A Record Year for Cougar Football
Some people did not expect Downingtown East’s football team to go as far as they did last year. Not only did they overcome the loss of their star running back Drew Harris to injury, but they also pummeled rival Downingtown West in the classic rivalry game. A playoff run following these events even furthered the success of the team. But last year’s success is history. The team is already focused on topping it this year.
Kyle Lauletta, a senior who will start at quarterback this year, knows they have plenty of pressure on them. But in addition, he’s confident they can make great strides in their league and in the playoffs. He said, “According to cbslocal.com we’re ranked the #1 team in southeastern PA. So far this summer, our team has lived up to it. If we continue to work hard and improve every day, there is no doubt in my mind that we can contend for a state title.”
Jay Harris, another senior who will play wide receiver, agreed with Kyle’s enthusiasm about the team. He said, “This season is shaping up to be a great one. Our team is looking great and we have high expectations.”
This strong feeling of the drive to succeed, combined with the upbeat feeling of the players, could definitely become a positive factor in the locker room. They have been practicing at least once a day for the whole summer and have kept in their minds the possibility of winning a state championship. Senior defensive end Elijah Griffin is just another example of this positive feeling among the team. He said, “I feel that this is going to be a big season for the football team. We have been working day in and day out and we can’t wait for the season to start.”
Finally, one of the most important questions on the minds of many East football fans and even other high schools is if Kyle’s knee is truly better. After he sprained his MCL in a lacrosse game last spring, he’s dealt with both crutches and a knee brace for a while. Now off crutches for multiple months, he’s been able to do a lot more. But, he wanted to silence all the rumors and end the ideas that he is still hurt. He said, “My knee feels great. I spend a long time properly rehabbing and building my strength back up. I will wear a brace to prevent further injury but I will be 100%.”
With the regular season starting just a few days after the first day of school on Friday, August 31 against Monsignor Bonner, the team gets a chance to prove why they were so highly ranked. The pressure is on by both scouts, other schools, and their coaches, but all three of these players have high hopes of competing in a state championship. This would be the first state championship for Downingtown East; the last time they won a state championship was in 1996, before the schools even split.