By Kevin McCaskill Jr.
10/1/21 * 7:05 AM
(WILBRAHAM) - Thursday night, I was in the spacious town of Wilbraham. The Falcons of Minnechaug Regional HS hosted the Colts of Chicopee Comprehensive HS. Minnechaug came into the game 2-1; Chicopee Comp hasn’t won a game yet this season.
The Colts are still winless.
The Falcons dominated the game from the 1st to the 4th quarter.
Minnechaug scored 48 unanswered points up until the 4th quarter. Chicopee Comp scored on a running play in the 4th.
Falcons Senior QB Jeremy Diehl had 3 total TDs - 2 passing and 1 running. His run TD was the first TD of the game.
The Kozub Brothers - Josh and Isaiah - ran roughshod over the Colts defense and special teams. The Kozub Brothers scored three straight TDs, in between the 2nd and 3rd quarters. Josh scored on an amazing punt return, where he tried the right side first, spun around to reverse field, hit the left side and took it to the house 🏡. Isaiah scored 2 TDs: one out of the “Wildcat” formation, where he took the snap from the shotgun and plowed his way in to the end-zone. His second TD was on a conventional run play.
Sam Manertia scored the last TD of the night for the Falcons. He gained good yardage on runs during the drive and cashed one in for a TD 💪.
The Minnechaug players, coaches and fans were hyped all night. At halftime, young players in the Minnechaug flag football league got to go on the big field and showcase their talents. I saw one youngster scored a TD 👏🏾. Their parents and siblings were on the sidelines. A great halftime moment last night in Wilbraham.
Falcons > Colts, by a lot. 🟢
Jeremy Diehl - 2 pass TDs, 1 run TD
CJ Cronin - 1 rec TD
James Jolicoeur - 1 rec TD
Isaiah Kozub - 2 run TDs
Josh Kozub - 1 punt return TD
Sam Manteria - 1 run TD
1 run TD
After the game, I got to speak to both Head Coaches.
🔵‘Comp HC Graham Raymond🟡
What did you key in on this week in practice to try and stop Minnechaug?
“We knew the Kozub Brothers…were really good players; they have a lot of speed. We tried to prepare as best we could for their speed but obviously they made a few big plays tonight - the punt return stands out to me…We tried our best to prepare for their team speed but its hard to do that in practice…”.
What are you and your coaches telling your team on the sideline when you are down?
“We just wanna execute. It doesn’t matter what the score is, we want to run our plays successfully on offense. We want to play hard and tackle on defense. We just want our kids to play hard…it really doesn’t matter what the situation is”.
Lastly, this a political question kinda. I saw a post [on social media] about low participation numbers in Chicopee high school sports*. Are you seeing that with football? And why do you think kids don’t want to participate in Chicopee high school sports?
“We have a good roster right now. I’d like to add to it. We have about 45 kids right now. I’d like that number to be up in the sixties and seventies. We are just gonna coach the kids we have and worry about that in the offseason”.
🟢Minnechaug HC Will Nickerson⚪️
Can you tell us about Jeremy Diehl’s contribution to the Minnechaug 🏈 program?
“He got his 1st snaps in April during that Fall 2 season. A true program guy. He has always been a QB growing up; he’s a free safety too…One of our captains for us, above a 4.0 GPA, top flight student as well. A great program kid that keeps stepping up week after week. This was his 10th game starting”.
Can you tell us about the Kozub Brothers?
“Josh is a captain for us as well. He is a Senior heading off to Connecticut College for lacrosse. Another kid with above 4.0 GPA, awesome student. Started at safety as a Sophomore [and Junior]. He has played some more offense for us. He has been a punt returner the last couple of years. Isaiah is his younger brother. A running back and corner for us. Really took over that position [RB] in the Fall 2. Had some really good games against Central - the second time, EL, Holyoke”.
How will you stop the Cauley to Cabrera connection against Holyoke next week?
“Both those kids seeing them in 7-on-7 in Holyoke, playing them last [season] in Fall 2. We won 40-21, something like that, we won but those three TDs were Cauley to Cabrera. [Cabrera], he is the real deal. We have to mix up coverage a little bit…They have a really good center, Aidan Stark. Their running back, [Dylan] Lubold…They have some really good talent. Coach Dutsar is a really good coach”.
All 7 scoring plays for Minnechaug
(Jeremy Diehl runs for a TD)
(Jeremy Diehl throws a TD pass to CJ Cronin)
(Jeremy Diehl throws a pass to James Jolicoeur for a TD)
(Josh Kozub returns a punt for a TD)
(Isaiah Kozub runs for a TD)
(Isaiah Kozub runs for his 2nd TD of the game)
(Sam Manteria scores a run TD)
*Article from Masslive/Advance Local https://www.masslive.com/news/2021/09/chicopee-task-force-to-study-decline-in-school-sports-participation.html