Welcome to the Joe Show: Lawrence QB Capobianco poised for record-breaking season
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Everyone wants to talk about the records. Joe Capobianco wants no part of that conversation.
"The first question people usually ask me is about personal achievement and my individual goals," said the Lawrence quarterback, who is on the verge of breaking all of Long Island's major passing records. "The only thing that matters to me is winning another [Long Island championship]. I want to defend our title. I know the feeling of losing the big game and winning the big game. I want to end my career with a win."
Capobianco began his career with a sensational sophomore season, but his coach said his focus wasn't always on team goals. Now the senior speaks mainly of team commitment and leadership and less about passing yardage and touchdown glory.
"He has matured into a fine role model," Lawrence coach Joe Martilotti said. "I remember cringing when I heard he guaranteed to throw for over 400 yards against Sayville in the LIC. He exuded so much confidence at a young age, but we had to reel that in and help him channel that fire and demeanor in the right direction. He's been fantastic."
Observers want only to broach the subject of Capobianco breaking Steven Ferreira's touchdown and yardage records. And why not? Ferreira, in his three years at Sayville (2009-11), threw for 6,407 yards and 73 touchdowns and earned one Long Island Class III crown.
After Capobianco's bold statement in 2011, he threw for 540 yards and seven touchdowns in an epic 78-61 loss to Sayville, the highest-scoring game in state history.
"I never want to be in a shootout like that again," Sayville coach Rob Hoss said. "It was a back-and-forth scoring affair like we'd never seen before. And we knew there was the potential to see Lawrence again the following year in the LIC."
Capobianco, fearing a repeat of the Sayville loss, said he dedicated himself to the weight room and studying tape. Then he had arguably the best season of any quarterback in Long Island history and led Lawrence back into the Class III title game against Sayville.
The numbers were astounding: 2,609 yards, 38 touchdowns and only three interceptions. Capobianco led an offense that scored 581 points as Lawrence shattered the Long Island single-season scoring record.
"None of it mattered unless we won the LIC," said Capobianco -- and Lawrence did just that, edging Sayville, 21-20. "Stats are stats. I want Lawrence to win the LIC and the Rutgers Cup for two years in a row -- that's our goal."
Under his control, the Golden Tornadoes' high-octane offense has put up mind-numbing numbers. He has completed 246 of 355 passes, a 69.3 percentage. He has 5,056 passing yards and 67 touchdown passes.
The assault on the record books resumes Sept. 12 at Manhasset.
"He can handle anything," Martilotti said. "He wants to go out on top."
Lawrence is not the team of 2011 or 2012. There are five returning impact players, and the depth will have to come from a solid junior varsity and role players from last year's varsity.
"We have a young and inexperienced team with only five guys back from last year," Capobianco said. "The rest of this team played very little roles in our championship run and now they want to make a name for themselves. It's my responsibility as the captain of this program to see to it that we make that happen. We have to find the key to unlock the run to another title."