Varsity football stiff arm through early adversity, optimistic for the future

Sports

The 2021 fall athletics season is in full effect, and the KO varsity football team is hungry to capitalize on the remaining games of their schedule. The Wyverns play two out of their final three games at home, including a rematch against Proctor Academy on Saturday, Oct. 23 after a razor close contest in 2019.   

The boys have gotten off to a rocky 1-4 start to open the season but on many occasions have flashed potential that better results are on the horizon. The team is steadily improving in all facets of the game and has an experienced and poised senior core leading the way. In his third year as head coach, James Wells has been encouraged by the team’s diligent work ethic in practice and the developing chemistry among his players. “The team has come to practice everyday looking to get better, individually and as a team,” Coach Wells said. “The players really do a good job of trying to do what the coaches are asking of them.”

Senior linebacker Pat Schwab, the leading tackler thus far for the Wyverns, elaborated on the importance of preparation and meticulous game planning so everyone is on the same page when certain plays or signals are called out.

“There’s a ton of film watching and new installs into the game plan every week,” Schwab said.  “We change our game plan based on the team we are playing against and if we have injuries. We have to especially be ready to adjust in terms of injuries because football is a contact sport and it’s unsustainable for every guy to be fully healthy throughout the season.”   

Following back-to-back losses to Pingree School on the road and New Hampton School at home, the Wyverns notched their first win of the season against King School 30-15 in Stamford on Oct. 9.  It was a dominant all-around team effort and one in which many players displayed their best in-game performances to date. Senior Co-captain and starting quarterback Chase Aston was happy to earn the win but emphasized to his teammates not to get complacent and focus solely on the upcoming opponent. “The win against King was a nice step in the right direction, and we showed some positives,” Aston said, “but it’s important to focus on the next week because thinking about the past or two weeks ahead will only cause distraction.”

Coach Wells praised both Aston and senior offensive and defensive lineman Co-captain Jared Cotte for their unwavering commitment to the program since arriving at KO. He has been impressed with not only their blossoming individual abilities, but also the ways they are evolving into the team’s most entrusted vocal leaders.  “Chase and Jared have done a great job as captains for us,” Coach Wells said. “They have been seeing that there is a lot more to being captain than just going out and calling heads or tails at the beginning of the game. They are modeling the behaviors we want to see in our players and are leading vocally, which is very important.”

The Wyverns hope to shake off a tough loss against Dexter Southfield School on Hewett Day 

and look ahead to their remaining tilts against the Hilltoppers of Worcester Academy on Saturday, Nov. 6 and Senior Day against Hamden Hall Country Day School on Saturday, Nov. 13.