Football makes history with district win

For the first time in Krop’s history, the Varsity Football team has won back-to-back district championship titles.

After a rocky start to the season, the Lightning football team won four consecutive games, defeating Hollywood Hills, Braddock, McArthur and Hialeah.

According to Football Coach Thomas Caporale, it all came down to their Oct. 28 game against McArthur. With Miami Herald and Miami Dolphins reps on the sidelines, the team came out on top with a 20-16 win, with highlights including senior Julius Pascal’s 30-yard touchdown run.

“Before the game started I told my mom I would make this game count for her, so the touchdown, win, and news stories following after really meant something,” Pascal said.

Last year, they ended the regular season at 5-4 and advanced to district playoffs, but lost to state champions, Columbus Senior High.

“It was really good for our kids to see what it looks like to go against a state championship caliber program,” Caporale said. “Coming into this year they knew that we played a much tougher schedule than we did even the year before.”

Entering the playoffs this season, Krop Lightning won their first game against Belen Jesuit by a score of 23-17.

“My highlight for the season had to be our victory against Belen,” Caporale said. “It was a surreal moment because at the end of the day it’s not only what myself and the coaching staff do, but it’s what the kids have been working for.”

But the success goes beyond the field. Six players are currently committed to a college, five of them receiving full scholarships, and another with an opportunity at a junior college. Caporale said he can expect this to increase to 12 players by the end of the year.

“Brotherhood, discipline, attitude, effort and communication, those things were really the driving force,” Caporale said, “and our upperclassmen leadership really stepped up to the plate as far as our juniors and seniors are concerned and led by example a lot.”

To incentivize his players, Caporale promised the team they could give him a buzz cut if they won a playoff game. After beating Belen Jesuit Prep School in their home playoff game on Nov. 11, Caporale buzzed his hair on Dec. 9.

Although they lost their final playoff game to Homestead, the team made Lightning football history this 22-23 season.

“To do that was a really special moment for myself and my coaching staff,” Caporale said. “But even more so for our kids, our parents and our community.”