New England Football League Back In Business | New England Football League
New England Football League

Back In Business

Players like Eric Brown look to be a part of the 2016 Bearcats                                      

After a three year absence, the Connecticut Bearcats have returned for the 2016 season. “We needed to take time to get some things situated” said Owner Dom Colavito, “now we are back and ready for what the league has to offer.”

The Bearcats are returning to the New England Football League where they have had much success. In 2009, their first season in AAA, the Bearcats lost in the final minutes of the NEFL Championship game to Lowell Nor’easter. The Bearcats rebounded in 2010 dominating Lowell in both their regular season matchup and in the championship game to win their first title. The Bearcats defended their crown in 2011 defeating the Boston Bandits to become back to back champions.

Off the field the Bearcats was viewed as one of the top franchises in Minor League football. Taken on the title as “Connecticut’s Team,” the Bearcats provided an amazing sports venue for the football hungry fans throughout the area. With the mission of helping others, the team created the One for Fun program, a health based campaign focused on healthy eating and motivating school aged children to participate in exercise each day. “We visited elementary schools and summer camps throughout the state; we were ahead of the curve with some of the stuff we were doing.” In doing so, the Bearcats were named Organization of the Year in 2010 and 2011. Then General Manager Bernie Armstrong won the Administrator of the Year Award in 2009, 2010 and 2012.

The return of the Bearcats has placed some familiar faces in some different places. Colavito, who manned the offensive for the Bearcats will now take on both Head Coach and ownership responsibilities with Byron Knox. “Dom has been with us since the start,” said Knox, “it makes sense for him to get the opportunity to run the team.” Four-Time AAA Championship quarterback Richie Snowden will be under center as usual but will also be working as General Manager of the new-look Bearcats. “It is a lot of responsibility but at this point in my career I am ready for it.” Longtime All Star linebacker Court Sutherland has put the helmet away and will step in as Defensive Coordinator for the defensive minded team. “Court running the defense is natural for him,” said Snowden, “the guys all respect him and few people know more about the game than he does.”

The Bearcats will find themselves back in the Southern Division of the NEFL Colonial Conference. Arguably the toughest in the country with perennial champion Connecticut Panthers and last season’s leader, the Western Connecticut Militia. “We have a lot of work to do to compete with those types of teams,” said Colavito, “we have no problem with working hard; the best part is that we are doing it together.”

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