2022 Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star Team: Mt. Lebanon’s Kade Capristo
Wednesday, June 22, 2022 | 7:48 PM
Editor’s note: The Tribune-Review and the TribLive High School Sports Network are profiling each member of the 25-player Trib HSSN Preseason Football All-Star team. The players will be recognized July 15 during HSSN Media Day at Kennywood Park.
Mt. Lebanon quarterback Joey Daniels threw for over 2,118 yards last fall while fellow senior Alex Tecza rushed for 2,079 yards.
The Blue Devils had the skill players, but they had plenty of beef up front that played a big part in a perfect 15-0 season, including district and state 6A championships.
“I like opening holes,” Mt. Lebanon lineman Kade Capristo said, “because it’s more satisfying to watch in film the next morning when you make a wide-open hole and the running back takes it.”
The 6-foot-3, 290-pound senior offensive tackle and defensive nose guard is back this season and is a member of the 2022 Trib HSSN Preseason 25 Football All-Star Team that will be honored on Friday, July 15 at Kennywood Park.
“I truly believe 2021 was a special season for all my fellow teammates,” Capristo said. “We put so much time and effort into the season, whether it was in the weight room or on the field.”
What makes Capristo’s junior season even more impressive is that he was injured early, yet played at a high level until he had surgery after the season ended.
“I have been working on mobility and speed,” Capristo said. “I tore my labrum during the second game of the season and got surgery after the state championship game. Because of that, it has allowed me to focus on the little details like my footwork and my flexibility.”
Playing at a high level while not at 100% is always something that catches the eye of coaches.
“Kade was a very consistent player and was able to perform regardless of the situation,” Mt. Lebanon coach Bob Palko said. “He played through an injury for most of the year, and we didn’t see a drop off in his violent strike.”
In fact, Capristo’s versatility was on display when he caught not one but two touchdowns as a tackle eligible receiver.
Capristo has 10 offers he is mulling as he looks beyond his upcoming senior season. He hasn’t narrowed down when he will make his decision other than saying he would prefer to do so before the 2022 seasons kicks off.
“Kade is very athletic,” Palko said. “He projects as a guard in college, but he is athletic enough to perform at tackle. He started as a sophomore and has always led by example. Now he has matured and you will see Kade take control of the offensive line as a vocal leader.”
Capristo says he is ready for that kind of role.
“I expect myself to be a strong leader for this team,” he said. “We lost many of our important leaders, so we need a lot of new guys to step up this year to replace them.”
While last year was a golden ride with the first district title in over 20 years and the first-ever state championship for the Blue Devils, the bar and expectations have been raised by everybody in the program.
“As we like to say, new numbers, same goal,” Capristo said. “Our goal this year is to do all of the little things right and win another WPIAL championship.”
It only seems right that the big man known for creating havoc in the trenches didn’t hesitate when asked about his favorite ride at Kennywood Park, where he and 24 others will be saluted as members the 2022 Trib HSSN Preseason All-Star Team.
“It’s gotta be the Steel Curtain,” he said.
Offensive tackle, nose guard
Offers: Richmond, Toledo, Navy, Duquesne, Robert Morris, Maine, East Tennessee State, Indiana State, Saint Francis (Pa.) and Layfette.
2021 stats: All-Conference, All-State and All-American offensive lineman. Two career touchdowns. 3.6 GPA.
Tags: Mt. lebanon
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