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Sewanhaka working things out

Football players at Sewanhaka practiced during a summer workout at Sewanhaka High School on Monday, July 24, 2017. (Credit: Newsday / Kenny DeJohn)

The Sewanhaka football team has been kicking it “old school” this summer.

With the high school’s weight room closed and a new one under construction, the team hasn’t had a building to work out in. Under coach George Kasimatis’ instruction, they’ve been lifting in a unique way instead of going to a local gym.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday around 4 p.m. this summer, passers-by can see a line of football players lugging equipment ranging from dumbbells to deadlift bars out to the school’s tennis court to get in shape for the grind of the upcoming season.

“If it’s in the weight room or if it’s outside, we’re still going to work out,” said senior Darryle Robinson, a do-it-all skill position player who has the speed to make an impact in many areas. “So, regardless if teams look at us and laugh, we’re still going to work.”

Kasimatis said weightlifting is a passion of his, so he’s been helping teach his players on 11th-seeded Sewanhaka the fundamentals of strength and flexibility training through their work on the tennis courts. Through asking his players to flip tires, deadlift and push sleds in the parking lot, he’s noticed improvements.

“The kids have been really receptive of it,” he said. “They love it.”

It took senior Andre Termidor some time before he enjoyed the unique circumstances.

“I was surprised because it’s my last year playing football, and I had to work out there?” he said. “But it’s been good.”

Termidor embodies the team’s vision and devotion to success despite meeting obstacles along the way. Despite entering the offseason as a bruising running back, Termidor made the unselfish decision to switch to offensive tackle and linebacker to fill holes on the roster.

“Basically, I saw that we needed more help on the O-line than at running back,” he said. “Since I’m a stronger person, I can play more positions. I had experience playing O-line since when I was little.

“I’m going to miss it, but I’m just doing it for the team.”

Termidor’s sacrifice and the entire team’s work ethic has served as an example for the junior varsity team, which routinely takes the field with Kasimatis’ squad during summer practices.

Said Robinson: “There’s really no individual goal without a team goal.”

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