YORKTOWN HEIGHTS, N.Y.— It’s been quite a run for Yorktown’s football squad under its coach Mike Rescigno, especially the last three years when it has made it to the Section 1 Class A title game twice and the semifinals once.
That run included a 9-1 mark a year ago, where its only blemish was a 42-6 loss to eventual state champion Somers in the Section 1 Class A title game. The Huskers had defeated Somers 34-13 during Week 3 of the regular season.
Rescigno, who is entering his 13th season this fall as Yorktown coach, said the success the Huskers have had results from the hard work the players, parents, their families and the coaches have put into the program.
“The commitment from everyone in the Yorktown football family has gone way up and the results are a product of that,” said Rescigno, whose team opens this season at crosstown rival Lakeland at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1.
Leading the Huskers into the season will be their all everything, senior captain Brett Makar (5-foot-11, 190 pounds), a three-sport stud who will be playing lacrosse next year at the University of Maryland.
Makar, who also runs winter track, can simply do it all at both running back and linebacker.
“He has to be one of the best all-around athletes I have ever coached as far as combined power, speed, football intelligence and leadership,” Rescigno said. “I find myself saying that every year about a different kid and this year it’s Brett. He’s kind of unique in that he has a little bit of it all.”
Joining Makar in what Rescigno calls the “Thunder and Lightning” of the offense at both running back and the slot position will be senior captain Brandon Meyreles (5-8, 180), who will also play safety or cornerback on defense.
“Brandon provides us a little bit of versatility, he gives you a little bit of everything,” Rescigno said. “He’s very athletic, a pretty fast kid.”
Junior captain Tommy Weaver (5-8, 180) will be under center at quarterback for the Huskers and in addition will play safety on the other side of the ball.
“Tommy is unbelievably coachable,” Rescigno said. “He’s mastered the offense almost perfectly right now. He’s a quick learner, he’s very athletic, and he’s got a nice arm. He’s going to add to our passing offense for sure this year. Sometimes in the preseason he has blown our doors off with his ability to throw and run. It’s added a new dimension to our style of play-calling so it’s been fun.”
Along with having a great backfield to work with, Weaver will also have some standouts to throw the ball to in senior wide receivers Justin Comerford (5-8, 170) and Alex Ujkaj (5-9, 180), junior wide receiver Joe Atherall (6-1, 170) and junior tight end Naim Sinanaj (6-2, 190).
“We’re expecting them to bring a different dimension to our offense,” Rescigno said. “We’ve been notorious for real multiple-ground games but we’ve opened up things this year to become three-dimensional.”
Three players the Huskers will be relying on to make holes for the backs and give time for Weaver to throw are senior center and captain Sean O’Connor (6-foot, 220), who will play linebacker defensively, senior guard Spencer Poe (5-10, 195) and senior captain and offensive tackle Matt Steigmeier (6-2, 220), who will also play defensive end.
“We had to replace a lot of guys on the offensive line, so it’s been one of our points of emphasis in the offseason. We’re expecting them to take the burden of what we are trying to work on the last few years, take the challenge and run with it, “Rescigno said. “We have a talented backfield and we are counting on our linemen to help give those guys a boost and keep the offense going.”
Seniors Tim Miller (5-10, 200) and Brandon Fontanella (5-10, 190) will play at defensive tackle, seniors Jesse Maltzman (5-8, 170) and Patrick Patierno (5-8, 170) are both outside linebackers, with JV call-ups, sophomore Dylan Smith (5-9, 175) and junior Nick Campanaro (5-8, 170) at safety.
“We pride ourselves on paying attention to detail on the defensive side of the ball,” Rescigno said. “We work hard at it. We like to keep teams under wraps and let the offense do its job and put points on the board. If we practice the way we always do and play disciplined football, we should be all right.”
Smith, who Rescigno said will be a great addition to both sides of the ball, will also play offensively at halfback with junior Chris Perrino (5-10, 175) handling the place-kicking chores.
“We just want to maintain the tradition of excellence that we’ve had. The past decade has been pretty special,” Rescigno said. “We’ve had pretty good runs but we’re starting to look to get that monkey off our back the last game of the year.”