Pickens' Perspective: Fairfield Prep football win was nice, but not cause for celebration yet
Published 3:30 pm, Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Live it up, Prep football fans.
The Jesuits are 1-0 for the first time since 2008. They looked very good in their opener -- a 47-0 trouncing of Wilbur Cross on Friday afternoon. They were opportunistic, enthusiastic and made plays, which will win them a lot of games.
In fact, on the surface, it would appear the Jesuits played a nearly perfect game.
That definitely wasn't the case, and Prep coach Tom Shea knows it. The Jesuits struggled in the kicking game, turned the ball over and let-- as Cross coach John Acquavita said-- a "glorified JV team" hang around for 20 minutes.
Don't get me wrong; you play the schedule you have. Plus, in week one nerves always come into play. Backe was making just his second varsity start.
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Plus, winning your opener always feels good. Being undefeated and over .500 is every team's goal after week one.
But just because Prep won by 47 on opening day, doesn't mean it'll be an SCC title challenger.
News flash too, people: if the Jesuits beat East Haven by 40, it won't mean they're going to win the conference either.
Shea gets that too. He's seen his team blowout lesser opposition before. He made beating a winning program a preseason point of emphasis.
"We've beaten teams that are smaller than us, we've beaten teams that are OK," Shea said on Sept. 1. "We've got to now step up and beat an elite team ... if we're going to be a good team, we've got to go beat one of those teams."
Give Shea credit, he's focused and believes, but is realistic. That's one of his best qualities. He'll tell it like it is. You're only as good as your best win, and Prep's best win -- thus far-- is over a team that has winless potential.
"We had to come and win and that's what we did," Shea said. "It was very sloppy, but we kept pressing and playing hard and ... we did what we had to do, and we're very happy with the result."
That's not to say we didn't learn about Prep. The Jesuits have depth at running back, Shea is exceedingly high on Smith, Backe threw a touchdown pass-- proving Prep can make plays in the passing game. I learned a lot watching that.
And there'll be opportunities to learn more. Can Prep beat Cheshire, Shelton or Xavier? The Jesuits showed potential in week one and will have the opportunity to later in the year.
But can we crown them? Not just yet.