After concluding last season with its first Long Island Class IV championship in over a decade, the Cold Spring Harbor football team will look upon Richie Striano to play a new role in 2019.
A role he has not occupied since his junior varsity days – quarterback.
“Richie looks good and comfortable,” Cold Spring Harbor coach Jon Mendreski said. “He’s got a good football IQ and ability to manage the game. So I’m not really worried about the intangible stuff."
The Seahawks return off their third Long Island championship and first since 2005 following a 42-20 victory over Shoreham-Wading River to close out a 10-2 campaign. But with the graduation of quarterback Ray Costa and lead running back Danny Striano, defending their crown will take a new level of proficiency from Striano, who also plays linebacker.
Cold Spring Harbor enters 2019 at the top of the Nassau Conference IV seedings. Mendreski acknowledged the pressure the Seahawks feel entering the season.
“I think we all feel it a little bit,” Mendreski said. “Coming out with that target on your back, but Richie seems to be embracing it.”
Wide receiver/defensive back Casey Reynolds, who had 16 receptions for 520 yards and five touchdowns last season, as well as lineman Dom Striano also are projected to play vital roles in Cold Spring Harbor’s success this season.
The No. 2 seed is familiar foe Seaford, led by quarterback Logan Masters, versatile lineman Nicky Brandi and longtime coach Rob Perpall. The Vikings will look to bounce back after falling to the Seahawks in last season’s county final, 27-7.
No. 3 seed Clarke comes off a 7-2 season and will rely on lineman Karl Bouyer and quarterback Chris Giardino. Clarke was knocked off by West Hempstead in the first round of last season’s playoffs.
Fourth-seeded Locust Valley also looks to contend behind the combination of running back/linebacker Carlo Paz and lineman Patrick Fallon.