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Kris Patterson, a Durham native, catches the action from the sidelines in a recent Chiefs preseason game. | Photo courtesy of Allison Paige Zager / Special to the Times

Patterson stands out for local football team

Kris Patterson, a native of Durham, recorded nine knock downs in his first preseason game with the Connecticut Chiefs, who earned a hard fought 36-18 win over the Dutchess County Bears on Sunday, June 29.

The Chiefs, a Minor Professional Football team that was accepted into the New England Football League in January of this year, are beginning their second tour as an organization. The team first formed in 1997, yet folded at the close of the 2002 season.

Patterson looks to be a key cog on offense for the Chiefs’ second endeavor. The Xavier High School alum played his successful collegiate career at Central Connecticut State University, where he was a member of two Northeast Conference championship teams.

“Kris was one of our fist recruits for our offensive line. He is a very dedicated to the team and an outstanding offensive lineman,” said Chiefs general manager John Mancinelli. “You can always count on Kris. He is the type of player that holds a team together.”

For Patterson, ties to the gridiron run in his blood. The lineman’s grandfather, Robert Baird, played for the Panthers of Platt High from 1959 to 1961, and served as a mentor to a young Kris both on and off the field.

“My grandfather taught me how to play sports. He taught me about the great outdoors and he has always inspired me to be the man I am, and I feel a great sense of pride knowing he is proud of me,” said Patterson.

“Every day I wake up, everything I do is for my fiance (Alicia Giacco) and my daughter. I strive for greatness on and off the field to make them proud to say ‘That’s my dad; that’s my fiance!’”

The Chiefs are currently slated in the AAA Division, the NEFL’s highest level of competition, and play their home games at Hamden Hall in Hamden.

Patterson and the Chiefs will be back in action on Saturday, July 12 when they take on the New Haven Venom at the New Haven Bowl. For more information, please visit the Cheifs’ website:

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