KP Football Aims to Top the Hock Again
The Warriors kick off their season at Dover, New Hampshire on Friday, September 7.
Last year was a historic year for the Warriors as they ended the season as the champions of the Hockomock League’s Kelley-Rex Division and in football’s four team playoffs for the first time ever.
Despite losing 7-0 to eventual Division 2 champions Duxbury, it was as far as any team had ever gone in KP history.
This year the Warriors are once again in the hunt for the D2 title but like last year, nothing is going to come easy with Mansfield, North Attleboro, Attleboro, Franklin, and Hockomock League newcomer Taunton all on the schedule. Despite the success and 2011 and predictions of similar results this year, the Warriors know what it means nothing once the season begins.
“I think the kids realize what it’s going to take to have success in the Hock,” said head coach Brian Lee. “The predictions are made but they really don’t see you play aheard of time, they’re kinda just going on last year and last year was last year and dosen’t really effect this year.”
So far the Warriors have had a pair of scrimmages with Norwood and their annual Labor Day weekend affair with Walpole. The practice games have given KP a chance to work on some plays and prepare for what will be a challenging season.
“We’re getting better each time, got a lot of things that have to come together for us to be good. Just have a few more injuries we have to work through but all in all we’re ok,” said Lee.
Without last year’s Hockomock League Offensive Player of the Year in Charles Ruffin, the Warriors have a big hole to fill at running back. Currently KP has installed a rotation featuring seniors Sean Littlefield, Joey Johnston, and junior Christian Flaherty in the backfield
“Those guys are all very capiable and we’re certaintly not at Charles’ speed right now but we have some hopefuls that will turn out to be good players for us,” said Lee.
In a league of running backs, the Warriors will look to throw the ball a little bit with John Dillion returning at quarterback. The junior has received attention as one of the players to keep an eye on this season. Despite their advantage in the air, a more balanced approach will be taken on the offensive side of the ball.
“There’s no downside to that,” Lee said about having a returning quarterback. “The key will be to be balanced. If you are just a throwing team in Hock, then you’re too easy to stop. If you’re just a running team in the Hock, you’re too easy to stop so having a lot of those pressure on the offensive line and those back to try and provide the proper balance.”
On defense Brett McEvoy returns at middle linebacker with Joey Cochrane back at cornerback. On the defensive line Brian Jones and senior captain Pat Lyndon will lead a d-line that will be responsible for stopping the run.
The Warriors’ first game of the year will be two hours north of Wrentham against Dover, New Hampshire. Last year the Green Wave made it to the Division 2 championship but fell to Bishop Guertin 16-7
“Everyone says the non league games don’t count but you don’t want to drive up two hours to New Hampshire and get started on the wrong foot. We’re going against a good Dover team so we’re focused on that right now. We’re not even thinking about our Hock play which doesn't start until week five for us,” said Lee.
The Warriors will return to Massachusetts next when when they travel to Medfield on September 14. There will be one more away game on September 22 at Westwood before the home opener on September 28 vs. Dartmouth.