Since Marce Petroccio took over Trumbull’s football program in 2018, he has built what he hopes is a sustainable program.
Despite missing out on the 2020 season and having some of the same question marks as every program enters the 2021 season with players who don’t have much varsity experience, Petroccio thinks this could be a tide turning year for Trumbull.
This is truly a special group. We have great senior leadership and we have kids who really want to win, said Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio. They don’t just talk the talk, they walk the hall. It’s chemistry and you can’t coach it. We know that a real season is coming and these kids are embracing everything that needs to be done to prepare for it.
The Eagles were 5-5 in 2018 under Petroccio and 3-7 in 2019.
In his early years at Staples, his teams went 2-8, 5-5 and 5-5 before going 8-3 in his fourth year and 11-2 in his fifth year, winning the FCIAC Championship and the CIAC Class L title game reached .
That roadmap would be fine for Petroccio to follow at Trumbull.
The Eagles have seniors to lean on for leadership, but the plan, at least en route to training camp in August, is to have players from all ranks contribute.
It’s a good mix, we also have some young kids playing, Petroccio said. We haven’t dealt with anyone since November 2019 and we know a real season is coming. These kids are embracing it and have worked hard to prepare for it.
Petroccio knows he will win by taking home five FCIAC and three state titles while coaching Staples to 210 wins in 25 years.
He also knows how to win at Trumbull, having played for legendary coach Jerry McDougall there and later joined the McDougall staff before taking the job at Staples.
Fans got a taste of Trumbull two weeks ago at the Grip it and Rip it 7-on-7 tournament in New Canaan, where the Eagles reached the semifinals.
It’s all about trust, Petroccio said. We just have to get better and better. Suddenly, kids who sometimes don’t try hard because it’s 7-on-7, those kids are already locked and loaded. Everyone is on point. That’s what these games do for us.
The season officially kicks off with OTAs August 12-14 and formal practices on August 21.
Trumbull will open the season at Staples on September 10 in what will be Trumbull’s first trip to Westport since Petroccio took over the Eagles.
In other major games, they will face off against their SCC neighbors Shelton on October 1; host Greenwich October 22 and travel to Ridgefield November 5.
Petroccio thinks his team will be ready for the challenging schedule, in part because he is confident his team will be strong defensively.
While it’s not the same as in real games, he liked what he saw from that side of the ball at Grip it and Rip it.
The only thing we haven’t done since I’ve been here is great defending, said Petroccio. Now we start playing quality defense. It starts at the back and those kids have been great here. We have some big kids that we’re going to have beforehand. We are looking forward to August and the season.
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