Cool and confident, John Cappuccitti has Hersey thriving

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Recently interviewed by his school newspaper, John Cappuccitti gave a succinct and knowing response about his role on the team: “I score goals.”

As Dizzy Dean famously observed, it’s not bragging if you can do it.

In truth, the Hersey senior forward only told part of the story. He has a team-best 10 goals and also leads the team in assists. He is the team fulcrum, the player to whom the rest of the Huskies turn.

“He’s a fantastic player,” Palatine coach Willie Filian said. “The rest of the team knows how to find him and he just makes things happen.

‘‘His speed and quickness with the ball is hard to defend. With [Cappuccitti] they are so fast in the middle of the field, and so good on counters, they are a very dangerous team.’’

Cappuccitti is a three-year starter for the No. 20 Huskies (he took a sabbatical to play club two years ago). His quick feet, vision and innate playmaking ability makes the Huskies go

“I’m the top forward usually,” he said. “My job is to make runs to the corners and get balls or check and distribute the ball out. [Hersey coach Darren Llewellyn] likes me to shoot from far, because that’s what he wants to me to do.’’

Cappuccitti controls the ball and orchestrates the Huskies’ attack, running a give-and-go style of offense with Hersey’s other wing players. Typically senior forward Michael Kaczor, the team’s second leading scorer, or senior forward Dan Gramer are on the other end of Cappuccitti’s action. As a result, Cappuccitti’s role on the team has evolved.

“I’ve become more of a leader over the years,” Cappuccitti said. “Last year I was a captain, I was more quiet, the sense of, ‘I’m there, I’m playing well,’ but now I’m more vocal. I’m a role model to some of the guys on the team, with my hard work.

“When I play hard, hopefully it gets in their head to play well.”

Soccer is the Cappuccitti family sport. His father, Joe Cappuccitti, is one the best college players in the history of the Loyola program. Joe starred for the Ramblers from 1982-85. He ranks fourth all-time in points (82) is the fifth-leading goal scorer and is fourth in assists. John has committed to the Ramblers and coach Neil Jones, who coached the forward on the Team Evanston club program.

“My dad said, ‘If you go there, you can try and beat my records,’ ’’John said.

His immediate focus is on closing out his senior year with style. The Huskies (7-2-2) are unbeaten since losing consecutive games to No. 3 Morton and No. 16 Elk Grove in early September. The team is right in the mix for the Mid-Suburban East title.

“The [Mid-Suburban] is tough, hard hitting and very physical,” Cappuccitti said. “It’s not really high-scoring. We’re all good teams. We all have good players. Everybody’s kind of the same. I just want to keep pushing and play hard every game. We know every game is going to be tough and each game could be our last.”

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