Conor Colasurdo made an impression before he even played a game for Carey's varsity football team . . . or the school's junior varsity team, for that matter.
"We knew in middle school," Carey coach Mike Stanley said. "We watched him play then, and without a doubt, we knew right away he was talented."
Colasurdo joined the varsity in 2012 as a sophomore linebacker. He had 88 tackles as a junior. This season, at 5-10, 215 pounds, he had 106 tackles, four sacks and one interception.
With Colasurdo as its defensive leader, Carey became the first Nassau team to have back-to-back 12-0 seasons. He was a big reason Carey held East Islip to 13 yards rushing as the Seahawks won their second straight Long Island Class II title.
"He certainly didn't let us down," Stanley said. "He lived up to everything we thought he would be and more."
Colasurdo's career culminated Wednesday night with the Piner Award, selected by the coaches and given annually to the best linebacker in Nassau.
Colasurdo became the first Carey player ever to win it. Paul Dilena of Massapequa and Baldwin's Kadeem Langhorne were finalists for the award, which started in 1997. Colasurdo was a finalist last season.
"Last year I was completely shocked I was even up for it," Colasurdo said. "This year, it just proves hard work pays off. One of our coaches said it was the most tackles for a Carey player since 1990. I didn't shoot for it; it just happened."
Colasurdo's favorite memory was this year's L.I. championship. He forced a fumble that set up the go-ahead score and returned a punt 57 yards for a third-quarter touchdown to ignite Carey in a 41-7 win over East Islip.
"I knew I had to be the best I could be to help us win," Colasurdo said. "I didn't want to take any plays off. Taking plays off is just not in me."
Some colleges were watching. Colasurdo said that LIU Post and Southern Connecticut State are among a few schools that have expressed interest.
Stanley, who has eyed Colasurdo since eighth grade, is confident the linebacker's game will translate well.
"He didn't fly under anyone's radar this year," Stanley said. "Teams had him in mind when they were calling plays and he was still amazingly productive. It was a special season for us and a special season for him."