3 More Practices Left
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A little rain didn't spoil the fun of Yale Football's annual spring outing on the Class of 1954 Field at Yale Bowl.
It's an alumni event, a high school junior day and another chance for the coaches to learn about their student-athletes. So what you saw on the field was more of a fancy practice, but that's what you expect when everyone is wearing Blue and White.
However, there were a number of highlight plays worth mentioning. On the third drive of the day, junior quarterback Rafe Chapple's first attempt hit the target in the form of receiver Bo Hines for a 25-yard completion. Hines, a junior who missed last season with an injury, finished with four catches. Chapple followed that with a 19-yard pass to freshman Reed Klubnik.
"There was a lot of Improvement, but we are not done [with practice]," said Tony Reno, Yale's Joel E. Smilow '54 Head Coach. "We still have three [practices] next week. There's been gradual improvement each practice. It was great to see some guys step up to make plays today."
Freshman QB Kurt Rawlings, the starter in the win over Harvard last November, got in on the big plays by finding junior end Jaeden Graham for 20-plus yard reception. On the next snap, Rawlings and freshman receiver Caden Herring played pitch and catch for a 30-yard gain.
The only turnover of the day was the result of a great read by junior safety Hayden Carlson, who picked off a Rawlings toss. Carlson has been Yale's leading tackler the last two seasons.
The last series of the day included a Rawlings six-yard touchdown run and then a great opportunity to make someone's day. On the two-point try, Chapple handed the ball to Team Impact member Dante Chiappetta, a young boy from North Haven who has been battling some serious issues his entire life. Chiappetta ran it into the end zone amid cheers from everyone in the Bowl, especially the guys in pads and helmets, who celebrated with their diminutive teammate.
"It was great to see Jaeden Graham go down the sideline and make a play, and it was great to see [guys who were injured last year] John Bezney, Bo Hines, Mike Siragusa, Chris Williams-Lopez and Ross Drwal out there," said Reno, who was even more impacted by the day's final play call to Dante.
"He's an inspiration to us," said Reno of Chiappetta. "He has come so far in four years [with us]. It started out as a community outreach thing, but he has turned into one of our brothers."
By Steve Conn, Yale Associate AD & Sports Publicity Director – firstname.lastname@example.org