Tim Psaradelis is entering his second season as the varsity football head coach at Nantucket High School, and he loves what he has seen from his team in the preseason when it comes to their focus and dedication to getting a little bit better every day.
“They’re in the weight room, they move together, they travel together,” Psaradelis said. “In the past few years, it was kind of people showing up randomly, which isn’t a big deal if they are all getting there, when your team isn’t moving as a team off the field, it makes you nervous. This year these kids will all show up together five, 10 minutes before the lift together.”
Psaradelis said the leadership has come from players of all grade levels. 20 seniors graduated this past June who were on last year’s 1-8 team, but some players return including quarterback Carlos Aguilar, who was named a captain this season as well as Angel Miguel Cabrera.
“Carlos has been around and is just battle tested. He is just one of those kids where we have had good seasons and bad seasons with him at the quarterback and he's taken a beating through it all,” Psaradelis said. “He has never once thrown his helmet on the ground. He's never once done those things that we don't want to see a kid do. Being the coordinator for a while and being the one who's communicating with him in the worst of situations, he comes to the sideline and his first question is like, what can I do to fix it? It's my fault. He just has the mentality that you want from a leader.”
Psaradelis has seen lots of improvement from Aguilar, who put on 13 pounds this offseason. He said it has been a lot more effortless for Aguilar playing out at the varsity level.
Sophomores Arann Hanlon and Amare Bramwell will be busy in the Whaler’s backfield – attempting to help fill the void left from departing seniors including Griffin Fox and Kareem Maxwell, as well as Jayquan Francis, who opted not to play this season as a senior.
The offensive line will be led by returning starter Sujal Mali and Psaradelis has been impressed with sophomore Andrew Lavin.
Juniors Brian Cuello, Owen Sullivan, Brady Tilton, and Hanson Dalton also figure to play key roles for the team this year, especially on the defensive side of the football.
“Another player is Brock Beamish, a sophomore who is returning, and he is just a huge boost who can do absolutely anything for us,” Psaradelis said. “We will definitely be pulling up some freshmen players too. We have a lot of first year players at the varsity level so that is the question mark. But these guys have the coachability, effort levels, and strength. We just need to go out on the field and do it.”
The Whalers open their season on Saturday, September 9 against Carver High School at Vito Capizzo Stadium at 5 p.m.