Football awards acknowledge standout players

The Newtonite

by Jacob Schwartz
After every football game this season, players will take a knee and listen to their coaches explain to them what went right and what went wrong at that competition.
However, if the Tigers win that day, there is an added bonus, according to senior Mike Bradley, a captain with seniors Pat Bryson, Brendan Fagan and Swardiq Mayanja.
Two awards are given by coaches to players following a win, Bradley said. These awards are given to thank and to recognize players for the actions they take to improve the team.
Coach Mike Bower first awarded the Hammer Award for two seasons ago, according to coach Peter Capodilupo.
Capodilupo said, the Hammer is “given to kids where work ethic is found” and is awarded to a player who has worked extremely hard during practices in the week up to the game.
A player who makes a game-changing hit, either on offense or defense, is eligible for the Stick of the Week Award, Capodilupo said.
Thisaward has a lot to do with technique, something which Capodilupo said is a key for the Tigers this season.
The winner of the Stick of the Week award gets to sport a hard hat in school, every day for the next week of school, according to Bradley.
The Hammer winner is awarded a sledgehammer, which he holds onto for the next school week.
The goal of the awards, according to Capodilupo, is to give “acknowledgement that your work ethic fuels others.”
In a rare occasion Saturday, Sept. 24, senior Jack Ingham won both awards in the Tigers’ 23-21 win over Framingham at home.
“He had a great game,” Bradley said. “He worked hard and made some great plays too.”
According to Bradley, however, “a lot of the game is also self-motivation because you can’t coach motivation.”
“We thrive on technique,” he said. “When we win or lose, it’s based on how our individual technique was during the game.”
These techniques, Bradley said, will include staying low, playing quick and “doing everything we can with more intensity.”
“Alignment in the assignment will also be important,” Bradley said.
“There’s a mental part of the game that everyone has to pay attention to,” he added.
In upcoming action, the Tigers travel to Walpole tonight and will host Braintree Saturday, Nov. 5.