Photo credits to Mark Curcio and Steady Photography
East Haven High School made a new addition to our football team this year. Coach Scott Benoit is bringing improvements and confidence to our East Haven Yellowjackets after our former coach left. Coach Benoit chose East Haven for “A lot of reasons.... I think it's a challenge to get the program back on its feet, I knew there [were] players here and the circumstances were right for me with the job and school system and I really enjoy it.”
Coach Benoit had a lot of experiences before joining East Haven, he was head coach at North Branford High School, Guilford High School, and Hamden High School. He was an assistant Coach at West Haven High School, Cheshire High School, Amity High School, North Haven High School, and the University of New Haven.
September 7th was the kick off to our 2018 football season playing against Bassick of Bridgeport catching a great win 51-0. Coach Benoit had great thoughts after the win the team had, “Last week was a good win we played really well. We had only one week of practice before school started it was a very short pre season and to come out and win like that I was very pleased.” Coach Benoit was very pleased and happy for our boys hard work to be shown. Coach Benoit enjoys working with the East Haven YellowJackets and wants to improve our program. Coach Benoit felt accomplished after their first win. He explained, “Absolutely winning is not easy and I think you need to enjoy the wins and you have to work hard for the full week and you gotta enjoy it they played well.”
Many of our players enjoy the new addition of Coach Benoit, Senior Michael Manning Jr, #2, who plays running back and cornerback, shared some of his thoughts and feelings about Coach Benoit, “I feel like the coaches this year know what they are doing and know what they are talking about. Smart with the team and know who fits where.” Michael Manning Jr would love to play football after his high school year and enjoys the game very much. Michael has a passion for football, “ Football is my life.” According to Michael the team has improved a lot over a short period of time, “We learned how to keep our heads up when we are losing and we have bigger hearts this year going into the season.” Coach Benoit made very good improvements to the team according to Manning.
Coach Benoit has already impacted each player individually. Senior captain Joshua Rao, #33 middle linebacker, was picked by Coach Benoit to be one of the three captains and we asked if that was a true statement and how it made him feel, “Yes it is true and I felt like it was really good opportunity a good accomplishment.” He hopes Coach Benoit felt that, “[He] could be a good leader.” Joshua states that, “He helped our program made it a lot more organized.” Senior Captain Joshua Rao hopes to have a great football season, “I was very happy with my first game win going into my senior year I hope it’s full of good wins.”
Second senior captain Ryan Cordova, #25 outside linebacker and fullback, feels a lot more confident going into his senior year of football. Ryan believes with the help of Coach Benoit, “We work way better as a team and we learned this year to win as a team.” He also wishes to go off to college and play football. Captain Ryan Cordova’s goal this season is to have, “Many wins and to keep the bond together with the team and have the confidence each week.” Each week they feel more confident within each game that the Yellowjackets play. Ryan will continue to improve and strive for win’s with the help of Coach Benoit and the YellowJacket team.
Junior Jacob Araujo, #22, plays tail back and corner. He says Coach Benoit is making great progress with the YellowJackets. According to Jacob, Coach Benoit is doing such a great job with the team. “Definitely a lot better he is more about the team and not induvals.” As time goes by, Coach Benoit connects with each individual player and makes a personal impact. The East Haven YellowJackets learned how to work more as a team. Araujo said, “We definitely learned that we all care for each other
and it’s more like a brotherhood now.” Jacob would like to go to college at Florida State University and continue to have a passion with the game after his high school years.
Junior Michael Castellano, #13, plays as running back and cornerback. He talks about Coach Benoit and shares that, “He is a good coach he knows what is doing and knows what he is talking about.” Michael says this year it's really different but in a good way. “A lot less fooling around and more plays that everyone is involved.” Everyone gets to be involved now that Coach Benoit is involved with the YellowJackets. After the amazing first win, Michael feels more confident going down the line for games because they feel like an actual team going into this season. Michael would like to play college ball but he is “open minded” with what college he would enjoy to attend.
Regina Araujo, EHHS Football parent, enjoys going to “Every single Freshman, Jv, Varsity game.” She enjoys that both of her sons play together and enjoys her husband being on the field with them. Regina Araujo appreciates Coach Benoit’s addition to the team. Regina thinks he made improvements on the team that had to be changed and he is doing a wonderful time with the Yellow Jackets. “I just hope that the coach will continue to make changes with the boys in a great way which he did already but keep them on track and as a team before it was about themselves now they are a team!”