Power soccer conferences announce CCC-FCIAC Kick Off Classic

Photo of Scott Ericson

Teams from either the CCC or the FCIAC have won the CIAC Class LL boys soccer championship 15 of the last 16 years it has been held.

Six times in that span the championship game has pitted a CCC team against an FCIAC team.

In the girls Class LL tournament, the winner has come from the CCC or the FCIAC in 14 of the last 16 championship games.

It is safe to say, the two conferences have established themselves as the best in the state.

With all that recent history it only makes sense that the two leagues announced the first FCIAC vs. CCC Kick Off Classic to be played this September with 20 boys programs from the two powerful conferences playing over one weekend at one venue.

“When the CCC switched to a 15-game schedule that opened up the possibly of doing this. We called around to coaches in both leagues and they were very receptive to it and the commissioners of both leagues were fully onboard,” Glastonbury girls coach and former boys coach Mark Landers said. “It’s all about growing the game of soccer. What better way to do that than having 20 great teams all playing in one place over one weekend?”

Landers said the girls side could not be worked out scheduling-wise, but he is hopeful next year to put on a similar weekend for the girls teams.

On the girls side after the FCIAC-CCC Kick Off Classic in FCIAC-CCC matchups, Glastonbury will face St. Joseph Oct. 4 at 4:30 p.m. Southington will play Ridgefield and Staples will take on Farmington on dates to be determined.

There will be 10 boys games all played at the FSA complex in Farmington on Sept. 23-24. The games will be played on the three fields at the complex with artificial turf and lights.

“I think any chance we get to showcase the sport like this involving teams from two of the top conferences in the state year-in and year-out for boys soccer, you do it,” Trumbull boys soccer coach Sil Vitiello said. “For years, we have had nothing but conference games on our schedules. We liked the idea of just having 15 games because of how compact our schedule in the FCIAC is, but we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to represent the FCIAC and to showcase high school boys soccer. Reminds me a little of the ACC/Big East Challenge in college basketball.”

The games begin Friday night, Sept. 23 at 5:30 with Ridgefield taking on Avon and McMahon facing South Windsor.

On Saturday at 12:30, Danbury will play Southington, defending Class LL champion Farmington takes on Trumbull and Westhill will face East Hartford.

“The FCIAC has been chasing the CCC a little bit these last few years in the state tournament. So to see first-hand what the best of the best looks like can only help us in my opinion,” Vitiello said. “The chance to represent the FCIAC is also important to us. We are proud of what we have been able to accomplish in the league. I think the fact that we are matched up with Farmington is in some way a sign of how respected we are around the state. It’s something to be proud of and we can’t wait for the challenge. I’ll be cheering on the rest of the FCIAC during the event as well.”

The 3 p.m. Saturday games will include Staples vs. Glastonbury and Wilton vs. Newington.

When Landers was the boys coach at Glastonbury, his teams annually scrimmaged Dan Woog’s Staples teams. Staples did beat Glastonbury 3-2 in the second round of the 2019 CIAC Class LL state tournament.

Capping things off at 6 p.m. on Saturday will be Class L champion Wethersfield facing New Canaan, Greenwich playing Hall in a rematch of the 2019 Class LL championship game and Darien meeting up with Conard.

“There is no doubt we have created some awesome matchups and some historically significant matchups. You could write a story about each one of these games on their own,” Landers said. “Traditionally the CCC and the FCIAC have produced amazing players, coaches and teams. It is awesome to get the conferences together.”

Sericson@stamfordadvocate.com; @EricsonSports