Kapanek looking to contribute for West Seneca East
This year, things are different for Kapanek. Sure, he's still expected to provide plenty of offensive firepower – and he’s still delivering in that regard. But with 14 seniors from last year's club lost to graduation, Kapanek is looking to contribute in all areas even more in his senior season.
"I'm going to try and spread it out a little bit more, help my teammates out a bit more," Kapanek said after scoring three goals and adding three assists in an 18-4 win over North Tonawanda. "I'm looking to help my team anyway I can this year. Just get the win, that's all I'm focused on."
But they’ve already Kapanek was a second-team Class B all-star a year ago and seems on course to grab further honors at the end of this season. But his job this season includes much more than goals and assists.
"If you're only going to have two starters back, it's always good that one of them is your leading scorer," West Seneca East coach Jim Maisano said with a laugh. "We're going to be looking for him to be a leader for us this year."
The Trojans graduated 14 seniors, including three that are now playing at the collegiate level and have just two starters back from last year’s club, which finished 11-5.
As one of the most experienced of only five seniors on the current 23-man defense, leadership is a big part of Kapanek's game this season. He serves as a co-captain along with fellow senior Mike Balla, the only other returning starter.
“Our seniors are doing a nice job of leading us and helping us get better,” Maisano said. “We’re getting better; we’re getting there. “
The season didn't start so well for the Trojans, who began the year with lopsided losses against Hamburg and Orchard Park, who seem to be the top two public schools in Western New York this year.
"We started off against some pretty hard teams, but we're getting our confidence," he said. "We're scoring more goals and getting better on D.
"We're working the ball more and working on our chemistry, We've got to fix something’s, but overall it's going a lot better from where we were when we started."