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Nick Zeoli, then a physical education teach at the “old” Wilton High School (Cider Mill School) gathered a group of 10th graders on the marsh along the Norwalk river for the first WHS Varsity Football practice. Note that at that time, Junior and Senior age children in Wilton Attended Staples High School in Westport. This season consisted of scrimmages and no official games
First official Varsity Season, with the squad expanding to both 10th and 11th graders. Wilton had a 5 game schedule (Ridgefield, Carmel, Bethel, Brewster and St. Lukes) and emerged with a 2-3 record.
In their second season, Wilton improved to 5-1, adding Summers NY and the King School (Stamford) to their schedule. Through out this period, the High School was enrolling about 190 boys and fielding 70 candidates for the team.
Ed Ashnault joined Coach Zeoli as the first full time assistant coach and remained with the program for four years. Wilton’s schedule was expanded and enjoyed another good season, going 6-1.
Proved to be an auspicious season for the young Warriors, going 8-0 for a Class C State Championship. The late John Corr, then a senior, lead the squad to impressive wins over Ridgefield, Barlow, Bethel and a 48-8 thumping of Trumbull.
Another impressive season finished at 7-1, a second Class C State Championship with the only loss vs. New Canaan, in an epic 8-6 battle on a rain soaked field. This marked the first New Canaan/Wilton encounter. John Corr, later inducted into the WHS Football Hall of Fame graduated and played College ball at the University of Bridgeport.
Wilton was avenged as the warriors beat New Canaan 20-12 after loosing to McMahon in the season opener, 7-6. Final record for the season was 5-3. David Von graduated, played college football for Memphis State University and went on to play for the Miami Dophins.
Wilton surged back with a 7-1-1 record, beating McMahon 26-14, Trumbull 26-0 and overcoming a 26-0 deficit to tie New Canaan 26-26. Guy Whitten joined Coach Zeoli as an assistant coach and remained with the Football program for over 10 years.
Season record 3-5
Tom Fujutani joined Wilton Football. Season record was 3-6.
Season record 5-3
Last season for Nick Zeoli as head coach. Season record was 4-5. Through out these earlier years, Wilton parcipated in the Western Connecticut Conference (WCC).
Coach Zeoli accumulated a 55-28-1 record over his 11 year career as Wilton’s first Varsity coach. Nick’s tenure in Wilton went beyond Football, and his character and anecdotes will live on in the memories of those who were fortunate to have had him as an coach or athletic director. Nicks relationship with the parents of the boys he coached were vital, and as such, he would host a Mom’s Monday Tea. On these occasions, Mothers of the players could ask questions or critique coaching! Of course, tea and cookies were served.
1968 also marked the Building and dedication of Memorial stadium. The funds and labor were all volunteer efforts guided by the Wilton Fathers Club (an earlier version of our Booster Clubs). The fathers that spearheaded these efforts include: John Howland Snow, Clem Young, John Copley, Robert Billmeyer, Robert Cieri, John Copley, Daniel Gillespie, Christian Holland, John Hancock, Milton Oehler, Gerald Schlegel and Richard Sell.
On October 19, 1968, Homecoming weekend, ceremonies were held at halftime and the stadium was dedicated to the memory of eight Wilton boys who lost their lives in the service of their country.
Roger V. P. Burke
David L. Carlson
John G. Corr
Samuel D. Freeman III
Peter W. Johnson
Steven T. Perry
Howard M. Pyle
Warren D. Vought
The Homecoming program carried this dedication written by John Howland Snow:
It was born of the spirit, of the spirit of men – of one, at first in particular; then of an intimate few, then of scores.
It took root in the hearts of hundreds, entered the thought-lives of our women folk, and of their daughters and their sons, in the little town of Wilton, in the gently rolling hills of Connecticut.
It spread outward from these pleasant homes, into the world of commerce, of business, the professions, and the arts and the humanities, and became a part of our entire community, intangible as is life.
It flourished by night and by day, until for a time there was a magnificence of its wholeness, and the concept that was impossible took place, and was accepted, and there came the day of its realization.
Then, in less than nineteen hours, there rose its symbol, tangible, and the dream that men and women and their younger folk could think and work together was fulfilled.
Dream became reality, for it was born of the spirit within.
Now it is the Day of Dedication, the day of reverence and of prayer, the day on which we of Wilton all of us together and each one separately, bow our heads to Him in Whom reside all grace and wisdom, in humble homage to those eight young men of ours whose sacrifice for Country we honor, and whose spirit is hear among us, perpetuated forever.
John Howland Snow
Tom Fujitani (a Greenwich HS Alumni) takes over the head coaching job. Introduced the Wishbone offense, resulting in a 6-2 record.
Season record 4-5.
Wilton joined the FCIAC, although not yet on parity with the other schools with respect to enrollment (mostly LL), posting a regular season record of 4-4-1.
John Nessell graduated and played college ball at Penn State University, and played professional football for the Atlanta Falcons.
Season record 5-4.
Season record 3-6. Steve Rose recorded 63 unassisted tackles in this season, a record that still stands in 2009. Steve went on to play at UConn
Marked a year of close games vs. tough competition. The 6-4 record did not reflect the talented group of players, with a heartbreaking loss on the last play of the game to New Canaan (26-21) and close matches with Staples (14-9), McMahon (32-23) and Stamford Catholic (21-14). In this season, the Warriors set two team records that still stand as of 2009, Most Total Yards in one game vs. Ridgefield (600 yards) and Most Rushing Yards in one game vs. Ridgefield (573 yards). Mike Faught received 2nd Team Allstate Honors and went on to play at Harvard.
Called the Monson Season, the small but talented Warrior squad achieved a 5-5 record. Despite the weather, Marc Read set the individual record of Most Rushing Yards in a Game (502 Yards) that still stands in 2009. Scott Perry went on to play professional football for the Miami Dolphins.
Coach Fujitani recalled this season as an exceptional year with exceptional kids. The 8-1 record was not enough to place then in the post season, however, the enthusiasm and work ethic’s of this group of players set a standard that carried over for the next several seasons. This talented group of Warriors have three team records and one individual record that still stand as of 2009: Largest Margin of victory vs. Danbury (48-0), Most Shut Outs in a Season (5), Most All County Players (8) and Most Tackles in a Season, Dave Papenfuss (166). Dave Papenfuss (1st Team) and Sam (Buzzy) Vail (2nd Team) received post season All State Honors.
Tim Eagan joins the Warriors as an assistant coach. The Warriors went 5-4 and Line Backer/Center Mike Pressler received 1st Team All State Honors. Steve Miller set an individual record with the Most Interceptions in one season (10).
The Warriors 9-1-1 season provided a State Championship Title, betting Newtown 17-7 and the FCIAC East Title. They fell short vs. a tough McMahon Team for the coveted FCIAC title on Thanksgiving day. In this championship season, the Warriors set a team record with only 27 points scored against their defense in the whole season. In addition, Marc Wittenbauer (1st Team) and Peter Quigley (2nd Team) were given All State Honors.
Season record 7-2.
Season record 7-2-1.
The Warriors return to the FCIAC championship by by winning the FCIAC East title. They came up short vs. Trinity Catholic on Thanksgiving day.
For the second season in a row, the Warriors take the FCIAC East title only to come up short against McMahon for the Conference championship.
Bruce Cunningham joins the Warriors as an assistant coach for the next three seasons.
The Warriors win the FCIAC Championship, beating Greenwhich.
The Warriors with the FCIAC East and loose to McMahon in the Championship
The Warriors repeat as FCIAC East Champions, but again loose in the championship with McMahon.
Tom Fujitani’s last Season as the Warrior Head Coach. Season record 7-3. This team placed a record number of players on the All-FCIAC team (12) and had two Individual records set by Justin Saverine, Most TD’s in a single season (18 tied with Bob Jerozal 1984) and Most Points in a Single Season (136).
After 32 Seasons as the head coach, Tom achieved overall record of 163-147-10 record with two state Championships on four trips to the title game and one FCIAC title on six attempts. In his final season, Coach Fujitani was named to the Tri-State Team, citing his accomplishments in a small school, in Connecticuts “big-school conference”.
Tim Eagan takes over as Head Coach after 23 seasons as Assistant Coach. Bruce Cunningham re-joins the Warriors as an assistant coach.
The Warriors posted a respectful 7-3 season, setting a Team Record with Most Points Scored in a Game vs. Harding (54 Points).
The Warriors second 7-3 season, was just short of gaining a state playoff birth, with a close lose to New Canaan (21-27) being the decisive contest.
Tim Eagan retires after 32 years as a Warrior Coach. Bruce Cunningham is named Head Coach for the 2009 Season.
Season record 4-6
Matt Reyes-Guerra-Dunn, Clay Helms, Ryan Phillips receive all FCIAC East Honors.
Season record 6-4
Connor Devane, Alex Ward, Hunter Geraghty, Mike Lasala and Sean Carroll receive all FCIAC East Honors. .
Season record 4-6.
Mike Burns, Mike Lasala and Brett Phillips receive all FCIAC East Honors.
Archived Warrior Press Box News Items:.
2012 Season News
2013 Season News
2014 Season News