Football’s championship recognized during halftime

The New Haven football team was honored during halftime of Wednesday’s men’s basketball game for their Northeast-10 (NE-10) Championship. The team captains – Brett Huber, Affiz Din Gabisi and Mike Zecchin – accepted the Championship Trophy in front of a sold-out crowd in Charger Gymnasium. It is the team’s first conference championship since 2012.

The Chargers have waited for their hardware after beating Bentley University 31-14 for the NE-10 Championship on Nov. 6, 2021. Rather than do a trophy presentation after the game, the conference decided to push the recognition back to a later date.

Zecchin also received the NE-10 Offensive Lineman of the Year Award, being the first to do so since Zach Voytek in 2016. Chris Pincince, the Chargers’ seven-year head coach, was honored as the NE-10’s Coach of the Year after leading New Haven to a 10-2 (8-0 NE-10) record.

During the ceremony, offensive lineman Michael Wilson received the Elite 24 honors. The award is given to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative GPA at the finals site of each NE-10 Championship game.

Connecticut State Rep. Kathy Kennedy (R-119) was also in attendance to officially recognize the team’s accomplishments on behalf of the state’s General Assembly.

The 2021 season was the most successful for the New Haven football team in nearly a decade as they made it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Though they fell just short of defeating No. 12 Kutztown University, the Chargers finished ranked as the No. 14 team in the country.

Now, the Chargers look to build upon their success for the 2022 season. The process has already started as the team welcomes a dozen new transfers into the program, including some contributors from Division I programs like Albany, Bryant and Wagner. With the team welcoming back a large portion of their championship winning squad, the Chargers are geared up to repeat in 2022.

For now, they will be content with celebrating their long list of accomplishments from this season.