“I looked up and saw a defensive back [Jaibril Coy ’15] explode after his interception for 70 yards. He was in the end zone in a blink of an eye,” said Bryan Hurley ’15, one of the fans at the Bowdoin football team’s intrasquad scrimmage this past Sunday. Fans, players and coaches alike had the opportunity to assess the progress of the team at the preseason game.
Coach David Caputi, entering his 13th season as head of the team this fall, was pleased with the scrimmage.
“Given that we’re playing a lot of young guys, they stepped up and did a good job,” said Caputi.
He also commended the efforts of senior captains Martin Robledo, Sean O’Malley and Beau Breton.
Unfortunately, O’Malley sustained an ACL injury sidelining him for the season.
“Sean is a very good player and very good captain [...] one of the best special teams players in the league. He can be a very good captain when he’s not on the field,” Caputi said.
In addition to providing insight into the team’s prospects, Sunday’s scrimmage was also an opportunity for the five new assistant coaches to see the team play competitively in front of a crowd at Whittier Field.
This new staff covers offense, defense and special teams. Coach John Burrell, the new defensive coordinator, brings experience from Western Connecticut State University, a successful Divison III program. Coach Bill McCord played cornerback at WCSU under Burrell and brings defensive back coaching experience from Franklin & Marshall, Bucknell and Princeton.
Also new toBowdoin’s defensive coaching staff is Chris Sapp, from Middle Tennessee State University, who will focuse on the defensive line and special teams.
As the wide receivers coach, Joe Clark plans to translate his skills and experience from his tenure at NESCAC rival Trinity, where he helped the Bantams win three conference championships. The fifth new assistant coach is Kyle Duncan, a 2012 graduate who started as a center for three years and will focus on training the running backs.
Coach Caputi says he doubts that this coaching turnover will hinder the team’s development. He also says he still thinks there are things the team can improve on given the team’s showing at the scrimmage.
“These new coaches bring new ideas and new ways to look at things,” he said.
Starting quarterback Grant White ’13, echoed this sentiment. “We’re nowhere near where we want to be as a team yet [...] but overall I was pleased with how we performed and excited to see what we can do this year,” White said.
The Polar Bears’ season starts on September 22 at NESCAC rival Middlebury. With just over a week to prepare, Caputi knows that his coaches and players have their work cut out for them.
“We just have to get our football team ready and make sure no one gets hurt in the next couple of days,” he said.