Sports Person of the Week
Frawley Reaches His Peak as a Senior
John Frawley had a breakout senior season with the Branford football team, earning All-SCC accolades for a Hornets’ squad that made the playoffs. (Photo courtesy of John Frawley)
John Frawley is always looking to make a play on the ball as both a wide receiver and a cornerback. John has only seen his skills improve in his four years with the Branford football team, leading him to a starting role and All-Conference honors as a senior last fall.
Growing up, John would often watch football with his father Richard. He was always interested in the various plays and formations. However, despite that interest, John’s parents were initially hesitant on letting him play the sport. After some convincing, John got the OK to play in 8th grade, and he’s been on the field ever since.
“When I was younger, I was a very active kid. I was always looking for something physically challenging. I played soccer for a really long time, and there was just something in me that wanted to play football,” says John. “My parents wouldn’t let me. But after enough begging, they finally gave me the go. It has been history since.”
John started playing football in Branford’s recreational league. After just one season, John joined the Hornets and competed for their JV team as a freshman. John found that playing high school football opened his eyes to the speed of the game and how the competition was much more intense.
John saw some varsity time on special teams in his sophomore season and was poised to make the jump to varsity as a junior. However, John’s junior season was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When he came back as a senior, John was promoted to varsity starter at both wide receiver and cornerback. John has certainly grown on the gridiron during his four years with the Hornets, but he’s stayed true to the things that have helped him improve. The biggest thing for John is his work ethic, and he’s put in a great deal of effort since his freshman year to get where he is now.
“I’ve definitely grown just being around the same program for four years. I’ve changed a lot athletically, but I’ve always been the same person,” John says. “I’m hard-working, determined, and I’ve always just wanted to be the best player I could be. There was hard work in the weight room and practices. Anytime I could have time to work on improving myself, I took it.”
John helped the Branford football team have one of its best seasons in recent memory in his senior year. The Hornets went 8-2 for the regular season and made the playoffs for the first time since 2005. Branford claimed a 7-6 win versus Avon in the quarterfinals of the Class M State Playoffs before taking a 13-12 loss to Killingly in the semifinals.
John enjoyed every second of his senior campaign. As the Hornets were winning on the football field, John also felt proud to see them becoming a family.
“It was the best year of football I have ever played in my life. It didn’t even feel like a football team. It felt like a family. It was just a huge family of guys playing football together,” says John. “We were always playing with each other and for each other. We knew what we were capable of. No matter the opponent, we were always going to put in our hardest effort and never give up, even if things weren’t looking good.”
John has played wide receiver and defensive back throughout his football career. On both sides of the ball, John always has a split second before every snap where everything gets quiet and he knows he has to make a play. Whether he’s catching the pass or knocking the ball away, John then hears the roar of the crowd, and that makes all the hard work worth it. John’s efforts earned him a spot on the All-SCC Tier 3 as a defensive back in his senior year.
“It meant a lot. It was really exciting,” John says. “As a freshman, seeing all the guys above me get nominations like that made me really want to get it myself. When I found out I got nominated, it was a really exciting moment.”
John hit his stride as a senior and helped the Hornets have a historic season on the football field. John and his teammates often talk about leaving the program in a better place than they found it. As he finishes out his senior year, John feels that they’ve accomplished that goal.
“We’re doing something for the people who played before us. We always talk in the locker room about leaving the program better than you found it,” John says. “This year, we left it better than in the years previously. Now, the guys behind us now have to come back and go big for next season.”