One on One: Yianni Grupen ‘11 - Wide Receiver - Deerfield Academy

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

One on One: Yianni Grupen ‘11 - Wide Receiver - Deerfield Academy

We caught up with Deerfield Academy Senior Wide Reciever/ Defensive Back Yianni Grupen.

Grupen is an atheltic WR who is being recruited by Columbia, UPenn, Cornell, Bucknell,

Holy Cross, Colby, Middlebury, Amherst, Williams, Johns Hopkins, Washington and Lee, and UChicago.

 

Q- How and When did you begin playing football?

A- Originally I played soccer. My dad got me into it because he played soccer at the college

level and loves the game. I switched to football when I was 9, some of my

friends played and I wanted to give it a try and see what all the hype was about. From the

beginning I loved football. I have a lot of memories of getting up early on

Sunday mornings to travel around the state to different games, including a trip to the state

championship game of the 11-year-old division in Worcester. I have also played basketball

and baseball from an early age through high school.

 

Q- Who have been the biggest influences on your life?

A- My parents have always been my biggest influences and supporters. Both my mother and

father have always pushed me to excel in not only football but also in

everything I do. I have always been a die-hard supporter of the New England Patriots and

recently, I've become a big fan of receiver and return man Julian Edelman. I

really enjoy the way he plays and try to mimic the same style of play in my own games.

 

Q- Did you play any other sports along with football?

A- I actually focused on basketball during my early years in high school, and have heard from

some Division 3 schools regarding hoops, but by my junior year I excelled

the most in football and started hearing from more schools. Before Deerfield Academy, I was

an all-intercounty league defensive back.

 

Q- How have you progressed during your time at Deerfield?

A- Ever since football ended right before Thanksgiving, I have been working hard in the weight

room and on the field. I am able to stay in good shape during the year because of basketball

and baseball. This summer, I have worked hard on my speed, my 40 time, and

my agility while getting much stronger in the weight room. I have also

improved my fundamentals on both sides of the ball. On offense, I have improved my

route running ability and on defense, I have sharpened and quickened my footwork at

corner. So far, the hard work has paid dividends for me.

 

Q- How does your team look this year?

A- This year, our team looks promising as we get closer to preseason. My sophomore

year, we had a great season but just missed a bid to the New England Class A Super Bowl.

Last year, unfortunately we weren't considered for the Super Bowl. This season, the common

goal is to finish atop the NEPSAC Class A standings and hopefully get invited to the Super Bowl.

In terms of players, we have a good number of returning starters on offense and defense and

we have a handful of Post Grads coming in that can really help the team, including a talented

quarterback. Our coach, Mike Silipo, is doing a great job motivating us to return to the top of

the league this season.

 

Q- What are your personal goals for the upcoming year?

A- My goal is to have the opportunity to attend and play football at one of the top academic

schools in the country. As great as it would be to play football for a competitive Division 1

school,I value the academic aspect of the school as much as the football program it offers.

I would prefer to go to a larger school, but if given the opportunity to attend and play at a

smaller school that is academically better renowned, that is likely what I would opt for.

 

Q- What are your team goals for the upcoming season?

A- Our team goal will be to blend together as a unit as quickly as we can. After a few days

of preseason, we start right off with scrimmages and shortly after we have our first game,

so we don't have a huge time frame for preparation. Personally, my goal is to have my

best season yet at Deerfield. I want to try and improve on all my numbers from last

year: anything from touchdowns and catches on offense to tackles and interceptions on

defense. I want to improve on everything and anything I can do to help our team win.

 

Q- What are your interests outside of football?

A- Outside of football I like to spend a lot of time with family. I also enjoy hanging

out with my friends in the Greer (Deerfield's student center). Favorite food- My mom's lasagna.

Favorite movie- Good Will Hunting.


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