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For Immediate Release


Connecticut High School Coaches Association


July 7, 2023


(Cheshire, CT)-High school football in June is making a comeback in Connecticut! Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the good ole days of spring football. You know that 10-day season, where teams would have the opportunity to work closely with their players after the spring season ended but before school let out for the summer? Those days have been gone for several years now and may never return. While the governing bodies of Connecticut High School Sports work through the details of off-season play, one Connecticut High School Football tradition is set to make a comeback!

We’re talking about the senior high school football all-star game. The last one that was played in Connecticut went down in 2019. It was The Super 100 Classic, which was an intra-state game, featuring two teams made up of approximately 50 players on each squad. Team Constitution was coached by Plainville High School’s Tim Shea and Team Nutmeg was coached by Stafford Co-op’s Brian Mazzone. The game was played at Willowbrook Park in New Britain and it would be the last time Connecticut high school football seniors have laced it up in June until now.

The seeds were laid back in the fall of 2020 when NFP Sports became the official sports marketing partner of the Connecticut High School Coaches Association. When the 2020 football season was lost to the Covid-19 pandemic, NFP’s founder, James Thomson approached CHSCA Executive Director, Joe Canzanella with an idea. “I told him, I don’t know when Connecticut high school football will be back, but when it is, we need to bring back the senior all-star game!” Thomson remembered. Canzanella agreed and the two met with coaches that have been a part of the game, including both Shea and Mazzone.

Once those initial meetings took place, it was agreed upon, the CHSCA would bring the game back in 2024. Looking back on the history of the game, the consensus was that an inter-state game was far more appealing than an intra-state game. That led to reaching out to Connecticut’s familiar opponent, Rhode Island. The matchup between the two states became a tradition but was mostly a one-sided affair with Connecticut hosting the game most years and winning convincingly with a few exceptions over the years. After the initial outreach, it was determined that Rhode Island was not interested in rekindling the rivalry.

This is where things got interesting. Thomson called on his New York connections which eventually led to him connecting with Kevin DeParde, the Executive Director of the New York State High School Football Coaches Association. “A match up with Connecticut intrigued me. Having been involved in our upstate-downstate game in previous years, I knew that playing another state could be really exciting for our players and communities.”

After several phone calls between Thomson and DeParde, a meeting was set up between the CHSCA and NYSHSFCA at the New York State High School Coaches Association offices in Albany on April 26th. On the Connecticut side, Joe Canzanella was joined by CHSCA Football Committee Chairman, Tom Dyer and Thomson. On the New York side, DeParde was joined by several NYSHSFCA committee members. At that meeting, it was proposed that both organizations agree to play a two-game series taking place in June of 2024 and 2025 respectively. The first would be played in Connecticut, followed by playing the second year in New York. Several venues were discussed for both states with Michie Stadium at West Point being on the very top of the list for year one. The site is familiar to high school football with a previous all-star series between New York and New Jersey. While interest has been expressed by West Point, nothing official has been agreed upon.

Both sides are looking forward to sharing more details at a press conference on July 26th. That will take place at Buffalo Wild Wings in Wethersfield, CT. The restaurant is one of five Connecticut locations, owned by The Awesome Group, LLC who just committed to a sponsorship through NFP Sports to support the game, along with other CHSCA programs.

For more information about the game and sponsorship opportunities, contact James Thomson - email: james@nfpsports or call (860) 920-0030.

For more information about the Connecticut High School Coaches Association, visit

For more information about the New York State High School Football Coaches Association, visit

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