After down year, proud Daniel Hand program back in state semifinals

MADISON, Conn. (WTNH)–Hand of Madison is one of the most proud programs in the state. Last season, the mighty Tigers went 2-8, their worst record in years.

With a new head coach, there was talk that this season would be a rebuilding year. So much for that.

Led by Dave Mastroianni, the team’s old defensive coordinator and new head coach, plus a hungry bunch of seniors, Hand is a state title contender.

The Tigers are 10-1 going into Sunday’s Class L semifinal game with Windsor. They can score points, but their defense is key. The starting varsity ‘D’ is giving up less than five points per game.

Did anyone say ‘rebuilding’?

“There are no rebuilding years at Hand, it’s either you’re a state championship team or just another team that didn’t win it,” said captain Brian Casagrande.

“A lot of people came up to us and talked about a rebuilding year, and we simply said, no way, this senior class, there’s just too much talent, and we refused to be a grade that just passed through unnoticed,” said captain Connor Castaldo.

“This program is built off of state championships, built off players that care, coaches who want to win, players that come to practice every day willing to work,” Casagrande said.

“We never have the biggest, fastest, strongest guys but we always have a lot of prideful guys. We’re not going to be satisfied until we get a ring on our finger,” said captain Kevin Hughes.

Hand and Windsor kick off at 12:30 on Sunday at the Surf Club in Madison.

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