The thing that impresses Lindenhurst football coach Nick Lombardo the most about Stephen Skon isn't the arm that threw for 1,770 yards or the legs that averaged a little more than six yards per carry. It's not his imposing height or his strength.
It's poise, grace - the things more associated with dancers than football players. Because what has Skon's performance been this year if not a sometimes ad-libbed but still perfectly orchestrated dance?
"It's like having another coach out there," Lombardo said. "He makes adjustments during the game. He reads the defense.''
Those football smarts translate well on paper: Skon was 121-for-190, a 64 percent completion rate, with 17 touchdown passes and added 500 yards on 83 carries. He has passed for 4,140 yards and 36 TDs in his three-year varsity career and has rushed for more than 1,050 yards with another 15 touchdowns.
Those results and the maturity and leadership Skon brings to his team are the reasons why he received the Boomer Esiason Award as Suffolk's most outstanding quarterback at the coaches' award dinner at the Hyatt Regency in Hauppauge last night. He's taken home the hardware two years in a row.
"It means a lot to me," Skon said. "All the hard work I put in is paying off, and all the help I've gotten from my coaches and my parents."
Skon, a senior, has grown into his role well. Only a sophomore when he earned the starting spot at midseason, he showed promise early, Lombardo said.
"I remember we upset Floyd in the semifinals and I was like, 'That kid played like a senior,' " Lombardo said. "He's matured as a person, he's matured as an athlete. It's like talking to a man when you're out there."
That maturity helped Skon regroup after he lost one of his most consistent receivers, Jon McGibbon, to graduation. "It was a big adjustment" working with a new crew, Skon said.
Skon was 11-for-15 with 168 yards and three TDs in the first game of the season. It was a sign of things to come.