February 22, 2019 9:41am
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Stafford Shining Stars

About Shining Stars:

Stafford has it all – beautiful natural landscapes, rich heritage, small town charm and unique cultural assets – but it’s our residents that are our greatest asset. There’s a lot to celebrate in this community and the “Stafford Shining Star” program recognizes the extraordinary accomplishments, generosity and contributions of citizens, local businesses, organizations and clubs. This is our chance to say “thank you” to those who perpetuate civic pride, contribute to the development of our community, have realized notable achievements or make Stafford a better place to live.
Shining Stars

Stafford Bulldogs

With incredible teamwork, loyalty and a will to win, Bulldogs Football is a true “Shining Star” in the Stafford community. With a season to be proud of – for each team in the program – 2017 was met with profound triumphs and milestones.

The Varsity team – comprised of a three-town tri-op with students from Stafford, Somers and East Windsor – not only realized 10-2 season, but also achieved the most wins in school history. The team broke numerous records, including a playoff win in the state semifinals, the first since the team was reintroduced in 1979. Additionally, QB Colton Engel scored a record 25 touchdowns and set the single- season rushing mark with 2,004 yards rushing. Colton was also named Pequot Uncas Division Player of the Year, Class S All-State, and Walter Camp 2nd Team. The Bulldogs also had eight All-Conference players on the team. Loaded with confident student-athletes skilled in their positions, the team is one of the strongest around, a success that has steadily soared since 2015. In 2016 the Bulldogs had a record-setting season as well, finishing 9-1, which led them to the Pequot Conference Championship.

“The team was a true joy to coach. I was shocked by how well we performed all season,” says Head Coach, Brian Mazzone. “We graduated 13 players from last year and I thought that would hit us hard. However, we had numerous players step up in unexpected roles and lead us to great heights. I think the most impressive thing about the group is that they bounce back from adversity so quickly and they tend to make big plays in big moments on a consistent basis.”

Additionally, the Stafford Bulldogs Youth Football League (SBYFL) – an organization consisting of five age-based teams devised by age – also had a season of success with all three eligible teams (A, B, & C) played in the Northern Connecticut Football League playoffs. In the regular season, Stafford A finished first with a 7-1 record, while Stafford B placed fifth (4-4) and Stafford C placed third (6-2). Stafford continues to win big in their conference, bringing home the big trophy five times in six years. Similarly, each cheerleading team spread enthusiasm, entertained crowds and brought fans to their feet throughout the season.

“I’ve watched these boys and girls grow up from 6 and 7-year- olds learning the fundamentals of football and cheer to responsible young men and women with great skill, teamwork, sportsmanship, and leadership skills. I couldn’t be any prouder of them ALL,” says SBYFL President, Nate Julian.

No matter the score, Bulldogs Football is a family, one noted with a sense of belonging, loyalty, and passion. In Stafford, football not only builds character, but helps bind our community and the season served as a focal point for civic engagement, pride, and achievement. Thank you to the players, coaches, countless volunteers and supporters who helped each team realize their successes. Go Bulldogs!

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