What began as a decade on the soccer pitch has resulted in a journey into West Islip’s football record books.
When Bobby DiCapua’s 32-yard field goal attempt split the uprights during the second quarter of West Islip’s 41-15 victory over Connetquot on Oct. 4, the senior became the program’s all-time leading kicker with 126 points, earning him Newsday’s Athlete of the Week honors. The previous record of 125 was set by Skip Thomas back in 1993.
“I was definitely looking forward to that all season,” said DiCapua, who has converted all four field goal attempts this season while also going 16-for-16 on extra points. “I was definitely really excited to break the record.”
After picking up soccer at the age of 5, DiCapua made the transition to football during his sophomore year at West Islip and eventually received an opportunity as the team’s kicker. He currently also plays defensive end, tight end and punts for the Lions.
Though soccer was his first love, DiCapua has committed to solely playing football during the fall season. His longest field goal came last season against Centereach, when he connected from 43 yards.
“It’s great that I got the opportunity coming up in 10th grade,” DiCapua said. “And that my coaches had faith in me that early on.”
One of DiCapua’s favorite aspects of kicking is being in pressure-packed scenarios.
“At points in the game, the pressure is on you,” DiCapua said. “I love that. I’ll do whatever it takes to help the team win. Especially with us being 4-0 right now, I’m even happier.”
West Islip coach Steve Mileti said DiCapua is one of the most elite athletes he’s had in the program.
“He’s a tough, blue-collar kid,” Mileti said. “Pound for pound, he’s one of the better football players I’ve ever coached.”
DiCapua, 6-0 and 180 pounds, detailed how he spends about 35-40 minutes per day working on kicking drills. His primary focus isn’t simply making field goals, but placing the ball down the center of the uprights.
“I want to split it directly every single time, DiCapua said. “One day I’m kicking long, one day I’m working on accuracy and trying to hit the field goal post directly.”
As the Lions look to overcome three consecutive losses in the Suffolk Division II final, Mileti believes DiCapua’s kicking could be the difference this time around.
“When you’re playing close playoff games, having a kid who can put three points on the board from 30-40 yards out is huge,” Mileti said.
DiCapua also pitches for West Islip’s baseball team and plans to continue competing on the diamond in college. He has aspirations of kicking at the collegiate level as well.
“That’s definitely the game plan,” DiCapua said. “We’ll see how it goes.”