Dean Paolillo’s leadership skills can’t be questioned.
An Eagle Scout, three-year varsity football starter and captain this season anchoring Calhoun’s offensive line at guard and a defensive lineman as well, Paolillo had a strong feeling the Colts could do something they haven’t done in 20 years and wanted his teammates thinking the same way.
In January, Paolillo told coach Brian Moeller to print ‘11/10/17’ on the back of the football team’s T-shirts.
“Almost nobody knew what the date was,” Moeller said. “But Dean did.”
That was the Nassau II semifinals at Hofstra, a round of the playoffs the Colts hadn’t reached since 1995, Moeller said. But Paolillo believed it was possible for the team in his senior season.
“It was just something to get people going,” Paolillo said. “You don’t want to walk around with a shirt that says ‘11/10/17’ then you’re not able to get there. It was just that extra push, that extra kick in the butt that drove guys to want it even more.”
The Colts turned that goal into a reality, capping off their five-win regular season with a 26-19 victory over MacArthur in the quarterfinals advancing to play on that coveted date, before losing to Garden City, the eventual Long Island Class II Champions.
And Wednesday, Paolillo won the Kessenich Award, given to a three-sport athlete with a high average and good morality, at the Nassau football coaches awards dinner in Woodbury. He also wrestles, plays lacrosse and takes AP classes.
“If he found a wallet with $1,000 in it, he’d return the wallet with $1,000 in it,” Moeller said. “That’s the kind of kid he is.”
The senior credits his leadership skills and work ethic to his days starting from a Cub Scout, advancing up the ranks to Boy Scouts before achieving Eagle Scout.
“I’m honored to be put up for the award to begin with,” Paolillo said. “I think it shows not just my commitment, but the commitment of my teammates because I wouldn’t be the leader I am had it not been for them.”
Jets Receiver Award
Massapequa’s Owen Glascoe credits his offseason work with quarterback Kenny Galvin to be able to win the Jets Receiver Award, as Nassau’s top wideout.
“Me and Kenny Galvin, my quarterback, we always threw around in the offseason,” Glascoe said. “We gained confidence in each other and had a good connection.”
Glascoe, a 6-3 senior, finished the season with 36 receptions for 613 yards and 12 touchdowns and is humbled by the award.
“It’s awesome, honestly,” he said. “There’s a lot of talented wide receivers in the conference, on Long Island, and just to be mentioned is a huge honor.”