Last week, the Georgetown football team opened up training camp looking to build on last years gains and pave a road to victory.
In 2010, the Hoyas and Coach Kevin Kelly brought buzz back to a flagging football program and avenged a disappointing 0-11 2009 campaign with a strong start, a solid finish, and a 4-7 record. Also, despite the sub-.500 ranking, they fought for a share of the Patriot League title until the last couple of weeks of the season.
Part of the reason Georgetown started off so well last year was a revamped offense under Dave Patenaude, who is starting his second season as offensive coordinator for the Hoyas.
“No question,” said Coach Kelly. “Their execution is far more advanced than they were at this point last year.”
Although losing some key pieces, including the school’s all-time leading tackler, Nick Parrish (MSB ’11), Georgetown brings back a number of seasoned contenders. Of these veterans, linebacker Wayne Heimuli (COL ’12) and wideout Jeremiah Kayal (MSB ’12) are certainly the most important for the team dynamic, as they will serve as the team’s defensive and offensive captains, respectively.
Heimuli, like many other upperclassmen, stayed on campus to take classes or intern while working out with the team throughout the day. Anyone (myself included) walking by the Exorcist stairs around 6 a.m. witnessed the hard work of the team first-hand, as they ran through Georgetown and mastered the steps while the majority of D.C. was just waking up. Heimuli now laughs reminiscing about the beginning of the summer when the team first ran the steps.
“Horrible then, but don’t mind them now,” the senior said. “They definitely paid off.”
On the offensive side, slot receiver Kayal has established himself as a consistent option, regardless of whether it’s Scott Darby (MSB ’12) or Isaiah Kempf (MSB ’13) behind center. Kayal spent his offseason interning with JP Morgan, but a number of fellow Hoyas, including Darby, joined him in New York City. He came to camp ready to hit the ground running and is pleased with the results he’s seen thus far.
“I’m really proud of the guys – how we all came in here ready to go this season,” Kayal mused. “Everybody has been strapping up, ready to get going. We’re full steam ahead, so I’m really comfortable about that.”
Kelly is excited about these captains, referring to them as “first-class human beings” that are well-respected by their teammates. As for the rest of the team, they are not looking back at the graduated seniors they lost.
“We can’t look at the past,” Heimuli commented. “We have to look forward and not look at who we lost, but who we’re bringing back.”
One of the guys they’re bringing back is blast-from-the-past, junior wide receiver Brandon Floyd (NHS ’13), who returns to the Hoyas after not being with the team last season. Floyd was arguably the Hoyas’ strongest deep threat during his freshman year. His return will greatly offset the loss of graduated senior wideout Keerome Lawrence (COL ’11).
“Brandon came to us in the spring and asked about coming back,” said Coach Kelly. “He had to do some things to get back and he did so. If you ask him, he’s definitely excited to be back out here with us again.”