2022 Class M football championship preview: Berlin vs. Notre Dame-West Haven

The 2022 Class M football championship is between Berlin and Notre Dame-West Haven.

The 2022 Class M football championship is between Berlin and Notre Dame-West Haven.

Hearst Connecticut Media/Designed by Pete Paguaga

The 2022 CIAC Class M football championship preview capsule. Compiled by Pete Paguaga, Sean Patrick Bowley and Mike Fornabaio.

More championship previews: Class LL | Class L | Class MM | Class SS | Class S

Class M

2022 CIAC Football Class M playoff bracket.

2022 CIAC Football Class M playoff bracket.

Sean Patrick Bowley / Hearst Connecticut Media


  • Where/When — Rentschler Field, East Hartford, 2 p.m.

  • Tickets (digital only/no cash) — Adults $10, Students/Senior Citizen $5

  • On the Air/Web — NFHS NETWORK

  • Seeds/Records — No. 2 Notre Dame-West Haven 9-3, No. 1 Berlin 12-0

  • Coaches — Notre Dame-West Haven: Joe DeCaprio (5th season 27-25); Berlin: Joe Aresimowicz (6th season 52-17).

  • Program Rosters

Championship History

Notre Dame-West Haven (3-4): 1983-LL lost to Greenwich 14-8; 1986-LL lost to Trumbull 27-9; 1991-L def. Newington 20-0; 1992-L lost to Cheshire 28-14; 2001-L def. Fitch 35-15; 2009-L def. Pomperaug 28-21; 2014-L Small lost to Windsor 38-16.

Berlin (1-8): 1977-M lost to Hand 20-16; 1987-SS lost to Morgan 3-0; 1991-M lost to Darien 35-22; 1992-M lost to Middletown 36-18; 2007-M lost to Ledyard 21-14; 2009-M def. Bethel 46-6; 2012-M lost to Hillhouse 34-12; 2014-M Large lost to Brookfield 14-0; 2018-M lost to St. Joseph 70-18.

How They Got Here

Notre Dame-West Haven defeated Hartford Public, 42-0, in the quarterfinals then Jonathan Law, 28-14, in the semifinals.

Berlin defeated Branford, 35-25, in the quarterfinals then Rockville, 42-7, in the semifinals.  

Players to Watch

Notre Dame-West Haven: Matt Piechota, Sr., QB, Jacob Staton, Sr., RB/LB, Christian Lewis, Sr., LB/RB.

Berlin: Lorenzo Miele, Sr., QB, Josh Grimm, Sr., LB/RB, Kyle Melville, Soph., RB/DB, Luke Maguder, Sr., RB/DB.

What’s What

A matchup of two teams looking to win their first state championships since 2009.  ... Berlin takes an unbeaten record into this final, looking to complete its first unbeaten championship season. It would be just the school's second CIAC championship in nine appearances. Berlin's first and only title came in 2009, when current offensive coordinator Max Delorenzo led the Redcoats to a 46-6 victory over Bethel in that year's Class M final. Berlin's last championship appearance was in 2018, a 70-18 loss to St. Joseph in the Class M final. ...Senior Lorenzo Miele leads the Redcoats at quarterback, throwing for 1,536 yards at 17 touchdowns against five interceptions. Berlin spreads the ball around to a variety of different players. Sophomore Kyle Melville leads the way with 1,208 all-purpose yards followed by seniors Luke Magruder and Josh Clement. ...Senior Will Gomes leads the defense with 135 total tackles (14 for a loss) followed by Josh Grimm's 107 tackles. Grimm is also a weapon at kicker. ... Coach Joe Aresimowicz, the former Connecticut Speaker of the House, lost his father last week, but has managed to coach in both playoff games. ...Notre Dame-West Haven is making its eight state championship appearance and first since 2014, when it lost to Windsor in the Class L-Small final. The Green Knights haven't won a state championship since 2009's Class L upset of Pomperaug, which ultimately earned them the state's No. 1 ranking. ... Notre Dame's three losses came against playoff teams West Haven (LL), Cheshire (L) and Fairfield Prep. ND's 14-7 loss to Class LL finalist Fairfield Prep on Nov. 14 was its last. ... The Knights are led by senior quarterback Matt Piechota's 1,585 yard passing with 10 touchdowns vs. six interceptions. Jacob Staton, recently named the SCC Tier I player of the year, has run for 1,147 yards and 13 TDs and leads the defense with 87 tackles (8 for a loss) and three interceptions. Christian Lewis (8 1/2 tackles for a loss); Cooper Torrey (10 1/2 and 4 sacks) and Tyrell Mosely (3 INT) also star on a defense that's allowed under 13 points per game in SCC Tier I.

The Picks

  • SPB’S Pick — NDWH
  • Pete’s Pick — NDWH
  • Forno’s Pick — NDWH