Strong Players Demonstrate A Will to Win

Seahawks on the sidelines during the team’s 36-0 victory at Island Trees on Sept. 7.

Seahawks on the sidelines during the team’s 36-0 victory at Island Trees on Sept. 7.

By Sophia Ricco

After winning their past two games, the Cold Spring Harbor football team is hitting its stride early.

The team is finding its rhythm, head coach Jon Mendreski said. He attributes the team’s success to the previous season, partly because he has many returning players that have played together before, but also because the team lost in the county championship final last year, making them want it even more.

“They realized they want to get back to that county championship and they want to win that game,” Mendreski said. “They have it in their sights and continue to work hard for it.”

Even though Mendreski believes there are still areas to improve on, he feels as the season progresses they will put in more work and figure it out. Last year, the team graduated around 20 seniors, which gives them of “young crop” of kids to work with. During the first few games, Mendreski and his staff have been watching the boys to devise their strategies.

“We’re trying to find out our identity,” Mendreski said. “I think we have a pretty good idea after the first two games. What we’re all about, what we can and can’t do, and now we’ll build off of that going forward.”

Mendreski highlights his captains’ work so far this season, considering them all standout players, they are Raymond Costa, Thomas Milana, Richie Striano and Aidan Adomaites. He mentions the Striano family, made up of senior, Daniel and junior triplets, Richie, Dom, and Peter, as very influential players for team. There is also Anthony Naccarato, who is a center and inside linebacker, that does a lot for the team and demonstrates great leadership. Mendreski considers Ethan Burdo and Kolton Gagnon, who play both offense and defense, phenomenal players. Also, his wide receiver and defensive back Casey Reynolds, scored a 46 yard touchdown pass last week.

“We’re fortunate that we have a good offensive and defensive line,” Mendreski said.

“And our skills guys, we’re deep into skill positions.”

Along with coaching football, Mendreski teaches math to grades 7-12 and coaches the school’s crew team. He has coached football for 10 years, with this being his third year as head coach and has coached crew for 15 years.

“They both are constantly relying on your team sports. If you’re talking about a team sport, those would both be close to the top of the list,” Mendreski said.

The team has a big home game this Friday at 7 p.m. against Locust Valley and expects a tough schedule of games moving forward. They are looking forward to playing Seaford later in season, as they are the one seed and Cold Spring Harbor is the two seed.

“We’d like to get back to that championship game and make it a win this time,” Mendreski said. “Then get to the Long Island Championship in Stony Brook this year, that’s the goal. We gotta win two more games than we did last year.”