Kennedy father, son, looking forward to leading St. Paul football offense in season opener Friday night

Published on Thursday, 12 September 2019 20:59
Written by ZACK CARPENTER

@ZACKCARPENTERBP

BRISTOL - Brycen Kennedy knows the history of St. Paul football. He’s been coming to games with his dad, Chris Kennedy, since he was a kid. 

Now, the junior will step into the same position as many of the Falcon alumni whom he looked up to for years, taking over at quarterback for a program that is salivating to get back into contending for a playoff berth and a spot closer to the top of the rugged NVL. 

Brycen Kennedy is the leader of this Falcons group, and he is representative of an entire team rearing to start the season opener at 7 p.m. Friday at Seymour High School. 

“I love it. I strive for this, and I love being with my teammates and being with football,” Kennedy said. “It’s a common goal of trying to get better every week. I love to compete, and everyone on this team loves to compete. That’s just what we’re here to do. 

“You’ve gotta know what you’re gonna be doing on every play, and everyone has to do their job on every play or we can’t be successful. Everyone’s gotta be locked in and loaded. When you’re locked in and loaded, it’s just fun, and everyone wants to be here and be with the team, being coached hard.”

One of those who will be coaching Brycen hard is Chris, the head coach of the Falcons’ premier lacrosse program and the offensive coordinator of this version of St. Paul football. 

It brings an extra dynamic to the table as the two Kennedys will be eyeing each other throughout the season as coach relays play call to son. 

“With him having coached me since I was a little kid, we’re connected in a way that not many people are so me and my dad’s personal relationship that we bring onto the field is very important,” Kennedy said. “It helps me because I can go home and I can talk about Xs and Os with him, and I’m in person and he can draw it up on the white board and we bring it back here. And we can bring it to the team so being able to communicate with him on a different level is definitely something special that helps me.”

The Kennedys, head coach Jude Kelly and the rest of these Falcons will have to contend against the likes of NVL powers Ansonia, Naugatuck, Wolcott and Woodland. 

It’s a crew of standout football programs that made the playoffs in 2018. In the regular season, Ansonia went 10-0, earned the Class S top seed and reached the semifinals. Naugatuck went 9-1 to earn the No. 3 seed in Class L, Woodland went 9-1 and was the No. 5 seed in Class S, and Wolcott went 7-3 with a No. 7 seed in Class M. 

The success of its conference rivals has made many overlook at St. Paul program that went 5-5 last season.

“We’re kind of an underdog, and that’s important because as a team we don’t feel like an underdog,” Brycen Kennedy said. “We feel like we’re gonna be in a great spot this year, and as long as we keep working our hardest, there’s nothing that can stop us. As long as we play our best football and we’re in the right mindset and we’re focusing every play, every snap, every second that we’re on that field, we’re gonna be good this year.”

And though games against those teams, plus rival Oxford on the day before Thanksgiving, bring forth some added incentive and motivation heading into game day, Kennedy still has his coachspeak down despite being just a junior in high school. 

“Those are just some specific games, but every game is important,” Kennedy said prior to a preseason joint practice on Aug. 27. “We take it week by week so what we’re focusing on right now is not even Week 1. We’re focused on playing Bristol Eastern and New Britain today. That’s what we’re focused on, and when we’re done with that, we’ll be focused on practice tomorrow. We just focus on every day as it comes.”



Posted in The Bristol Press, St. Paul on Thursday, 12 September 2019 20:59. Updated: Thursday, 12 September 2019 21:02.