Kane’s Versatility Key Asset for Millis Football Squad

KEN HAMWEY, Staff Sports Writer
Bryan Kane is only a junior, but he’s a captain whose versatility, mature approach, and classy style make him a breed apart.
Issue Date: 
October, 2019
Article Body: 

Pictures sometimes accompany words in a dictionary to emphasize definitions. When it comes to defining versatility, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bryan Kane’s photo next to the word.
The 6-foot-1, 170-pound Kane plays football for Millis High and the junior captain personifies versatility. He can play linebacker or safety on defense, and on offense he can be used as a running back, wide receiver or quarterback.
“Versatility is an asset,’’ he said. “I don’t mind playing any of the five positions. It presents a lot of different opportunities and it helps to better understand the game. Sacrificing for the welfare of the team is important.’’
Head coach Brian Kraby is counting on Kane to contribute in a variety of ways to help the Mohawks improve on last year’s 4-6 record that prevented them from qualifying for a playoff berth. Now in his second year as Millis’ head coach, Kraby is delighted Kane has overcome an elbow injury and very pleased Kane was selected by his teammates to be a captain.
“Bryan should be able to take advantage of having a solid offensive line,’’ Kraby said. “He’ll be effective running the ball because he’s a grinder. He’ll gain four or five yards and if he gets to the outside, he can break it for long runs. On defense, he’s tough as nails, and we expect him to make lots of tackles.’’
Kraby also is bullish on Kane as a captain. “We’re a young team and Bryan will be extremely important in establishing our chemistry,’’ Kraby added. “He’ll help keep the players positive and optimistic.’’
Kane, who also has experience as a varsity basketball and baseball player, says football is his favorite sport, and he wants play it in college. The odds are high that college ball is in his future, especially after attending a summer camp in Ohio in June.
I went to a USA Football regional camp at Bryant University,’’ Kane noted. “I started as a receiver, but finished up at safety. When it ended, I was selected to attend the national USA camp in Ohio. I was one of 260 to be chosen, truly an honor. The four days were so valuable. It was intense and the instruction was great. I learned a lot at safety, and I’ve shared that knowledge with teammates.’’
Besides his versatile nature, Kane has other assets. “Bryan has a high football IQ, he’s passionate about football, he’s athletic and coachable, and he’s got size and strength,’’ Kraby said.
Those plusses were on display in the Mohawks first two games — a victory over Randolph and a loss to Shawsheen Tech. After the two games, Kane had 178 yards rushing and 63 yards receiving. He recorded 17 tackles and 2 interceptions playing safety.
“My team goals for the season are to get to the playoffs, beat Medway and defeat Dover-Sherborn,’’ Kane emphasized. “We’ve got the talent and the dedication to qualify for the tourney. I’d like to defeat Medway, our top rival, and Dover-Sherborn games are always intense and fun. I also want to promote team chemistry. Personally, if I continue at running back, I’d like to gain 1,000 yards and be selected as a Tri Valley League all-star.’’
A native of Millis, Kane has been hampered by torn ligaments in his elbow for the last two years. He was injured as a freshman catcher in baseball trying to throw out a runner stealing.
“I heard a pop,’’ Kane recalled. “I didn’t have surgery but I spent five months in rehab. I missed half of the baseball season as a freshman and missed two games in football as a sophomore. I skipped baseball last spring to make sure I’d be fully healthy as a junior.’’
Not only is Kane healthy, but he’s also a captain who’s eager to be a leader. “It’s a big honor to be a captain as a junior,’’ he said. “I’ll lead by example, by being vocal, and I’ll also be supportive.’’
Kane is quick to laud three teammates he expects to be major contributors this season. Two are captains — junior Tally Smith and senior Johnny Pateuk — and junior Ernesto Olivieri. Smith is a linebacker and defensive end, Pateuk plays linebacker, tackle and fullback and Olivieri plays tackle and nose guard.
“Tally is a junior who’s a quality leader,’’ Kane said. “He’s respected, and he plays aggressively. Johnny is also respected, and he’s a hard hitter. Ernesto is energetic, aggressive and pursues very well.’’
Kane also appreciates Kraby, admiring his coach on three fronts. “Coach Kraby treats us like a family,’’ Kane stressed. “He knows the game, and he’s a strong motivator.’’
Kane’s style on both sides of the ball is easy to classify — he’s aggressive, likes to hit and he thrives on pursuit. A starter in eight games last year, he had 45 tackles, 6 tackles for losses, 2 fumble recoveries and 2 interceptions.
“My two best games were against Dover-Sherborn as a freshman and against Hull last year,’’ he said. “Both were victories. My first start was as a freshman against D-S and I had 10 tackles and forced a fumble. Against Hull, I had 10 tackles, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery and 1 forced fumble.’’
An honor-roll student, Kane plans on majoring in business administration in college. He’s not sure yet what school he’ll attend, but he wants to continue playing football, a sport that has sharpened his athletic philosophy and helped him learn valuable life lessons.
“My competitive philosophy is to win, to reach my potential and to enjoy sports,’’ he emphasized. “Some of the life lessons I’ve learned are how to overcome adversity and obstacles, how to deal with losing, and how to become a strong leader.’’