Varsity football fights back following rough start to an aggressive season

Sports

Despite losing their first two games, the varsity football team has bounced back with two shutout victories approaching mid-season.

The Wyverns suffered a tough loss away at Pingree 44-21 in their first regular season game, and fell to the New Hampton School 37-21 in their first home game of the season. Junior wide receiver Nate Capodice led the scoring effort in the game against Pingree with two touchdowns, while junior wide receiver Jeff Davis picked up a touchdown reception as well. Davis also caught three touchdowns in the team’s loss against New Hampton. Even though the team lost their first two games of the fall, they out-scored their opponents 35-7 in the two first halves of football against the Highlanders and Huskies. On Hewett Day, Saturday Oct. 20, the team fought hard, but could not pull out the victory and suffered a 24-21 loss.

Unfortunately, the team has faced challenges this year in terms of injury and staying healthy. Some of the team’s biggest impact players have either had to leave the game early or have missed full games as a result of injuries. This was especially prevalent in their loss against Pingree where five starters had to make an early exit. However, junior linebacker Co-captain Sam Smith believes that the team can overcome these setbacks. “A lot of young guys are being thrown into the mix,” Smith said. “Everyone has to do their job and play their role. If they do, we are a very tough team to beat.”

In their next two matchups, the football team shined on both sides of the ball, shutting out Cushing Academy and the Tilton School 96-0 in total. The defense was especially strong in these two games with over five forced fumbles and recoveries, two interceptions, and several stops on fourth downs.

The Wyvern’s scoring effort in these contests was impressive as well. They had touchdowns all across the board in both games, including standout performances from senior quarterback Co-captain Sam Capodice, junior safety Michael Demio, and senior defensive tackle Co-captain Joey Aiello.

Head Coach James Wells touched upon some key takeaways from the two Wyvern victories. “They were total team victories where every player played in the game,” Coach Wells said. “In addition, our least experienced players finished each game by stopping the opponents’ offense in the fourth quarters to preserve the shutout.”

The captains for this years team are S. Capodice, Aiello, Smith, and senior lineback fullback Wes Pierce. They have all been extremely impactful on the field as players and off the field as captains. Capodice shared what kind of team dynamic he likes to emphasize. “I try and set a good example for younger players and compete everyday in practice,” Capodice said. “I want everyone to be focused on winning and not taking any plays off.” The football team’s chemistry has played a big role in their play this year on the field as well. “We are one big family, and you can see that on the field when we play as well as in the locker room,” Smith added.

The team looked to continue their strong play and take down Dexter-Southfield, a big rival, in their annual Hewett Day matchup at home. However, they fell to Dexter-Southfield 24-21. The Wyverns are home again next week facing Proctor Academy. To end the season, KO is on the road against King School and at home against Hamden Hall in a night game.

Coach Wells expects the team to finish the season off strong in the coming weeks. “My standards for the team are high, and are getting higher as I see what they are capable of,” Coach Wells voiced. “If the coaches keep encouraging and pushing the guys, and the team continues to work hard, the sky’s the limit.”