Head Coach Chris Whidden announced this week that seniors Lou Cocozza, James Peabody, Joshua von Staats, and Ryan Welsh will serve as team captains of the 2017 Barnstable High School Red Raiders football team. These young men were voted to be this year’s team leaders through the overwhelming support of their teammates. Together in football several years, our 2017 football captains share distinguished football careers both as Barnstable Red Raiders and Barnstable Silver Bullets. Student leaders off the gridiron as well as on, Captains Lou Cocozza, James Peabody, Joshua von Staats and Ryan Welsh share one singular distinction. Remarkably, but no surprise to those who know them, all four of this year’s team captains are members of the National Honor Society.
Let’s meet this year’s Barnstable High School Red Raiders football captains!
Due to his outstanding play and demonstrated leadership, last season Captain Lou Cocozza (6’2″, 240 lbs.) had the highly unique and impressive honor of being voted overwhelmingly by his peers to be selected team captain as a junior. He did such a great job, his peers voted him captain once again.
Prior to joining the Red Raiders, Lou was a member of the Barnstable Silver Bullets for six years, excelling at the taxing offensive center position. He also impressed and continues to excel at long snaps. Lou was honored with the 2013 Michael S Zikas Award for the Most Valuable Player as a BSB Midget. As a member of the 2015 Red Raider football team, Lou first lettered as a sophomore after leading the charge throughout the year as starting center and long snapper.
Captain Lou Cocozza is a VERY strong young man! A 3-year Iron Raider, Lou also achieved the ‘700 Club’ as a Sophomore and both the ‘800 Club’ and ‘900 Club’ as a Junior — and amazingly, the HALF-TON CLUB as a Senior — which combines the weight of the deadlift, bench press, and front squat. Lou is a three-sport athletic scholar. Consistently an Honor Roll student and National Honor Society member, beyond football, Lou earned 4 varsity letters in wrestling to date and was a member of the baseball team for three years.
Athletically, Captain Lou Cocozza had a tremendous Junior year. An Old Colony League All-Star for his outstanding football play at center, Lou also saw action at middle linebacker. Presented with the Heart & Drive Offensive Linemen of the Year Award, the honor was richly deserved. Lou was also presented with the Raymond E. Hostetter Jr. Award for his demonstrated superior level of competitiveness and leadership. Once his football season concluded, Lou’s outstanding wrestling earned him the distinction of Old Colony League Heavyweight Champion. This year Lou will once again lead the Red Raiders offensive line at the center position.
Lou has three older siblings: Kyle, Jr. (BHS 2009), Rachel (BHS 2011) and Christine (BHS 2013). A former Red Raider standout, brother Kyle played collegiate football at Bridgewater State University and is a football coach here with the Red Raiders. Proud parents are Kyle and Elaine Cocozza of Marstons Mills.
Captain James Peabody (6′, 205 lbs.) is a truly internationally accomplished all-around athletic scholar. Trilingual in English, French, and Spanish, James lived with his mother and sister Olivia for two years in France. While there, James learned French through total immersion, played American football with the only football club in Paris (Les Dragons de Paris), and also learned judo and mixed martial arts. Quelle est sa beauté?
Captain James Peabody’s athletic career began with five years of stellar play for the Barnstable Silver Bullets. He was starting Quarterback as a 7th grade Midget. As a Red Raider, James achieved ‘700 Club’ and the ‘800 Club’ honors, which combines the weight of the deadlift, bench press, and front squat. James lettered as a Junior in football as an offensive lineman (guard). His wrestling accomplishments also quite noteworthy. Lettering as a Junior in his first year of participation, James was awarded the Strength and Honor Award.
Academically, Captain James Peabody is consistently a High Honor student and member of the National Honor Society. This young man holds a 4.0 unweighted GPA, 4.61 weighted. WOW! A talented musician, James plays guitar, bass, and drums. He won second place in the BHS Talent Show last year, accompanying former BHS Football Captain and vocalist, Jack Kennedy, on guitar in a rendition of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah”. He was formerly part of a youth jazz ensemble (playing bass) that performed in venues throughout the Cape during the summer.
James has four siblings: Alix, Christina, Nick (BHS 2012), and Olivia (BHS 2014). His brother Nick, formerly a BHS 2012 Red Raider Football Captain and starting Quarterback, plays football for Princeton University. James’ proud parents are Doug Peabody and Annick Cooper.
Captain Joshua von Staats (5’7″, 180 lbs) began his football career playing in the Barnstable Silver Bullets program for 7 years where he excelled both offensively at guard and defensively at middle linebacker. As a Barnstable Silver Bullets Midget, Josh was honored for his exhaustive work ethic, tenacity, sportsmanship, and commitment to excellence in football with the 2012 Michael S Zikas Award for the Most Valuable Player and later the coveted 2013 William “Red” Dacey, Jr. Award.
A 2-year Iron Raider, Captain Joshua von Staats also achieved the ‘700 Club’ as a Sophomore and the ‘800 Club’ as a Junior, which combines the weight of the deadlift, bench press, and front squat. Josh lettered in football as a Junior (middle linebacker). Though he considers football and weight training his primary passions year-round, Josh also enjoyed playing Red Raiders lacrosse as a Sophomore and a Junior.
Captain Joshua von Staats, consistently a High Honor or Honor Roll Student, is a member of the National Honor Society. He is highly active in community service work, volunteering for Cape Abilities at Source America, Joint Base Cape Cod. To honor his brother Jeremy’s memory, the Boston Bull Dogs Running Club is another favorite cause Josh actively supports. Josh also squeezes in employment at the Twisted Tree Restaurant.
Josh has four older siblings — Brian (BHS 2004), Stephen (BHS 2005), Kathrine (BHS 2006), and Nicholas (CCT 2009). His sister Katie Kukova is a respected sub-3.5 hour marathon distance runner. Josh’s proud parents are Erich von Staats of Marstons Mills and Beth von Staats of West Yarmouth.
Captain Ryan Welsh (5’11″/ 170 lbs.) began his notable football career as an eighth grade Midget with the Barnstable Silver Bullets where he excelled offensively as a running back. Ryan’s outstanding football play continued as a Red Raider. He lettered after an outstanding season played as a Junior at slot receiver.
Beyond the game of football, Captain Ryan Welsh is also a fantastic Lacrosse player. Not only did Ryan letter as a Sophomore with the Red Raiders Varsity Lacrosse team, but he lettered again and was named an Old Colony League All-Star Junior year for his stellar play at long-stick defensive midfielder.
Consistently an Honor Roll student, Captain Ryan Welsh is a true athletic scholar. Beyond his athletic prowess, he is a member of both the National Honor Society and the National French Honor Society. Ryan has a strong desire to enter the field of law enforcement. In fact, he is getting an early start on making his goal a reality. Ryan successfully completed the Junior State Police Academy.
Ryan’s brother is former track and cross-country standout Robert, Jr. (BHS 2016). His proud parents are Tara Welsh of West Barnstable and Rob Welsh of Sandwich.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER!!!!!
Senior Emmé Capra is a talented young woman. Not only is she a Captain of the Red Raiders Varsity Cheerleading Squad, she also is a gifted professional photographer. To enjoy Emme’s craftsmanship, visit her Facebook page at Emmé Capra Photography or her website at Emmé Capra Photography.