St. Joseph High School to Receive Walter Camp’s 2019 “Joseph W. Kelly” Award

The St. Joseph of Trumbull Cadets, the Class L state champion and No. 1 team in the state’s high school football season-ending polls, is the Walter Camp Football Foundation’s choice to receive the 2019 Joseph W. Kelly Award. 

The Kelly Award is presented annually to Connecticut’s top high school football team.

It is the second time St. Joseph has won the award – the other was in 1982.  It was also the fifth straight year a team from the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (FCIAC) has earned the honor, eclipsing the previous record held by the Southern Connecticut Conference (2009-2012).

“Utilizing a stingy defense and an explosive offense, St. Joseph was exceptional on its way to its third straight championship season,” said Walter Camp Football Foundation President Mario Coppola.  “We salute Coach Joe Della Vecchia, his staff and players on an outstanding season.”

St. Joseph went 10-0 during the 2019 regular-season, outscoring its opponents by an average of 50.7 to 6.1.  The Cadets then defeated Wilton, 49-7, in the Class L quarterfinals on December 3.  In the semifinals, St. Joseph defeated New Canaan, 42-0, and culminated its championship season with a hard-fought 17-13 victory over previously undefeated Daniel Hand on December 14.    It was the Cadet’s third state title with all coming in three different classes (Class S, M and L).

In their 13 games, the Cadets averaged 47.3 points per game, allowing just 6.2 a game.

Coach Della Vecchia and the St. Joseph team will be recognized at the Foundation’s annual national awards banquet, presented by David McDermott Lexus, on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020 at Yale University’s Lanman Center.   Walter Camp Player of the Year Joe Burrow, along with members of the 2019 Walter Camp All-America team, and other major award winners (Man of the Year-Curtis Martin; Distinguished American-Chris Berman), will be honored.

Earlier that day, St. Joseph, along with the three other state football champions (Newtown-LL, Weston-M and Sheehan-S) will also be feted the organization’s High School Breakfast of Champions event at the Omni New Haven Hotel.   Also that morning, the Walter Camp All-Connecticut Team, High School Player and Coach of the Year will also be recognized.

Walter Camp, “The Father of American football,” first selected an All-America team in 1889. Camp – a former Yale University athlete and football coach – is also credited with developing play from scrimmage, set plays, the numerical assessment of goals and tries and the restriction of play to eleven men per side. The Walter Camp Football Foundation – a New Haven-based all-volunteer group – was founded in 1967 to perpetuate the ideals of Camp and to continue the tradition of selecting annually an All-America team.  Visit for more information.

Walter Camp “Joseph W. Kelly Award” Connecticut High School Champions

2019 – St. Joseph (Trumbull)

2018 – Greenwich

2017 – Darien

2016 – Darien

2015 – Darien

2014 – Southington

2013 – Ansonia

2012 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

2011 – Xavier (Middletown)

2010 – Xavier (Middletown)

2009 – Notre Dame (West Haven)

2008 – New Canaan

2007 – Ansonia

2006 – Ansonia

2005 – Xavier (Middletown)

2004 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

2003 – New Britain

2002 – West Haven

2001 – New Britain

2000 – Fitch (Groton)

1999 – Bloomfield

1998 – Bloomfield

1997 – Daniel Hand (Madison)

1996 – Weaver (Hartford)

1995 – Cheshire

1994 – Cheshire

1993 – Cheshire

1992 – Cheshire

1991 – Notre Dame (West Haven)

1990 – Derby

1989 – Ansonia

1988 – Stratford

1987 – East Catholic (Manchester)

1986 – Trumbull

1985 – Hillhouse (New Haven)

1984 – Middletown

1983 – Ansonia

1982 – St. Joseph’s (Trumbull)

1981 – Naugatuck

1980 – Trumbull

1979 – Newington

1978 – Amity (Woodbridge)

1977 – Trumbull

1976 – Fitch (Groton)