COLLEGE SIGNINGS: Maloney football duo headed for Northeast-10 Conference

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MERIDEN — Maloney football has emerged as one of the top programs in the state in recent years and that has shown through its growing number of players competing in college.

Add two more to the ranks in running back Josh Boganski and lineman Howard Stedford.

Both will be playing Division II ball and studying business in the Northeast-10 Conference. On Friday, Boganski commited to Franklin Pierce and Stedford to Pace in a ceremony in the Maloney library.

“Both will be working towards a degree for little or no money because of football,” Maloney coach Kevin Frederick said. “I’m excited for these guys. This is the start of their journey and they are taking advantage of the opportunity.”

The Spartans finished 11-2 last season and made it to the Class L finals for the second year in a row. Maloney lost 16-13 to New Canaan in the state final after winning the first football state title in Meriden history in 2021.

Boganski and Stedford were a big part of that success.

Boganski rushed for 1,758 in 2021 and 1,288 yards in 2022. In the 2021 Class L itlte game, he carried the ball 46 times for 249 yards and four touchdowns was named Most Valuable Player.

He’ll next suit up for the Franklin Pierce Ravens in Rindge, N.H.

“This is a special opportunity to further my education,” Boganski said. “My years with Maloney football have changed my life under Coach Fred. I came in not knowing how to play and I’m leaving more discipline, respectful and passionate.

“It takes hard work to get this. Without my linemen, Coach Fred and my coaches, I wouldn’t have been as successful as I was.”

Boganski said the educational opportunity at Franklin Pierce was critical for him. He signed Friday with his father Edward in attendance.

“The education stuck out,” he said. “After football, nothing is guaranteed. Education is the most important thing in my future.”

As a junior and again as a senior, Boganski was named All-CCC Tier 1.

“He’s a good teammates and well-liked by his teammates,” Frederick said. “The kids gravitate towards him and he ended up being a good leader for us. He was also a tremendous practice player who earned his postition. He will be missed.”

Stedford is a 6-foot-3, 240-pound left tackle. After his senior season, he was named All-State Class LL/L by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and All-Connecticut First Team by the Walter Camp Foundation.

He was the anchor of the line for an offense that averaged 31 points and 279 yards a game in 2022. As a left tackle, his duty was to protect the quarterback’s blindside. In his junior year, the Spartans didn’t allow a single sack. Stedford was a big part of that.

“Howard has so much upside,” Frederick said. “Some Division I schools were looking at him. Pace was tremendous. They kept in contact with him and he felt like home there. Howard isn’t even scratching the surface with how good he’s going to be. He can still add 30 or 40 pounds to his frame and really do something special.”

Stedford said he made his choice between UConn, Franklin Pierce and Pace. Stedford said he was impressed Pace campus. He made the final decision last week.

“Seeing the campus, the atmosphere was breathtaking,” Stedford said. “My four years at Maloney were great. I got to experience so many things and I didn’t put on any pads until I was a freshman at Maloney.”

Stedford played through health ailments this season. He played with a torn tendon in his thumb for the final six weeks of the season and recently underwent surgery.

On Friday, he signed with his mother Dominique in attendance.

“This feels great,” Stedford said. “A lot of people don’t get this chance and this is a special day for me.” 

“We always talk about hard work and dedication, and both guys did a good job in the classroom and that’s a big reason why they are here today,” Frederick said. “It wasn’t easy at first, but both had to find their paths.

“Their teachers went above and beyond to help in that process,” Frederick said. “This is a great day for Maloney football but it’s also a great day for Maloney High School. because they are students first.”


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