Friday, November 28, 2008

Single-wing offense lands Housatonic in Sports Illustrated


FALLS VILLAGE — The phone call arrived about three weeks ago. “Hi,” said the message on the answering machine in the Housatonic football coaches’ office. “This is Tim Layden of Sports Illustrated. I heard you run the single wing and would like to talk to you about it.”

It didn’t take the Mountaineers’ head coach, Deron Bayer, long to call back. For one thing, Housy rarely gets a splash in a nationwide magazine like Sports Illustrated. Second, SI was calling about Bayer’s favorite subject.

“I am a single-wing fanatic,” he admitted. “I will talk about it to anybody anytime.”

The call led to the Housatonic/Wamogo football co-op, which runs the single-wing attack Bayer installed before last season, being featured this week in a lengthy SI article on the rebirth of the 100-year-old single wing at all levels of football.

How did the Mountaineers wind up on the pages of a magazine read by more than 23 million Americans? The Internet, of course. Layden, who lives in Connecticut, came across a Web site listing single-wing teams. Housy and Kennedy are the only ones running a pure single wing in the state.

Layden mentioned to Bayer during their conversation that he was flying down to see Apopka, Fla.’s single-wing team.

Bayer replied that he knew the Apopka coach, Rick Darlington, from a conclave of single-wing coaches held annually in Pennsyvlania. And he noted that Housy was playing at Windsor Locks that weekend.

So after deplaning at Bradley Field, Layden stopped in at the Windsor Locks-Housy game, where he jotted down notes. Three Mountaineers, Will Kennedy, Tanner Brissett and Sam Schwartz, got mentioned in the article, which included a picture.

“I’m thrilled that this happened to our program,” said Bayer. “I’m even more thrilled for our players who got mentioned.”

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