Last year was a special one for the Pawlewicz family. It was the final season that brothers Anthony and Kade would be able to suit up together for the Newfield Trojans football team.
The brothers were both named IAC All-Stars for their performances in 2018. Then, Anthony graduated, leaving Kade, who is one year younger, to be a leader for the Trojans.
Anthony was the quarterback for the team while Kade serves as both a tight end and a defensive lineman. Unfortunately, it was a tough season for Newfield, as it went 2-6 in Anthony’s final year.
“It was a lot of fun [to play with Anthony]. I wish we could’ve gotten some more wins together. But it was great. I miss having him out on the field with me,” Kade said. “But that’s another thing. We have a great group of guys on the team and we’re looking for playoffs.”
Anthony and Kade were both raised by Rick Pawlewicz, a longtime beloved guidance counselor at Newfield High School, and his wife Jennifer, who is currently a career engagement and marketing specialist at Ithaca College. To see two of his sons excel on the football field together was a special feeling for Rick.
“It’s exciting just to see the team come together. It’s even more exciting to have two of your own kids out there participating and putting the effort in every day,” Rick said. “It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling.”
Kade, who is also a member of Newfield’s basketball team, can’t remember football not being a part of his life. What truly inspired him to pursue the sport, though, was his older brother.
“Every single day, I remember when I was in flag football watching him play tackle football. It was a lot of fun and it encouraged me,” Kade said. “I’ve wanted to play football ever since.”
Anthony is now at Daemen College as a member of the school’s physician assistant program. The Wildcats do not have a football team, so his run with the sport ended in high school. His departure left a hole in the leadership core of the team, which has been filled by Kade.
“It’s nice having a lot of the younger guys looking up to me because I’m on both sides of the ball,” Kade said. “I’m on the field most of the time, but it’s also great watching the younger guys fill in for me while I’m out because I get tired. I’m on the field the whole time, and it’s great watching the younger guys who are inexperienced get some plays in and make an impact.”
Rick is overjoyed to see Kade flourish in his new role because there was a chance he wouldn’t be on the field at all this year.
“I can’t be any more proud. At the beginning of the season, he was kind of hesitant as far as if he even wanted to play,” Rick said. “He was going to focus on his academics, focus on the winter season. I’m glad he took this step. I’m glad he took the challenge. It’s been so fun to watch. It’s been a great season.”
That winter season is important to Kade. Last year, he and the basketball team reached the semifinals of the sectional tournament and hope to go further this season. For now, though, Kade is all-in on the gridiron.
“Playoffs: That’s our main goal,” Kade said. “We’re looking to get Lansing in sectionals. We have T-burg next week. That’s our main focus.”
While their only loss thus far comes to the aforementioned Lansing, homecoming was a success for the Trojans. They held strong in the fourth quarter for a 44-40 win over Unadilla Valley to improve to 2-1. The win symbolized what this team is made of in the eyes of Kade.
“Leadership on this team is a great thing this year. A lot has changed since last year. We have a great group of guys,” he said. “They can just stick through it, the whole game. I’m really proud of them. We went out there and got it.”
What made homecoming even better was Anthony making the long trip down to Newfield from Amherst, which is in the Buffalo area. Kade and Jennifer were caught off guard by his appearance, leading to what Rick called “an awesome night.”
Another weekend will come, though, and Kade will put on the green without his brother alongside him. He’ll continue assuming and excelling in the leadership role left behind by Anthony.
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