Every spring, New Canaan High School produces a proud class of graduates, who each take their first steps into the real world by striding across Dunning Field dressed in a cap and gown. For most of those graduates, the next time they'll see a football field will be months from graduation, high above in the stands. For a handful of the newest Ram alumni, they're back on the gridiron in less than two months, working toward their first season of college football.
Here are all of the former New Canaan Rams suiting up to take the field again in just three weeks to compete again at the next level on Saturdays.
Turner Baty, UC Davis
The 2010 Ram graduate and gunslinger has landed with his third different program in four collegiate seasons at University of California Davis.
After leading New Canaan to a state title during his lone campaign in the black and red, Baty played a year at the City College of San Francisco (CCSF), before heading to the University of Kansas. There, he redshirted the entire 2012 season under new Jayhawks coach Charlie Weis and then returned to CCSF . Last fall, Baty became the program's all-time leading passer. Now at UC Davis, he has two years of eligibility left to play under center.
Kevin Macari, Delaware
A Georgetown transfer, Macari will line up for his second season as a Blue Hen in 2014. He missed every game last season due to an injury, though the 6-foot-2 wideout will be relied upon heavily to contribute on offense and special teams. He is a leadership major at Delaware and 2011 graduate from New Canaan High School.
Conor Hanratty, Notre Dame
Hanratty, a senior offensive lineman, played in each of the Fighting Irish's final six games last fall and saw time in the program's national championship appearance against Alabama in 2012 on special teams. He switched between both guard spots a year ago, as part of an offensive line that allowed the just eight sacks, second-best in all FBS college football. He projects to be a part of the starting mix in 2014.
Matt Milano, Middlebury College
An alum of the 2012 New Canaan state semifinalist club, Milano enters his junior year at Middlebury, a Division III school in northern Vermont. Last season, the former Ram played in eight games and threw seven passes, completing three of them. He also fired an interception and connected for a season-long of 21 yards. The primary signal caller for Middlebury in 2013, McCallum Foote, has since graduated, leaving Milano to compete with the only other quarterback to complete a pass last year, Eric Bertino.
Kalin Killinger, Norwich University
Killinger played in 10 games for Norwich over 2013, helping plow the way for an offense that racked up nearly 220 rushing yards per game. One year earlier, as a freshman, Killinger appeared in one game for the Cadets. As a senior at New Canaan High School, the young offensive lineman was honored with the Jack Dempsey award, named after Kevin "Jack Dempsey, a NCHS alum and Marine, who died Nov. 13, 2004 in an explosion in Al Anbar Province in Iraq.
Rami Hamdan, Muhlenberg College
A junior guard standing at 6-foot-2, 262 pounds, Hamdan took part in an 8-3 campaign for Muhlenberg last season. The Mules are projected as a top-20 team in Division III this year and will open their 2014 season on the road at Wilkes on Saturday, September 6 beginning at 1 p.m.
Neal Koller, Stonehill Skyhawks
Two game appearances and zero field goal attempts highlighted the statistical side of the sophomore kicker's first season at Stonehill, a Division II school in Easton, Mass. Last spring, Koller landed on the Northeast-10 conference's Honor Roll, and he will compete for playing time this fall among three other kickers on the roster. He went 19-5 over his final two years at New Canaan High School.
Bobby Erickson, Hobart and William Smith College
Erickson appeared in two games during his freshman season on a collegiate offensive line, helping Hobart rush for more than 300 yards. The sophomore lineman weighs in at 315 pounds and was a three-year varsity letterwinner as a Ram. He'll kick off his second year at Hobart with a home game against Dickinson on September 6 at noon.
Class of 2014
The most recent New Canaan class to graduate as state champions will send out 13 players to compete at the next level. Quarterback Nick Cascione is headed up the Merritt Parkway to take snaps at Sacred Heart. Connor Buck has begun camp at Colgate, where he will play defensive line. Down in New York City, Cole Harris is set to put on the pads for Fordham, where he will be coached by former UConn linebackers coach Jon Wholley.
Max Wilson and Alex Dobbin hope to contribute to Bowdoin's defense this fall as a defensive back and defensive lineman, respectively. Beau Santero will line up on the other side of the ball as an offensive lineman for Amherst College. Joao Rocha aims to do the same at Middlebury, where he'll join Milano. Mike Root and Michael Donnelly have decided to play at Lafayette College, located miles outside of Allentown, Pa.
Also in the Keystone State will be Tim Condon, who will suit up for Susquehanna University on the defensive line. Over in Maine, Mike DiCosmo is set to continue his defensive back career at Colby. DiCosmo's frequent practice opponent, wide receiver Jack Gilio, has taken his talents to The College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio. Lastly, offensive lineman Ryan McKenna has throw himself in the mix for playing time at Endicott College.