YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Though tabbed as Mike Rescigno’s successor weeks earlier, Pantelis Ypsilantis was officially hired to lead the Yorktown High School football program on Monday, March 9, when the Yorktown School District Board of Education voted to formalize one of the worst-kept secrets in town.
The man better known as “Pont” will replace the man better known as “House,” who won 100 games with the Huskers in 15 years. Rescigno announced in the fall that he was resigning his post to spend more time with his family.
Ypsilantis is familiar with the program, having served as an assistant to Rescigno for six years.
“It is truly a blessing and a very special opportunity,” Ypsilantis said. “Yorktown has had some great success over the years. There has been a lot of consistency at the top, as we have only had three varsity head coaches over the last few decades. To be next in line and try to carry on that legacy is a true honor. I have tremendous love and passion for the Yorktown district, not only as a coach, but as a teacher. Yorktown is a special place, with some of the most amazing students, staff, and tremendous community support.”
Plenty of Experience
As an assistant, Ypsilantis coached the offensive and defensive lines. He also worked closely with Rescigno on coordinating the Huskers’ ground game. He coached at Harrison and Lincoln high schools before coming to Yorktown.
The coach said he honed his craft by studying film and building rapport with his players.
“In addition, charting plays and creating scout cards really enhances your knowledge of the game and gives you a chance to truly study how other teams attack you,” Ypsilantis said. “Not only do you become an expert on what your head coach wants to do, but you also become an expert on what all of your opponents are trying to do. So, not only are you studying a great coach like Mike Rescigno, you are studying all of the other great coaches in Class A. Your knowledge of the game and what it takes to be successful grows exponentially.”
Ypsilantis said he was grateful to work under Rescigno, who taught him about being a leader.
“The way he treated the players and coaches was second to none,” Ypsilantis said. “Mike provided a motivating, family environment that encouraged the development of each coach and player in the program. I will take those philosophies with me and will provide the same type of motivating environment.”
Building a Strong Future
Ypsilantis is confident that the Huskers can continue their success.
“We want to continue to build on an already successful program and to lead a program that plays the game with pride, integrity, and aggression,” Ypsilantis said. “We also have tremendous support from Matt Talbert (Yorktown Athletic Club football commissioner) and our youth program, which will allow us to align our values and principles, as well as drills and philosophies from the ground up.”
Most of the Husker coaching staff from last year will return, including defensive coordinator Jeff Cerar and former Lakeland coach Rob Cappelli, whose 70 wins are the most in Hornet history.
Ypsilantis is also looking to bring a former Husker standout, Brandon Trager, onto the staff.
“Coach Trager is a Yorktown alum and our former freshmen coach, who is another highly intelligent coach with some really great, fresh ideas, who the players really love,” Ypsilantis said. “He will bring great energy to the sideline and to our practices. We also have an incredible and very experienced JV staff, with Roger Santavicca, Jim Deans, and Andrew Cabibbo. These guys are loyal, hardworking guys who offer a ton of continuity and familiarity to players.”
Ypsilantis’ said that the Yorktown players work hard every day and serve as positive ambassadors on and off the field.
“We expect to be great, but we understand the amount of work that needs to be done to get there,” Ypsilantis said. “Every player has a job to do and they are willing to do it for the success of the program. We aim to provide an environment where each player is able to reach their greatest potential as a person.”
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