Message from the Coach
The Kent Football player includes Division I scholarship and even professional athletes to undersized, big-hearted students whose love of the game and sense of being part of something special far outweigh their athletic skills. At Kent, we have a place in our football program for anyone willing to commit to excellence, on and off the field. With access to some of the finest facilities, technologies, and coaching in New England, our staff and players are proud to carry forward a tradition of excellence that has been associated with Kent Football for over one hundred years.
In six years of coaching in the Housatonic Conference, I have never cut a player. As the head coach, anyone wanting to be a part of Kent Football – regardless of size, strength or experience (many Kent players join the program having never played the game) – is welcome to take part.
From a state-of-the-art video editing system (each player has running personal highlights updated each week throughout the season that are available to college coaches); a fitness center second to none (overlooking the football field); personalized training programs supported by a dedicated strength and conditioning staff; along with a top level trainer and equipment manager; Kent Football has all the support expected of a top flight program that places players at the leading colleges in the country. We also pride ourselves in teaching character along with X’s and O’s. Football is the medium through which values such as preparation, passion and perseverance (Kent Football’s trademarks) are taught.
Kent plays one of the most challenging schedules in Division 1 New England prep school football, culminating with the homecoming game against Trinity-Pawling. Many home games are played under the lights with crowds that are the envy of any school. Kent Football is a storied program, claiming eight league championships, five New England Championship game berths, and two New England titles in the past 18 years. Kent was also the first prep school football team to play a regular season game abroad – traveling to London in 2009 in conjunction with an NFL game played at Wembley Stadium. Kent continued the tradition of overseas travel in 2012 when it played the British national team in Dublin, Ireland while also watching Notre Dame play the U.S. Naval Academy in the kickoff to the 2012 NCAA Football season.
Contact Coach Connor Wells
Tevaun Smith '12 was signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in the summer of 2016.
Conor McDermott '12 is a 2016 Sports Illustrated preseason All-American and an all Pac-12 tackle at UCLA.
Tyler Catalina '12 is a starting tackle for the University of Georgia.
"I am very grateful for the four years that I spent at Kent. I’m even more grateful for the strong relationships that I formed at Kent with my teachers and coaches who served as my mentors. Kent School is a very special place and I apply the lessons that I learned at Kent, namely preparation, positive imagery and perseverance, each day in every facet of my life."
-- Graham Jones, Bowdoin College
"Playing football at Kent is not just a commitment to football as seen with many other programs around the country, but it is a chance to become a better person. While being challenged vigorously on the field you gain an aura of poise, which gives you the confidence not only to face any opponent, but to take on any challenge that life may throw at you. After playing and experiencing much success on the field, I found myself more appreciative of the way I transformed as a person than any award that I won. Now that I am a starter at a Division I program as a freshman, I recognize even more that playing Kent Football was a very rewarding experience."
-- Kalasi Huggins, Columbia University
About the Program, from the Captains
“It is safe to say that Kent Football is all about family. We tend to use that term quite often throughout the season. This family is something more than football. Being a Kent Football player is not about how big, fast, strong, or athletic you are. Kent Football is about heart, and the desire to work hard and win – and being a good person both on and off the field. I can speak personally from my experiences as a player. I was never the best athlete, the biggest guy, or the strongest, but I wanted to work hard and win. Football is the greatest game on earth because it is a game of merit. A game where working hard, and giving it all you got on every rep, will outshine everything else. Coach Wells stresses that if you work diligently, the scoreboard will take care of itself on Saturdays.”
– Cooper Fairbanks ’17
“I’m incredibly honored to be representing our team as a captain this fall and will strive to make everyone on our team the best they can be. There are many excellent athletes in our program that want to help their teammates improve. Whether it is through learning how to run routes or banging on your door at five in the morning until you get out of bed for a morning lift, we want you to succeed! Academically, you are pushed by coaches and peers to maintain your grades year round. I quickly learned that if you do your work and aren’t worried about bad grades, you are more focused and primed for practice. It lets you fully commit yourself to practice and games without worrying about how you’re going to get that math grade up. Finally, from a social standpoint, I was accepted instantly by the entire team on the first day. Throughout the grueling preseason, you get close to the team and create friendships that will last a lifetime. This also gives you a great support group going into the school year when everyone else arrives on campus. Before you know it, you’re going to be introduced to so many people you’ll feel like you’ve been at Kent for years. The one thing I can promise you is that if you come into camp ready to work hard and keep an open mind, you will have a life changing experience at Kent. If you fully commit to this school and this football program, we won’t just win on the field (which we plan on doing!), but you will win in every aspect of your life.”
– Noah Imperato ’17
“Kent Football is about grit – the mentality that you're not going to crumble under pressure but rather succeed. Each and every one of us represents a link in a chain. The success of our team is up to all of us because we are only as strong as our weakest link. For new and returning players, that's something this team has always taken pride in. In order to win we have to be a singular squad. You have to be a guy your buddy can rely on, just as he has to be for you. The work you have and will put in leading up to our home opener will determine whether we fail as individuals or win as a unit. Have the guts, have the intensity … and the glory takes care of itself!”
– Riley O’Connell ’17
“To all parents, family members and players, my name is Sean Kennedy, and I am one of your captains for this upcoming season. I started at Kent my sophomore year, and I am very glad that I made the decision to come to Kent instead of any other prep school I had the option to attend. The atmosphere at Kent is unlike any other. You are surrounded by kind people who not only strive in their sport or other endeavor but strive in the classroom. Kent Football is a representation of this purpose. It is about perseverance and dedication – not just about winning, but the desire to win which matters most, just like in life! Who is going to push himself when the going gets tough? How bad do you want to be a champion this year? I want it more than anything – on the field and in the classroom.”
– Sean Kennedy ’17