Curry College football gears up for the 2021 season
MILTON – While Skip Bandini guides the Curry College football team, he does so without mirrors.
The veteran coach prefers that.
He’s gone from the past exploits and shortcomings of Colonels, most notably Curry who has compiled a 5-15 rating over the past two seasons and has only released one winning campaign since 2013.
For Bandini, the most important season for him and his team is the one ahead as the Division III colonels draw closer to their first game in nearly two years – they start against the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on September 4. (midday) .
“I never look into the past here,” said Bandini, who is entering his 15th season in charge of the Colonels. “I’m not really worried about what happened two or three years ago or 10 or 15 years ago. We need to understand what is going on this year. I have to take one game at a time. Go forward.”
Bandini was impressed with his team’s state of mind during the early stages of training camp. After the COVID-19 pandemic wiped out the entire 2020 season, the Colonels have formed a strong bond and are looking to put the success of the team above all else.
” There is no one here. They are all worried about a team, ”said Bandini. “I don’t know how good we’re going to be. We will find out as we go along. But you can’t ask for better kids in this soccer camp right now. “
Outstanding junior wide receiver Gabe Desouza sees a difference in the team’s chemistry compared to two years ago. He thanked Curry Captains Tahg Coakley, Justin Mullaney, Richard Sullivan, Jake MacNeil and Tommy Agliata for setting the tone and for inspiring their teammates to buy into the team dynamic.
“To me it feels like a high school team again,” Desouza said. “It’s the kind of energy we have here. Every day everyone goes hard. Everyone just wants the best for each other. Going back to the first year, I didn’t feel that way. The guys are just closer and all of that, on and off the pitch, it shows every time. “
While Desouza is a critical return piece for an offense he described as “explosive and quick” after scoring 23.8 points per game in 2019, it’s unclear exactly who will throw Desouza the soccer ball.
Curry is in the middle of a quarterback competition with several players vying for the starting position. Mullaney and Charlie Stanton have an advantage to secure the top spot as they already know the offensive system, but neither have seen the game in 2019 with Nick Juvelier, who threw for 2,558 yards and 24 touchdowns, getting almost all playing time.
“Nobody promised anything,” Bandini said. “It doesn’t make any difference whether you were captain or All-American last year. It makes a difference what you do this year. We still have a lot of time to figure this out. “
The rest of the offense is in good shape, especially up front with Brockton’s Josias Roman, who was last registered at 6-5, 356 pounds, as well as Dan Labadini and Agliata anchoring the offensive line.
Sullivan will be a target in the passing game, where Desouza thrived in his first college season. Desouza caught 43 passes for 555 yards and finished with the sixth most single-season touchdowns in program history with nine.
Desouza, who was also the team’s punter in 2019, is expected to have an even bigger impact this season as Curry no longer has the services of Nick Villanueva. The Whitman-Hanson product made his mark on the program before he graduated as he is fourth all-time in receptions (156) and touchdowns (24) in addition to being third best in yards on reception (2,281).
In all likelihood, Desouza will rise through the ranks all time, but that’s far from his primary focus.
“For me, I’m not worried about the receiver’s records,” Desouza said. “I worry about winning more games than we are losing. I’m worried about winning a conference championship like the rest of the guys. It’s the mentality. We settle for nothing less.
Curry’s defense is not without playmakers, but it expects a much better performance than in 2019, when the Colonels allowed 35.9 points per game – the worst score in the Commonwealth Coast Conference.
Bandini believes the strength of Curry’s defense will be his linebacking body, while Coakley and Kevin Peete are two key members of the high school. Alex Puig (6ft 4in, 210lb) and James Nyamwaya (6ft 4in, 295lb), who was second on the team with 60 tackles two years ago, will provide muscle up front for Curry.
As Bandini and the Colonels look to the future, there is a lot of excitement for what’s to come, as well as the realization that they will have to pass more than a few tests to change the course the program is currently on.
“We’re just going to try to take it out one by one and if we make a mistake, try to make it up,” Bandini said of the season opener against MIT. “We know we are up to a big challenge. This is what you want. You don’t want to play games of chance.