Ascension to MWFL All-Star status a point of pride for Kathleen Caputo

Going from a comfort zone to a growing zone, Kathleen Caputo was one of the feel-good stories during an exciting 2017 campaign for the Capital Area Lady Gladiators. Representing the potential of the Maritime Women’s Football League (MWFL) to serve as a beacon for female sport in Canada’s Atlantic Region, Caputo has established herself as a key component of the Lady Glads’ offensive line.

While the term “late bloomer” rises to the surface in discussing Caputo’s football journey, her rise from athletic novice to All-Star in such a short time span demonstrated a combination of a keen willingness to learn, maturity and devotion to her teammates. For this middle aged marvel, said journey began at the urging of her friends, of which many had already experienced the thrill of gracing the MWFL’s gridiron,

“I had a few friends on the Lady Gladiators team who would frequently ask me to come out to a practice and give it a shot. I never even considered it as I have never been athletic and have never played any sports. I was the kid who faked sick in gym class to avoid having to participate.

It took a couple years before I went to watch my first Lady Gladiators game and once I did, I was immediately convinced! Never having played sports before, I did not know what it felt like to be a part of a team and unknown to me that was something that was missing in my life.

I cannot say that it was not challenging to jump into a complex full contact sport without any prior experience, but I am surprised and amazed every day at what I am capable of achieving with proper coaching and training.”

In action with the Capital Area Lady Gladiators (Image supplied by Caputo)

The start would serve as the positive and encouraging springboard towards the MWFL glories to come. As the annual Jamboree holds a treasured place on the league’s calendar, it is also a rite of passage for many nascent players, their initial sojourn into Maritime football.

With the University of New Brunswick serving as the backdrop for Caputo’s gridiron milestone, it sowed the seeds of confidence, transforming her into a capable competitor for one of the MWFL’s signature teams. Although taking a hit is one of the most intimidating aspects in the adjustment towards becoming a player, Caputo does not reflect on it as a baptism of fire. Instead, it was the catalyst that instilled in her the belief that she was capable of doing this,

“My favorite moment in my MWFL career would have to be my first Jamboree. It was the very first time I was able to play against other teams in full gear. I remember walking into the UNB dome and feeling absolutely terrified and intimidated. Yet, soon after my first hit I felt totally comfortable and in my element. It took no time at all for me to fall in love with the sport.”

Gradually, Caputo’s football saga would evolve from fresh-faced beginner to an assured competitor bringing a sense of reliability to the Lady Glads’ roster. Such affirmation took place in the aftermath of her breakthrough second season.

Gaining recognition as an MWFL All-Star signified her arrival as an elite player. Locating a place on the offensive line, Caputo would compete at the centre position, showing a proficiency with quick footwork and a readiness to adapt to fast-changing game situations.

Finding positive influence among a gathering of remarkable talent, including Stephanie Bosse, one of the Lady Glads’ model teammates and an encouraging friend, it helped to set the tone for Caputo to elevate her game and reach the All-Star apex. Demonstrating how constantly being prepared pays off, the honour is one that takes on the role of a foundation in Caputo’s compelling career, driving her to build on such success while providing the Lady Glads’ with another piece to the championship puzzle.

Caputo with Stephanie Bosse (right). Image from the Kathleen Caputo Collection

“For me, being named an MWFL All-Star was recognition for all of my hard work over the last few seasons.

From a rookie with no experience to being the starting center and named an All-Star in my second year was a huge accomplishment for me. It gave me the motivation to continue training and keep playing.”

Acknowledgement only comprises part of the football equation for Caputo. Acquiescing to her friends’ suggestions to put on the helmet and wear the iconic Lady Glads’ red jersey is one that positively transformed her life, shaping her into a portrait of empowerment.

As Caputo now shares the common thread of football with her friends, it has only served to strengthen their bonds, creating a lasting legacy that shall hold a cherished place in progressive seasons.

“What I enjoy the most about playing with the Lady Glads is the inclusivity. Everyone is welcome to play, any body type, any skill level, everybody!

There is a position for everyone and so many amazing coaches and veteran teammates who are committed to making you the best player you can be. All you need is a positive attitude, the willingness to learn and give 100% effort.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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