Football: Broomfield’s Capasso is the defensive player of the year

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    The 2018 all-region team is headed by, from left, Broomfield's Ryan Capasso (defensive player of the year), Skyline head coach Mike Silva (coach of the year) and Fairview's Aidan Atkinson (offensive player of the year).

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Broomfield's Ryan Capasso earned the 2018 defensive player of the year honor with nine sacks, 13 tackles for loss and an otherwise relentless motor.

  • Matthew Jonas / Staff Photographer

    Even if he didn't record the sack, Broomfield's Ryan Capasso (left) was adept at getting past blockers and making opposing quarterbacks often decide just a bit quicker than they wanted to.



Ryan Capasso embraced every chance he had in the role of underdog while playing football at Broomfield — like that time 15-seed Broomfield beat No. 2 Windsor in the 2017 playoffs.

Now he hopes he can find more of the same at the University of Northern Colorado, where he signed to play next.

“I’d love to go up to Wyoming, because they gave me a preferred walk-on offer, and I’d love to go up there and sack the quarterback six times,” Capasso grinned.

No holding back for this senior.

The catalyst of the Eagles’ defense was named the defensive player of the year after recording 72 total tackles, 13 tackles for loss, nine sacks and his first career interception return for a touchdown in 2018.

“The thing with Ryan is just his energy,” Broomfield coach Blair Hubbard said. “The energy that he brings to practice, the energy he brings to games, the energy he plays with brings other guys up. He just has this motor that’s hard to slow down.”

The coach compared Capasso’s intense and stuck-on-switch to that of NFL superstar J.J. Watt. He pointed to the game against Mountain View back in October when Capasso recorded his first-ever pick-six.

On replay, the coach said the senior regained his footing after a cut block sent him to the ground and still sprung up with enough momentum to get his hands on quarterback Lukas Arthur’s pass.

Capasso recalled trying to bat the ball down — and instead it nestled into his body. After scoring, he remembered glancing back to see his teammates and fans erupted in celebration.

“I feel like everyone was just shocked,” he said. “It was a great moment.”

“Again, it’s that energy,” Hubbard said. “A lot of players, once they’re cut, they think, oh for me the play is over because the quarterback is going to get the ball out of his hands quickly. But he got back to his feet, hustled, and to his credit made an amazing play because of that.”

Capasso was a two-way starter for Broomfield for the past two seasons after initially finding a spot in the rotation at outside linebacker during his sophomore year.

In 2018, he played a little everywhere. He was set up across the defensive line and linebacker positions for a unit that allowed seven or fewer points in four of its 11 games and gave up more than 17 points only twice. He was also the blindside offensive tackle protecting quarterback Steven Croell.

The senior’s versatility was key during the planning stages for each game, Hubbard said.

“It was key especially to our defense,” Broomfield’s coach said. “We would basically break down film of a team’s offense and we would basically say, ‘OK where can we put Ryan to cause them the most trouble’.”

Capasso, who signed with UNC on Dec. 19, said he is working to gain another 20 pounds of muscle before getting to Greeley. The hope is to make a name for himself on special teams early on before carving out his role as an outside linebacker.

Again, he’s embracing that underdog mentality.

“I know I have to start from scratch,” Capasso said. “Might as well start it off good.”

Brent W. New: and on Twitter @brentwnew