Caravel Academy Buccaneers: Journey To The Top

Posted in: Success Stories



At the end of the 2010 football season, the Caravel Academy Buccaneers were far from satisfied with their 2-7 record. As a school with so much football tradition, the Bucs would vow to never let a losing season like this happen again. It was time for changes to be implemented and a new approach would be instituted for the team. This perennial state title contending squad would need to make adjustments, both physically and mentally. Among the alterations came a new off-season regimen. Coaches and players alike were ready to put the 2010 campaign behind them, and never look back.



Over the next year, the Buccaneers football team proved that they were hungry for more. Caravel began to demonstrate a new mindset. Under the direction of Titus Sports’ Performance Staff players trained three days a week in the weight room and using the field for speed and agility, they began to morph their team into one unit. “They came in with an open mind and were extremely eager to learn. As they progressed through the workouts, you could see the confidence growing inside and out,” said Coach J.T. Gregory of Titus Sports. Knowing that hard work pays off, the Caravel players expected more of themselves for the fall season, and the 2011 seniors’ leadership would not tolerate anything less than maximum effort from their teammates.

Caravel bounced back strong in 2011 and finished the regular  season with a perfect 10-0 record, including a win over defending state champion, St. Elizabeth. The Buccaneers’ improvement carried them through two tough playoff wins before meeting Indian River in the state championship game. The Indian River squad was led by Delaware high school football Offensive Player of the Year, Jamie Jarmon. Jarmon was an extraordinary athlete who would later be drafted in the 2nd round MLB draft by the Texas Rangers. The Indians defeated Caravel, but the Buccaneers finished the year with a 12-1 record and a 10 win improvement from the previous season’s campaign.

When the student-athletes came back to the weight room, however, they were still not satisfied. The hunger that was planted in them from the previous season had continued to grow.  As the seniors graduated, new leaders stepped up and flourished. Offensive lineman, Eddie Russo, encouraged and demanded excellence in the weight room. Linebacker, Pierce Ripanti, was well respected amongst his teammates for his hard work ethic. Those two were amongst a handful of players that spread a winning attitude throughout the Caravel team. This attitude and work ethic would become the building blocks of what would be an unstoppable 2012 season for the Buccaneers.

Success for Ripanti Started in Off-Season



Coach Reed and Caravel Players React After Receiving State Championship Trophy

Due to the success of the 2011 season, the 2012 season came with high expectations for Caravel Academy. Luckily for the Buccaneers, their offseason training with Titus Sports would provide them with the ability to meet and exceed all expectations placed upon them. Caravel had several returning starters at several skill positions, and a young quarterback in Derrick Groomes, who was poised to step in to a permanent role after filling in down the stretch of 2011.


For the second season in a row, Caravel finished the regular season with an undefeated 10-0 record. Again, for the second consecutive season, the Bucs won their next two playoff games and advanced to the state championship. This time they were ready to take that elusive final game and surpass their record of a season ago. Caravel faced Hodgson Vocational Technical High School looking to finish off the year on a high note.



In the Delaware Division II High School Championship, the Caravel Academy Buccaneers finished off their 2012 season with an unblemished record, defeating Hodgson 39-29. The 13-0 record came due to 447 yard rushing on 57 carries in the championship game against a formerly stingy Silver Eagles defense. Leading the rushing attack was senior, Pierce Ripanti, who missed practice earlier in the week with the flu. Ripanti, with the same dedication and determination that was showcased in the Titus Sports weight room prior to the season, still managed to will his way to 249 yards and two touchdowns. “Each and every one of them gave their heart for me so I had to give my heart for them. It’s my last game, I love this game and I just had to leave it on the line. It was win or bust… and we won.” Sophomore running back, Darnell Savage, also had a stellar day, finishing with 158 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries.

Pierce Ripanti and Derrick Groomes Talk About Winning the Division II State Championship

In their thirteen game season, Caravel outscored their opponents 529-145. A season that began with domination and hard work off the field, ended with the same results on the field. The Caravel tradition of football excellence had been restored.



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