SWHS Football Makes History

Hannah Mitchell

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It was a cloudy Sunday morning when the Bobcats took the field to take on top ranked Greenwich in the Class LL Semi-Final game.

Two student fan buses, hundreds of parents, family, and friends took the long drive to Greenwich High School in hopes of winning the game to advance to the finals.

The Cardinals scored on the first play off of a 60 yard pass to make the score 7-0.

At the end of the first quarter, Greenwich ran 40 yards into the end zone. The score was then 14-0.

Senior Tyler Osit knocked down the fourth down attempt, but as Greenwich regained possession,  their quarterback made a big play once again with a passing touchdown to advance to 21-0.

However, the momentum of the game began to shift when Senior Connor Kapisak threw a 40 yard touchdown pass to Senior Patrick Wilson with 14 seconds left in the half, making the score 21-7.

After a back and forth opening to the second half, the SW crowd was ignited when Senior Alex Valente blocked a fourth down punt attempt, recovered by Senior Brendan Mabey at the 25.

South Windsor was not able to capitalize on this turnover as Greenwich regained possession, they hit a long field goal making the score 24-7 with 9:21 left in the game.

The Cardinals finished it off when they ran it two more times making the final score 36-7.

“I don’t think the final score is a good indication of how close the game really was.” says Coach Dave Hodge. “I don’t think they were any more physical than we were, I just think we made some mistakes and they didn’t.”

A disappointed Bobcat football team boarded the bus to make the long drive home back to South Windsor.

“Addressing the team after the loss was certainly emotional, being that my son is in the group and a lot of these guys I’ve been coaching since they were 7 years old.” Says Hodge

“Usually at the end of a football season you have your thanksgiving game, or a senior dinner. You know the end is coming. But this was different.” He says. “We didn’t know that the game on Sunday was definitely the end. It was very abrupt and very hard for everyone to handle.”

Losing however, was not necessarily the hardest part for the Bobcats.

“Losing was hard, sure. But not going to practice the next day with this team, that hurt probably just as much if not more.” Says the coach. “Walking outside after school on Monday after and knowing if we had won we would have another week together, that was difficult.”

Coach Dave Hodge, who has been working with the team since youth league, says saying goodbye to this Senior class will be “extremely tough”

Hodge, who’s youngest son Dylan is a Senior this year, says he has grown very close with this group. “Not only have I watched them grow as players, but as young men as well.”

“Im extremely proud of the boys for the success they had and the amount of hard work they put in the past six, seven, eight, nine years, but especially the last four years in the weight room and the offseason.”

“We overcame a lot of things like injuries and a loss to Conard,  but we still advanced to the playoffs. I’m especially proud of guys like Seniors Tyler Osit and Mike DaCosta who really stepped up and helped us get to where we needed to be.”

Seniors Mike Dacosta and Tyler OsitSenior Mike DaCosta has been playing football for eight years, but says this year was “different.”

“I’ve been playing with these guys since I was young, and how we would end our Senior year is something we’ve always talked about.” Says DaCosta. “We knew that the varsity team at the high school had struggled for a very long time, but we knew we had the potential to change that, though people doubted us.”

“It didn’t end the way we wanted it to, but this season is one we will never forget. I am so proud to be a part of a team that has worked as hard as this one did. We wanted to change the way people viewed South Windsor football, and we did.” Says DaCosta

For those who want to continue their football career in college, Coach Hodge has provided them with an incredible foundation.

Seniors Colin Ryan, Julian Ibes, Jimmy Tamburro, Dylan Hodge, Mo Azeem, Connor Kapisak and Quinn Hannagan are all looking to play football in college.

“They have been meeting with coaches and looking into what they want to do.” Says Hodge.

“If I could ask the boys to remember one thing moving forward, I would ask that they remember to work hard in whatever they do. The simple thing that we preach in this program is two words that will help anybody get to where they want to go and that is simply ‘Hard Work’. Hopefully they’ve learned that in life if you want to be successful, you need to work hard.”

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