FOOTBALL: Sagnella named Coach of the Year

Three months after claiming the program’s first-ever state title, the celebration continues for Anthony Sagnella and his North Haven High School football team.

This past weekend, the Nighthawks were honored at the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s Connecticut High School “Breakfast of Champions” held at The Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale.

During the event, Sagnella was named Coach of the Year, and North Haven’s Adam Pandolfi, a defensive back, was recognized for being selected first-team All-Connecticut.

Back in December, the NHHS football team, a modest No. 5 seed, defeated No. 3 Killingly 51-34 at Rentschler Field to earn the CIAC Class MM state championship.

During the post-game revelry, Sagnella was asked how he would remember the 2022 Nighthawks.

“Just like that over there,” he said, pointing to his players celebrating next to the stands with a mass of fans. “They set the bar high with their goals. Then they had the courage to go work for it. They got to realize it today. That doesn’t happen often.”

At the “Breakfast of Champions,” North Haven and Connecticut’s other 2022 football champs were feted, and individual and team awards were handed out by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

A former Yale University athlete and coach, Walter Camp is considered “The Father of American football.” He was such a well-respected figure in the sport that the All-America teams he selected from 1898 through 1924 were recognized as official.

Camp died on March 14, 1925.

The New Haven-based Walter Camp Football Foundation was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.

Also, each year, the foundation shines a light on Connecticut high school football at its “Breakfast of Champions.”


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