Competitive spirit kicks in for Staples

Staples’ football quarterback Ryan Thompson pointed out that the Wreckers’ focus going into the Grip It and Rip It tournament in New Canaan was working on skills and getting into a rhythm with teammates.

Then again, once the games begin, the competitive juices start flowing.

“You get out here and it’s ‘now they just scored, so we have to score’,” Thompson said. “You want to win. It’s really good for the team, especially for the younger guys to learn how to compete with older kids and other high schools and realize that you can play with the older kids and you belong here.”

As wide receiver Benji Titlebaum puts it: “We’re looking to learn but we’re also looking to compete and this is a great way to do both.”

Staples split eight games in the tournament, while continuing to build on the chemistry they’ve developed over the past year.

Coach Adam Behrends said camaraderie was difficult in 2020 with so many limitations, even though the Wreckers did play four games in a private league. This year, he said they’ve developed some chemistry in the weight room and that has carried over to the 7-on-7 tournament.

“The big thing is just to get out and compete,” Behrends said. “After COVID it’s just nice for them to play. They’re working on their technique and fundamentals, getting back into the swing of things and hopefully have a normal year.”

Many of the Wreckers seniors have been together since their youth leagues days from the third through fifth grades, and they’re hoping that experience will give them an edge this fall.

“We have a really good chemistry and we have a really good bond going,” Titlebaum said. “We’re just really looking to bring that to all the games and we think we think we stack up really well against all the other teams. It’s going to be an exciting year.”