Luca Antonio and Trumbull hope basketball skills translate to football

NEW CANAAN – All the tools were there to be a wide receiver. All Trumbull’s football team had to do was convince Trumbull’s basketball player to join them.

“They’re in gym class throwing the ball, and he’s catching it all,” Eagles football coach Marce Petroccio said Saturday at New Canaan’s Tri-State Grip It and Rip It Passing Championships. “I said, ‘We have to catch this kid. “”

Luca Antonio says he had never played organized football before, he just went out on the pitch with his mates and waved it around a bit. He may be a rookie, but Petroccio thinks his senior could be a special player for the Eagles.

“It was really fun,” Antonio said. “I went on the pitch with my offense and my defense for a while before the start of the season.”

He’s gained some experience over the past week in the modified football experience of 7-on-7 events, including this one scattered around New Canaan pitches.

Antonio said he has been friends with many football players for quite some time.

“I have always enjoyed playing football with them. They thought I could be good, and I liked to play too, so I just went out there with them a few times.

Petroccio saw in gym class a fast, athletic basketball player who can dunk.

“He is a respectful and wonderful boy. And he’s friends with the quarterback, Hunter (Agosti),” Petroccio said. “I said ‘What do you think?’ He said ‘I’m thinking about it. I could try football.

“Basketball, which he’s also very good at: we said maybe football, not that you’re not tough, but it might make you a better basketball player. He was like ‘OK, Coach , of course.'” Petroccio added, deadpan, “He took the bait.”

A 6-foot-3 guard in the winter, Antonio agrees that his speed and athleticism will be assets as a 6-foot-3 receiver, not to mention the advantage of that jumping ability.

“My athleticism is really good and my hands are really good,” he said. “I’m learning the routes and improving every day.”

Antonio wouldn’t be the first player to come back to the game late and make an impact. He wants to play basketball in college, but he doesn’t rule out the idea that he could make it through football.

And Petroccio will continue to search for pearls in the gymnasium.

“I think the year we had last year really helped us,” the coach said. The Eagles were 7-3 last fall after a handful of winless years and the lost 2020 pandemic season. “That senior group was awesome. Children want to be associated with a team that can win.

“(Antonio) is on board. The parents are great. He is happy to play. All of that (7 vs. 7) here helps tremendously, boosts his confidence and everything else.

Choate won the weekend’s event with an 18-8 win over defending champion Windsor.

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