Despite a disappointing playoff loss against the Wantagh Warriors, Sewanhaka Indians Head Coach George Kasimatis, is pleased with his football team’s season.
“I’m proud of my team,” he said. “But you are never satisfied unless you win the whole thing.”
The Indians faced a big challenge this year, moving up into Conference II left them as the new kids on the block, unfamiliar with the teams they would be going against.
Kasimatis will have a tall task next year replacing graduating seniors, which made up most of his starting lineup. Kasimatis said most of the offensive line, such as Danny Gianotti, Adrian Gonzalez and Louis Segarra III, and the defensive line, such as Justin Alexandre, Peter LaTorre and Peter Militano are seniors, many of which have started multiple years for him.
As for skill positions, key contributors such as standout running back Brenton Mighty and wide receiver Michael Parasconda will also be graduating.
Kasimatis said the seniors were the driving force of this team.
“Our younger guys are going to have to fill some pretty big shoes next year,” Kasimatis said.
One player he will rely heavily upon next season is his praised junior Quarterback Elijah Tracey.
“The experience he got this year, especially in the playoffs will benefit him greatly,” Kasimatis said. “He will gain confidence in his skills and become a better leader. He will be bigger, faster and stronger, along with wiser.”
Kasimatis added that Tracey is going to be the leader of this team next season.
The Indians relied heavily on the run this year, behind the legs of Mighty and Kasimatis will have to replace that production. He said he will likely go with a running back by committee approach, expecting junior Kevin Fuseymore, who has mostly played defense in his time with the Indians, and sophomore Shaheim Taylor-White expected to see the bulk of touches.
Taylor-White’s role grew as the season went on, and he punched in two scores in the Indians playoff game.
“He matured a lot as the season went on,” Kasimatis said on Taylor-White.
Kasimatis said losing seniors is a part of high school football, but this year they have lost more than previous seasons.
“We were pretty young last season so we had a lot of returning players,” he said. “It goes in cycles, every few years you have a year with a lot of seniors.”
For Kasimatis, losing those seniors is one of the hardest parts of the job.
“The seniors were great leaders and led the way with their work ethic and responsibility,” he said. “I’m going to miss those guys. It’s always agonizing, I get close to these kids and all of a sudden they aren’t there anymore.”
“It’s like sending your kids off to college, it’s tough,” he added.
Three of those seniors, Mighty, Parasconda and Militano, along with Tracey, won all-conference awards. Mighty and Militano were awarded with all-county awards and will be playing in the all-star game. Tracey was an honorable mention on the all-county team.