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Smithtown East's John Daniggelis looks to improve on standout sophomore season
Smithtown East coach Pete Melore has seen his fair share of sophomore quarterbacks in his 20-plus years of experience, yet the season John Daniggelis had last year emerges from his recollection.
And not because it’s the most recent.
“None played as good as a sophomore as John Daniggelis did last year,” Melore said after Tuesday morning's practice.
Daniggelis passed for just under 1,000 yards and also rushed for just under 1,000 yards last year while running a no-huddle spread offense. He’s confident those totals will be even higher because of what he learned while on the job.
“Now it’s all about knowing who to look to and understanding pre-snap reads,” Daniggelis said. “I learned not to stare down one receiver and let the defense show me where to throw.”
It also helps that juniors Cole Vittoria and John Murray will once again be opening up the holes for him.
“Us three have been playing forever,” said Daniggelis, who fractured his wrist in a game against West Islip last season but believes he is fully healthy now. “They know I could keep a play alive with my legs so they know to block until they hear a whistle.”
Kevin Schroeder, who Melore said has the ability to convert field goals of 45 yards, and Brian Willets will be Daniggelis’ primary passing targets.
Smithtown East was seeded 10th and went 5-4 in 2012. The Bulls, however, upset Newfield, Smithtown West and West Babylon, which were all higher seeds. Smithtown East earned the eighth seed this time, and Daniggelis would like nothing more than to continue upsetting the perennial powerhouses of Suffolk II.
“Last season has been in the past for a while now,” Daniggelis said. “I’m looking for us to win as many games as possible.”