December 3, 2022

School Spotlight: St. Thomas More School (CT)

St. Thomas More School is a college preparatory boarding school in Oakdale, Connecticut. Oakdale is a small town in Connecticut, about a 30 minute drive from the capital, Hartford. The St. Thomas More Chancellors are led by head coach Ernest Anderson. Coach Anderson actually attended St. Thomas More as a post-graduate in 2004. He went on to play at Nichols college in Dudley, Massachusetts. After graduating from Nichols, coach Anderson began his coaching career at Hamden Hall. At the time, coach Anderson was working for Ron Carbone, a legendary high school football coach in the state of Connecticut. Following his time at Hamden Hall, coach Anderson would coach at a few high schools around the Connecticut area before ending up back at his alma mater. After working as the team’s defensive coordinator for some time, last spring coach Anderson became the head coach at St. Thomas More. Last week, I had the pleasure of speaking with coach Anderson as we talked about his team and the remainder of their season. 

One of the first questions I asked coach Anderson was, what he’s excited about with this new group of young talent. He answered, “I’m always excited about how our book is going to be told. We’re different than other high schools. When you go to high school, you kind of grew up with the kids and played against that competition your whole life. At St. Thomas More and other college preparatory boarding schools it’s different. Everybody was recruited here, everybody was the guy at their old school. So, the challenge for us is to make this a talented team, and not a talented group of individuals”. 

With being a college preparatory boarding school, many players are post-graduate seniors trying to get a scholarship or better offers. So, I asked the coach about the recruitment process and if there are any words or messages he tells the team to establish better relationships and help build trust with one another. Coach Anderson replied with, “I think if you asked all of our guys, the biggest thing we preach is selflessness, hard work, and caring for each other. We recruit certain types of kids. High academic, selfless kid, like I said who knows their why. If you talk to my guys, they’ll always know their why. It’s very important that they know why they’re here, who they’re here for and we focus on that throughout the year, so they never lose focus. When we come for camp, that’s the first thing that we write. We write a list of our why’s and tape it to our door. So that everyday we leave our dorm room, we’ll understand why we are here and why we are doing what we’re doing. 

Here are some of the players that we discussed during our conversation.

Zion Tracy is a class of 2023 ATH. Zion plays both wide receiver on offense and cornerback on defense. Coach Anderson stated, “Zion is a great kid. He’s a kid who was severely underrecruited because New York doesn’t get recruited that well, especially at the school he went to. He went to a basketball school, but he’s a kid who really just needed exposure. Zion is a phenomenal student, he’s a phenomenal son, he’s a phenomenal teammate and a phenomenal athlete. It wasn’t hard for us to see that, we just wanted to provide him a platform so others could see it as well. 

Joseph Mupoyi is a class of 2023 defensive end. Coach Anderson said, “Joseph is a phenomenal kid. Super respectful, was raised correct. He’s 6’6 240 pounds with long arms and plays with a great motor. He is just a little raw, right now we’re teaching him his why’s on the football field. Why do you have to come out every single time you stay low. It’s just really helping him understand the game and everybody else around him to make his job easier. 

Adam Shovlin is a class of 2025 defensive end. “That’s our man child, that’s my puppy. He’s 6’5 240 pounds, has multiple power 5 offers already. He’s probably one of the most hard working, high academic kids that we have. Adam Sholvin is all business. He’s an old soul, he’s not of those kids with glitz and glam. He’s just a hard working, selfless guy. I think at such a young age, it’s rubbed off on the team and coaches see the work that he puts in. How he practices and they’ve been really intrigued by him as well”. (coach Anderson)

Brandon Spence is a class of 2023 linebacker. “He’s been in the program for three years. He’s one that is really really special. Spence can do it, he can play in space, he can play in the box. He’s a workout warrior and high academic kid, so he’s a straight A student in the classroom. He has a really high ceiling and he’s coming to his own right now, but he’s a great leader and we are truly excited about Brandon Spence”. (coach Anderson)

Sage Clawges is a class of 2024 wide receiver. “He’s 6’4 180 pounds and was voted a junior captain which really doesn’t happen here. He’s special. He’s long, he’s athletic, he can run, he can jump. He already holds a couple offers from UCONN and Brown, which speaks to his intelligence and how highly academic he is. In my opinion, he’s going to be the top ‘24 wide receiver in New England”. (coach Anderson)

Jamal Davis Jr. is class of 2025 safety. Coach Anderson stated, “Jamal Davis is someone we are really excited about. We think that he, along with Shovlin, is going to be one of the next highly recruited kids. He’s 6 foot 200 pounds already. I think what he provides is great position versatility. He can play cornerback, he can play safety, he’s just a big physical athlete that has an extremely high ceiling and bright future”




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