NCHS Senior Drew Pyne Signs Early Letter of Intent To Play Football at Notre Dame

New Canaan High School senior quarterback Drew Pyne on Wednesday signed an early Letter of Intent to play football at the University of Notre Dame. Pyne said he’s always dreamed of playing at the storied Indiana university. “[Rams Football Head] Coach [Lou] Marinelli gave me the right path in high school to make all this happen, so all thanks to him,” Pyne said moments before a signing ceremony in the Wagner Room at NCHS attended by more than 50 relatives, friends, classmates, teammates and coaches. “I’m blessed with this great opportunity so I’m very excited.”

Asked what special NCHS memories he’ll take with him, Pyne said, “All of high school has been fantastic, whether football or academically.”

“Mr. [Bill] Egan, our principal, has made it a great experience for me. And Coach Marinelli has made it unbelievable as well.

New Canaan Football Blanks Norwalk 43-0

It was one heck of a way to start a football game. Ryan O’Connell had a season’s worth of highlights in the game’s early moments, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and adding three interceptions in the first half—including a pick-six on the game’s first play from scrimmage—to lead New Canaan to a 43-0 win over the Norwalk Bears Friday night at Dunning Field. “He’s been everything,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli said of his senior co-captain. “He’s the best around on both sides of the ball since [current New Canaan defensive coordinator and former star player] Chris Silvestri’s been here.” High praise indeed.

New Canaan Football Slips Past Trinity Catholic 20-6

It wasn’t the prettiest of wins, but Lou Marinelli will take it. Tested by a tough, underrated Trinity Catholic squad Marinelli’s New Canaan Rams—buoyed by a spectacular defensive performance—escaped their season-opener at Dunning Field with a hard-fought 20-6 win over the Crusaders. “Thank God for our defense, thank God for (defensive coordinator) Chris Silvestri, they did a tremendous job,” Marinelli told “The best thing I can say is that we were stymied. Thank God for some heroics by some kids who came up big.”

One such hero was New Canaan linebacker James Freyre.

New Canaan Football Outlasts North Haven 42-35 for Third Straight Class L Crown

It was billed as a matchup of two heavyweights with polar opposite styles—the 21st century run-and-gun spread offense of the No. 6 New Canaan Rams versus the old-school ground-and-pound, Single-wing formation of the top-seeded North Haven Indians. It turned out to be North Haven’s passing that kept the game close, but it was New Canaan’s ground attack that ultimately won it. Led by senior running back Matt Cognetta’s 225 rushing yards and two touchdowns, the Rams outlasted the Indians 42-35 in a classic Class L championship showdown at Ken Strong Stadium in West Haven—one that had just about everything and anything you could have asked for from a high school football game. “It was a great football game to be at,” Marinelli told

2015 New Canaan Football Preview: Rams Look to Fill Big Shoes, Defend State Championship

Every year, the New Canaan Rams football team faces the same question: How will you replace last year’s graduates? And every year, the answer remains the same: Next man up. Few would disagree that elements of last season’s state championship team are irreplaceable—most notably All-State receiver Alex LaPolice and CT Gatorade Defensive Player of the Year Zach Allen. Both figure to be immediate-impact players at their respective post-NCHS, Division I programs, with Allen at Boston College and LaPolice at Harvard. That said, New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli has the luxury of benefitting from his own creation—a factory-like feeder program in a football-crazy town, which can make even the biggest shoes seem fillable.