When Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers U15, U16 and U18 head coach Chris Gragnano looks down all three rosters he is tasked with coaching in the second season of EHF Selects, he is amazed at the influx of skill on the U15 team.
He also remarks about the depth of talent on both the U16 and U18 squads.
On the U15 team, three players coming up from the U14 to watch will be defensemen Nico Cadoret, Will Richards, and Colin Eschricht. Gragnano is excited to watch them blend in.
“Look for them to have a good fall into the winter,” Gragnano said.
Gragnano termed the U16 team “Really special and really talented,” as they have plenty of returning ‘03’s and ‘04’s. In the ‘03 group, goalie Connor Callaghan, defensemen Nick Donaldson, Chase Ramsey and Drew Tsakounis and forwards Paul Davey and Matthew McGroarty are all back.
As for the ‘04 group, defenseman Charlie Leddy and forwards Ander Cerbone, Connor Welsh and Beanie Richter will now have a year of experience under their belt.
The U18 team could be a wagon as their depth is unmatched by many teams in the EHF Selects.
“Another good team,” Gragnano said. “Really excited about the depth.”
Two key ‘01 players will be Gavin Puskar and Michael Fairfax. Between the pipes, a pair of ‘02’s, Ethan Roberts and Cameron Smith, are expected to hold down the fort.
Gragnano knows all three teams will be extremely competitive but one thing he’s stressing is for them to enjoy the game. With all the scouts watching, players can be distracted and Gragnano believes making sure they have fun playing still is the key.
“I’ll let them feel it out,” Gragnano said. “I’ll address it if I need to, but for the most part, I just tell them to relax, have fun, play their game, try to enjoy it. As much as there’s a lot of pressure around it, try and stay in the moment and play hard and certainly have fun while you’re doing it, because if it’s not fun, it doesn’t matter who’s watching.”