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Junior receiver Garret Garbinski and the Morgan football squad are expecting a marked improvement over last season with a plethora of returning players in 2020. Garbinski earned All-Pequot honors last year as one of the Huskies’ primary receivers. (File photo by Susan Lambert/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
Junior Andrew Nye threw for over 2,000 yards for the Huskies last season, and with a strong receiving core at his disposal, he should have plenty of passing options available in 2020. (File photo by Susan Lambert/Harbor News | Buy This Photo)
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The Morgan football team are preparing to return to the field this fall with a team full of experienced players. The Huskies 2019 campaign was full of challenges and they only were able to notch one win on the year. In 2020, Head Coach Peter Nye’s squad will be returning nearly its entire defense with an added year of experience along with plenty of offensive talent to spare.
Coach Nye is eager to see the Huskies take to the gridiron, and he knows that his team is also ready to go as well. Thanks to the large number of returning players, Morgan can allow its underclassmen to learn the ropes, and the upperclassman will be prepared to compete in the Pequot Conference Sassacus Division.
“I’m really excited about this group. They will hit the ground running when we start. We’re not starting from ground zero,” said Nye. “We believe that we will be in every game. I think the kids believe that, too. We may not have had that in past seasons. I think these guys are confident that they can score points, and defensively we have to hold the line.”
Last season, the Huskies didn’t have problems putting points on the board, but they had difficulty stopping their opponents’ offensive drives. With the bulk of Morgan’s defenders familiar with Coach Nye’s defensive schemes, the Huskies should have much more success preventing teams from marching down the field.
“We were able to score last year. That was a bright spot. We just have to make sure these returners on defense are able to slow down other team’s offenses,” said Caoch Nye. “I think it’s a reasonable goal for us to be able to regularly limit the opponents to under three touchdowns. Then the offensive talent that we have should be able to get us more than 21 points, and we’ll be able to win some more games.”
One of the big offensive contributors for Morgan will be junior receiver Garret Garbinski. He earned All-Pequot honors for his strong season last year, and Coach Nye expects this campaign will be even better. Garbinski will also be a big help on the defensive end.
“Garret was a downhill defender and a very aggressive receiver last year. He was all-league as a sophomore,” said Nye. “He loves the sport, and if everybody had a player like Garret, we would have a ton of really competitive teams across the state.”
Joining Garbinski in grabbing receptions will be senior receiver/corner Ryan Inglis, who also earned All-Pequot recognition last year. Nye knows that he can depend on Inglis for more than just racking up stats. Inglis is sure to be a capable leader for the Huskies, as well.
“I think we have a great corner in Ryan Inglis. He was also all-league last year, and he’s a good, sure-handed receiver,” Nye said. “He’s going to be a senior leader as a National Honors Society kid. He’s really bright. His uncle was on the ‘87 state championship team. He comes from a great football family.”
The Huskies’ junior class is deep with offensive contributors with the return of junior quarterback Andrew Nye and receiver Alex Fratemico. Between Fratemico, Inglis, and Garbinski, Andrew Nye will have plenty of targets to keep racking up the yards like he did last season.
“It’s awkward talking about Andrew since he’s my kid, so I try to be as objective as possible. He threw over 2,000 yards last year by necessity. That was in just seven and a half games, too,” said Nye. “Part of that is we have some really talented receivers. Another one of them is Alex Fratemico. He had a great basketball season last year, and when he receiving he looks like a basketball player. He can really go up and get it.”
As for the ground game, Coach Nye also has some returning running backs in senior Tim Lichak and junior Riley Jackson. Coach Nye expects he’ll be able to lean on them a little more this year.
“Last year we didn’t run the ball a whole lot,” said Nye. “With Tim and Riley coming back a little bit stronger and more experienced, I think they will bigger guys for us this year in terms of running the ball.”
Another place where Coach Nye expects to see some improvement is on the line with senior Chris Morris returning for his final run at Morgan.
“Chris Morris is just a big strong lineman, at 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, and he’s really athletic. He’s going to wind up being a four-year varsity starter for us,” Nye said. “Up front we have kids who have risen from JV really quickly. There are a lot of kids working really hard to put together a good season.”
As for the defense as a whole, Coach Nye believes there are plenty of athletic players putting their individual work in to take their games to the next level. Players like seniors Andrew Beauchamp, Dominic Carpenter, and Guiseppe Carpenter, as well as juniors Jordan Armstrong and Dominic Muce.
“Our middle linebackers Jordan Armstrong and Andrew Beauchamp are really strong kids who hit really hard. We also have Dominick Muce who’s a light but crafty nose guard,” Nye said. “The twins Dominic and Guiseppe Carpenter are both seniors, and they have a fair amount of experience between the two of them, too.”
As for practice, Coach Nye and Clinton schools are taking the slow approach in terms of getting players to practice together. Nye has been posting plenty of workouts that athletes can work on individually that will have them in top condition once the preseason gets underway on Aug. 3. The biggest concern that coach Nye has is that his kids are healthy so they can compete when the opening whistle blows.
“I’m doing what our district recommends, and I don’t want to put our football season in jeopardy. We want to dance in the fall. We’re going with Aug. 3 for in-person workouts. We’re not touching the smaller workouts. We’ve been posting workouts since March. Guys can keep doing sit-ups, push-ups, hills, and they can do that alone,” said Nye. “My job as head coach is to provide our kids with a plan that helps them grow physically as young men alongside their academic activities. If I can do that with games against Coginchaug and Valley, that’s great. Regardless, I still have to make sure they grow as young men between now and Dec. 2. As the adult in the room, my job is to keep them safe.”
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