The Deerfield football team finished last season with a 19-3 home loss to Choate on Choate Day. Ending the season with a record of 3-5, while also graduating a core group of seniors, the team had little to smile about.
But, beginning the 2010 season with 31 first-half points behind quarterback Steve Sousa ’11 in its 31-0 rout of NMH has lifted the heads of the Big Green.
In fact, looking forward to the year, Sousa believes there is much to be excited about. “We have a great group of athletes that gives us the potential for a great year,” he said.
Sousa, a PG from Marshfield, MA, is used to great talent and knows it when he sees it.
In high school, Sousa led the team to three consecutive DI State Championships, before moving into D2, a more difficult football division for his senior year. Despite the new competition, Sousa finished his senior year hoisting a fourth straight Massachusetts State Championship trophy, at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium.
For the Deerfield football team, the talent does not end with Sousa, but spreads across the field. Senior captains Yianni Grupen, Mac Roy Jackson, and Andrew Sutphin all return with valuable experience from last year, and the difficulties they faced last year only make their desire for victory stronger.
“There is nothing fun about losing, especially when you lose the majority of your games, and against Choate,” said running back Jackson. “But now we know that we need to work, run, and hit harder than we did last year so that we can set Deerfield football back on track.”
Also stepping into major roles this season will be seniors Alex Chapin at center, Will Swindell at receiver, and a handful of PGs, including Kyle Brenner, Blake Burkhart, Jerome Froelich, and Gabe Salzer. All will need to play crucial roles to get the team back on track.
To achieve this, Deerfield football will turn to Coach Mike Silipo, who has coached the Big Green through other difficult times during his 15-year tenure. When asked what needs to be done differently this year, Coach Silipo returned to his often-repeated adage, “Pay attention to detail; every play is important; and play every play like it’s 4th down.”
With rising talent and experienced seniors, the team should certainly get back on the right track. And, according to Silipo, it all comes back to Sousa.
“His ability to maneuver in the pocket feeds his playmaking abilities. He has the resources in speed, size, strength, and football intelligence.” And, as four previous state championships show, he truly knows how to win.