards rushing on 20 carries after totaling 307 yards on 33 carries in last week’s win over Sheehan.

The 2-1 Spartans will travel to Lyman Hall for Week 4 this Friday.


Amity Varsity Football: If Scrimmage Game is Any Indication, We’re In For A Winning Season

 Amity High School, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Amity Varsity Football: If Scrimmage Game is Any Indication, We’re In For A Winning Season
Sep 072013

Tyler Burns scores a touchdown in Friday's scrimmage game against Oxford.

Tyler Burns scores a touchdown in Friday’s scrimmage game against Oxford.

The Amity Spartans Varsity Football team won an exhibition game against Oxford at the Wolverines field, 21-15, on Friday, Sept. 6.

Amity still has a grass field, whereas the Wolverines play on artificial turf.

The Amity tri-town referendum to approve (or deny) an artificial turf field at the high school will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 24 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Orange residents will vote only at the High Plains Community Center. Absentee Ballots are now available at the Town Clerk’s office until the day before the referendum (Monday, Sept. 23).

For those who think the change from grass to turf is an expensive, unnecessary luxury item, see what 2013-14 Varsity Co-Captain Joey Choiniere (10) had to say.

“It will help as far as practice goes,” he said. “We won’t have to cancel practice because the field is muddy, and we won’t have to worry about the field being torn up.”

With the feel of Oxford’s turf still fresh on his mind, Choiniere said it was a lot easier playing on the turf than it is playing on the grass.

More photos will be posted on our Orange Live Facebook Page tonight.

Four Amity Athletes Named To Levi Jackson All Star Team

 Amity High School, Latest News, Sports  Comments Off on Four Amity Athletes Named To Levi Jackson All Star Team
Nov 252012


Orange Live Sports Writer

 Sponsored by Stop & Go Transmission and Auto Care, Bridgeport

Four members of the Amity football team have been named to the Levi Jackson All Star team.

Every year a group of coaches select players from teams in the Greater New Haven area to be included on the Levi Jackson All Star team. Included on the 2012 All Star team are: Amity place kicker Lyle Luth, defensive back/quarterback Tyler Burns, along with linemen Dennis Flanagan and Greg Purcell. Purcell was also named the recipient of the 6th annual Floyd Little Scholarship.

The 25 players chosen for this team will be honored by the New Haven Gridiron Club at its annual awards banquet, which will be held this year on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the Cascade Banquet Facility in Hamden, starting at 6 p .m.

Tickets are $40. each and can be purchased by sending checks to the New Haven Gridiron Club, PO Box 32, New Haven 06501. All questions should be directed to Gridiron Club Executive Director Don Nielsen at 203-795-5331.

The late Levi Jackson was a former football star at Hillhouse and Yale, where as a senior, he was chosen to be the Bulldogs’ first Afro-American captain. Following his graduation from Yale, Jackson went on to a lengthy career as an executive at the Ford Motor Company.

The Floyd Little Scholarship recipient is chosen by members of the Gridiron Club in recognition of Little, who was a standout football player at Hillhouse, Syracuse University, and the NFL Denver Broncos. He financially supports the scholarship fund named in honor.

Sophomore Tyler Burns Does Whatever It Takes To Help His Team

 Amity High School, Around Town, Sports  Comments Off on Sophomore Tyler Burns Does Whatever It Takes To Help His Team
Oct 282012


Sophomore Tyler Burns (9) has been doing a great job for Amity while James Semmonella is sidelined.


Orange Live Sports Writer

 Sponsored by Stop & Go Transmissions and Auto Center

Tyler Burns is only a 5-foot 8-inch, 140 pound sophomore but he has already become a valuable member of the Amity football team. In his role as quarterback, he has completed nine of 20 passes for a140 yards and three interceptions. As both a quarterback and wingback he has carried the ball 26 times for 146 yards (6.37 yards per carry) and two touchdowns. In his sometime role as wide receiver, he has caught 13 passes for 99 yards. As if his offensive contributions aren’t enough, he is also a defensive back who has made 16 tackles, one fumble recovery, and picked off three passes. On top of all that, he has returned three punts (37 yards) and 12 kickoffs (214 yards and a touchdown).

By his own admission, Burns never expected to see this much varsity action. Last year he was a freshman quarterback, wide receiver, and defensive back.  Earlier this fall he quarterbacked three junior varsity games.

“No, I didn’t expect to play this much varsity football, but I do whatever our coaches want me to do. They have given me a lot of opportunities to show myself,” Burns said. “I’ll play any and all positions they ask me to play—whatever it takes to help our team.”

At the start of the season, senior Co-Captain James Semmonella was the Spartans’ starting signal caller but he suffered a concussion in a game against Shelton and Burns has been his primary replacement since that time. Admitting that he lacked any prior varsity experience as QB, Burns said, “In practice, James has helped me reading keys and working on my steps.”

Head Coach Burt Mozealous acknowledged that Burns has been a valuable contributor to the varsity team but also added, “While I expected Tyler to play this much at several different positions, I also know he’s not James and he can’t do things that James can do. Up to now, Tyler has been relying on his raw, natural ability and he’s been practicing at different positions, including quarterback.  Our offense is quite complicated with several different looks. When James went down and Tyler stepped in as our quarterback, we knew that he was only a sophomore and we had to simply our play calls for him.”

As for his Burns biggest assets, Mozealous said, “He has great feet and vision. He can see the entire field.”

With a big grin, he added, “The best thing about Tyler is that he is only a sophomore. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg with him.”