Cheshire Academy made some news this weekend when our Jake Klein reported that the school would be taking in Loomis Chaffee transfers Dante Reno, Jacob, and Jerod Smith.
Earlier in the week, we spoke to Cheshire coach Dan Mehleisen about his prospects, and this was before the transfer news broke. But we did get to speak about some players who will be making a difference for Cheshire this fall.
Mehleisen has coached at the college level, and is coming off his first full year as head coach at Cheshire.
The first player we talked about was 2024 linebacker Elijah Newby, who is from Bridgeport, Conn., and previously played at St. Joseph’s of Trumbull.
A slew of schools are already in pursuit, as Newby holds offers from Penn State, Utah, Louisville, UMass, Pitt, West Virginia, West Point, Kentucky, Penn, Yale, Dartmouth, Temple, Wake Forest, North Carolina, and Stanford.
“There are a lot of schools that have been on him for a year and a half now,” Mehleisen said. “There are schools with the newfound attention are certainly coming in to see him, and he’s been fortunate enough to pick up some offers.”
Newby came to Cheshire as a repeat sophomore, and at 6-foot-4, 200 pounds is very athletic for his size.
“He’s really aggressive,” Mehleisen said. “He’s really physical. He’s quite athletic. I think he high jumped 6-4 last year. He ran a 10.93 in the 100 (meters) last spring. He’s freakishly athletic.”
And schools will like Newby as a person, too.
“He’s an unbelievable kid,” Mehleisen said. “Really humble, really down to earth. He’s just a grinder.”
The other player at Cheshire who has been getting a ton of attention from colleges, as well, is fellow 2024 recruit Luke Reynolds.
Reynolds has similar size to Newby, as he is 6-4.5, 215 pounds. The former Lawrence Academy quarterback plays that position for Cheshire, but also tight end and wide receiver. His ability to play multiple positions stands out, and Mehleisen said he’s being recruited as an athlete.
It seems like he is getting offered by a different team each day, as he holds offers from Wake Forest, Vanderbilt, UMass, Louisville, Pitt, Boston College, West Point, Kentucky, Syracuse, Dartmouth, Rhode Island, and Penn.
“He’s an unbelievable kid with a great knowledge of the game,” Mehleisen said. “He’s got a frame on him that he’s just going to get better. Really good ball skills. Really good athlete. You watch his film, he does 100 different things on tape.”
UConn has offered underclassmen Chris Ortiz (2025 WR) and Tristan Washington (2026 DB). Ortiz is from Waterbury, Conn., and Washington is from New Haven, Conn.
NEPSAC football keeps getting more competitive, and Mehleisen has noted that growth.
“I think the opportunity to reclassify and be older in our sport is super important,” Mehleisen said. “That along . . . an extra year to get recruited, an extra year to get bigger, faster, and stronger, I think that is really important. I think you’ve seen a lot of college coaches that have come down to the prep school level and now are head coaches at a number of these schools. I think across the board, guys are trying to run these like a college program, and helping not only with the preparation, but connections with college coaches. We’ve been fortunate as a group in the NEPSAC that we’re all kind of feeding off each other. We’ve all had a couple of kids that have gone to this Power 5 level, and it’s attracted more kids from all over the country.”
Brown to Bentley
This week, St. Mary’s running back David Brown committed to Bentley.
Bentley has always done a tremendous job with local recruits, and Brown is just another example of that.
Brown had a sensational senior year for St. Mary’s as the Spartans won the Division 6 state title. He was an NEFJ First Team All-State selection. He should make a big impact at Bentley.
One of the top players in the state this past season was North Attleboro linebacker Greg Berthiaume. He was offered by Assumption, and is also looking at Framingham State and Plymouth State. Like Brown, Berthiaume was an NEFJ First-Team All-State performer.
Keep an eye on fellow North linebacker Ryan Bannon, a class of 2025 player who also has some real potential.