Friday, March 23, 2007

I'll have a large wood finish-flavored coffee with a shot of varnish, please

Woke up bright and early this morning, ready to spend today staining the windows in my house. I made a quick trip out to get some coffee, which I brought back with me to sip while I painted. Bad move. After slapping on that first little bit of stain, I proceeded to dip the paintbrush into my full cup of coffee instead of the paint can. It's been one of those mornings.

Here's a portion of my notebook from today's Register that didn't make our website.

Brookfield ’s Scott Lutrus may feel a bit like a pinball the way he’s bounced between linebacker positions since arriving at the University of Connecticut .

In the eight months since he’s been on campus, Lutrus, a Register All-State selection in 2005, has moved from the outside to the middle to back outside this spring as one of two players competing for the starting job at strong side linebacker.

“I switched positions when I first got here, then switched back a few weeks ago so it’s kind of like starting over with a new position,” Lutrus said. “But these past few weeks I’ve been studying hard and watching a lot of film.”

Lutrus, at 6-foot-2, 227-pounds, was redshirted last fall despite making quite an impression on the coaching staff in preseason practice sessions. Despite his youthfulness and inexperience at middle linebacker, he showed the speed and strength to play the position right away.

Only when the coaches realized it would be more beneficial for Lutrus to spend the semester learning in practice and hitting the weights was he taken out of the mix.

He was expected to be a backup to senior Danny Lansanah in the middle this season when an opportunity opened up on the outside. Donta Moore, the starting strong side linebacker last season, was dismissed from the team for academic reasons in December. Moore ’s backup, Justin DeRubertis, wasn’t returning for his final season of eligibility.

Lutrus decided to seize the chance. He went in to ask coach Randy Edsall is he could move back to his old position. Edsall, already considering the switch, was one step ahead.

“We needed to move someone,” Edsall said. “We felt our best option was to put Scott outside. He learned some of the position in the preseason and we felt he had the body structure and makeup to play there.”

Lutrus is competing with fellow redshirt freshman Greg Robinson, a competition that may well last deep into August. Both players are athletic and strong, but both are still learning the nuances of the position.

“Scott took advantage of last year not playing and got stronger in the weight room,” Edsall said. “Now, he just needs more repetitions to get down the fundamentals and techniques.”

Hicks healthy, impressive

Seymour ’s Mike Hicks first season as a starting offensive lineman ended prematurely when he injured his knee and ankle late in the season.

But he’s healthy again and making quite an impression on Edsall with his improved strength and confidence.

“He’s starting to come out of his shell a little bit,” Edsall said. “He’s opened up a lot more. When you go up and say something to him, he says something back and jokes with you. He’s also gotten a lot stronger.”

Hicks, the team’s largest player at 6-foot-7 and 335 pounds, increased his squat to over 600 pounds despite “maybe having the worst (squat) technique I’ve ever seen”, according to Edsall.

A sophomore to be, Hicks is firmly entrenched as the starter at right tackle.


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