What’s Next For the Bears

A look into the Future of Norwalk Football.


Donna Akerman

Quarterback Shawn Brown (’23) scrambles for yards against Cheshire High School

Zach Christinat, Paw Print Reporter

As the clock struck 0:00 the Norwalk Bears walked off the field after a dominant 50-0 win over cross town rival, Brien McMahon; to cap off a 7-3 season, narily missing the state playoffs by one seed. 

When the season ended it took a majority of Bears starters with it, leaving questions about the next steps for the program under second year head coach, Patrick Miller

This past season the Bears lost a class of 22 seniors, Including New Haven State-Register Player of the Year, and UCONN commit, Camryn Edwards. Without the dominance of Edwards on both sides of the ball, who put up over 2100 all purpose yards and 28 TDs in 10 games on offense, the offense and defense next year might look a little different. “It’s always dictated by personnel… if our best players are four receivers then we might be throwing the ball more than we did” said Coach Miller (Head Coach). Without a running back as game changing as Edwards, we might find the Bears spreading the ball out and incorporating more players into the offense. 

A big role next year is Junior quarterback, Shawn Brown (‘23), who showed flashes of great play, but did not perform to his best abilities being it was a new offense and his first year of varsity football. Coach Miller has only good things to say about Brown, saying “he puts in the work in the offseason to get himself to where he is comfortable and just being him and making the plays we know he can make.” Brown mentioned how he is focusing on taking more of a leadership role especially with the younger players. Brown said “We have to make sure their confidence is always high because some of them might start for us next season”.

Coach Miller exclaimed that next season he will switch to a two platoon system, meaning that players only play offense or defense, opposed to going both ways. This past season most of the starters went both ways, and played special teams. A notable team that runs this system is the reigning state champs, Darien High School. Limiting 2-way starters allows players to stay refreshed and ready to go. Shawn Brown is all for it saying, “It’s a big benefit for us because [in] some of our big losses we were tired in crunch time”. Coach Miller’s decision to switch is somewhat an investment to the future of the program. Miller simply stated “lets get them really good at one side of the ball… they are talented but they are raw.

…they are talented but they are raw.”

— Coach Pat Miller

Coach Miller is referring to the young players, he believes they hold a lot of potential and honing their skills into one position will produce the best outcome.

The bears also continue to do winter lifting sessions to strengthen and prepare players for the upcoming season. Coach Miller mentioned that when the weather becomes somewhat nicer the team will begin doing speed and agility work outside after weight training. Jamar Alcena (‘23) and Theo Mante (‘23) both said, “The young guys are very energetic and enthusiastic about the weight-room, and there are alot of kids coming as well.” It is good to see a high number of kids participating in offseason work. Coach Miller does not plan on just doing workouts this season. He said he wants to get kids to go to camps, weightlifting competitions, and 7v7s, so  they can, in his words, “be used to competitive situations… so when gamedays come they are ready to perform in competitive situations.”  Everyone I talked to has had one thing in common, they all believe in Coach Miller and their teammates; get ready to pack the stands because the future is looking bright for Norwalk Football.