Football program gains 12 on Signing Day

Ethan Cardona, Contributing Writer

National Signing Day was Feb. 3 as high school football players began to sign their national letters of intent (NLI) to join college football programs. The Chargers were not left out of the mix, as head coach Chris Pincince announced the signing of 12 new players, who will don Blue and Gold for the next four years.

Of those 12 new players, eight will line up on the offensive side of the ball, including a pair of local quarterbacks, Ethan Reed of Windsor, Conn., and Brady Lafferty of Southington, Conn., who will compete for the starting position. Lafferty’s ties to the athletic department run deep, as his mother was a member of the 1987 Chargers women’s basketball team that won the only team national championship in the history of New Haven athletics.

The remaining four will look to become key members of the New Haven secondary, including cornerback Christian Ais, who joins the football program along with his twin brother, running back Christopher.

These new additions will feature a greater number of athletes from the Connecticut area, with COVID-19 limiting Pincince and his staff during the recruiting process over the last year.

“We’ve probably only left campus less than half a dozen times since the beginning of last fall,” said Pincince. “We went to a couple of combines and a couple of high schools to watch teams play, probably a reason why we have so many local kids joining the program.”

These new players are the start of a long process for Pincince and his staff, as they will look to sign more players through the spring semester, and have already added eight new players since signing day, bringing the freshman class up to 20 members in the early part of the signing season.
New Haven football has maintained a winning record in each season since the program was reinstated prior to the 2009 season, including a 7-3 record in 2019. The most recent postseason success came in 2018 when the team made the NCAA tournament, upsetting the two-seed West Chester University on the road, before losing in the second round of the tournament to Slippery Rock University. The 2020 season was canceled due to COVID-19.