Playoff appearance has program on right track
The Sewanhaka Indians snapped its playoff drought this season, making it to the postseason for the first time since 2010, but were bounced in the first round.
The Indians, led by head coach George Kasimatis, finished the regular season with a 4-4 record, after finishing each of the previous two seasons 2-6. That was good enough for the seventh seed in the Nassau County Conference III. The Indians went on the road to play the Lawrence High School Golden Tornadoes and lost 42-12.
“I think our season went well,” said Kasimatis. “We all would have loved a different outcome, but we lost to one of the best teams on Long Island.”
The Indians playoff hopes were on the line when they went on the road against Valley Stream South High School. They went on to win 35-8 and clinch a playoff birth.
Quarterback Jake Mellen, wide receiver Jacques Francois and defensive back Elijah Smith made All-Conference. Smith and Francois made All-County and will be playing in the All-Star Game. All three are seniors and will graduate in June.
They will be joined by other key seniors Jemil Are, Fred Bailey, De Ante Gonzalez, Audrique Jean-Louis, Jose Melara, Tyler Regnier, and Dom Roberge.
Kasimatis has emphasized the responsibility and trust he has established with his seniors and captains. He has confidence in the guys remaining on the team to step up and take their place.
Two players that saw plenty of minutes this year and expected to see even more next year are running back Brenton Mighty and Elijah Tracey.
Tracey has seen time this season as a wide receiver, but competed with Mellen for the starting quarterback job during training camp and is expected to take over for him next season.
Other skill position players Kasimatis will rely on are Mike Parasconda,Peter Latorre, Peter Militano, Adrian Harris and Xzavier Anderson. Some linemen that he expects to step up are Dan Gianotti, Justin Alexandre, Louis Segarra, Danori Williams and Adrian Gonzalez.
Kasimatis believes that his team can build off of this season going forward.
“We think making the playoffs this year helped our teams confidence,” he said. “We hope to make this a stepping stone for future seasons. It will take hard work and commitment from our team in order to be competitive in Conference III in the future.”