“It was a coaching decision,” confirms Sheehan. “But the kids were all on board. The kids erupted in a round of applause, and they were all excited and he’s done a great job for us since.”
At mid-season, Kneeland was named co-captain along with fellow seniors Joe Ruocco and Connor Barry.
“It was one of the best feelings of my life,” Kneeland says of making captain. “It was very big for me because a lot of my family had played sports. My dad (Ron) played football and he was a captain. My brother (Cal) played basketball, and he was a captain. My cousin (Cam), he’s been very successful in sports. And my cousin, Mike Foley, who was football captain, I looked up to him and my dad. They are both big role models in my life.”
Indeed, Kneeland’s relatives are all big names in the Triton sports world, and he has had to deal with that his entire life. But he does it in his soft-spoken style.
“I just go out there and do it,” says Kneeland. “I have a very athletic family.”
That athleticism has served him well as a wide receiver this year.
“I love it,” Kneeland says of receiving. “Most of the times I don’t know how to celebrate (a touchdown), emotions take over. I’ll celebrate with a couple of teammates, but no Gronks.”
With his senior year on the gridiron coming to a close, Kneeland knows that he can be proud of his accomplishments.
“Going into the season, a lot of the teams looked at us as replacements,” Kneeland says of he and his fellow seniors. “But we tried to prove this year that we weren’t. The record doesn’t reflect it, but I feel like the team that we have, there’s a lot of younger kids on it. In the next couple of years, it’s going to be a very good program.”
He’s also setting his sights on Pentucket, where the Vikings will fight their annual Thanksgiving Day battle.
“It’s definitely going to be a tough game, but it is going to be a good game,” Kneeland says of the Pentucket tilt. “This one is going to be a very emotional game, I feel. We’re going to see a good game.”