This Friday, Nov. 15, the North Shore High School (NSHS) Varsity Football Team plays Plainedge High School in the Big Four Semi-Finals. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. at Hofstra University. A fan bus will depart from NSHS at 6:15 p.m. This story details how North Shore made it to the Playoffs.
On Saturday, Nov. 10 at North Shore High School, the 7-1 Vikings played Lynbrook in a very physical and hard fought game especially in the first half. Both teams went into the locker rooms with North Shore leading 14-6.
Under 18-year Head Football Coach Daniel Agovino and his experienced coaching staff, the second half was a different story. North Shore opened up their offense with the passing under quarterback James DeSimone, who was 11-15 for 215 yards and four touchdown passes including to receivers Will Scarola and Aiden Mandell. DeSimone had his best game of his career. Jack Ledden scored the only rushing touchdown, as he ran 27 yards into the end zone and wowing the large crowd.
Leading the way also was the crushing defense under Andrew Franco, Lorenzo Recine, Chris Damphouse and others, which only allowed six points in the second half and 107 points all season, which was a real key to the team’s winning season.
With the Big Four Championship under their belts, the Vikings turned their focus to their biggest challenge of the season, playing defending Division III Champions and undefeated Plainedge at Hofstra on Friday.
“Our team has a very positive feeling about Friday night. We know we have to play our best and limit mistakes to beat a very talented Plainedge team,” said Agovino. “That is why we are focused on playing football the way we have been all year and let the winning take care of itself.”
Plainedge has been led by quarterback Dan Villari, who is a dual threat at anytime. To beat Plainedge, North Shore must stop Villari and not allow him to take over the game.
“This season has been special, as our athletes worked hard every day both on and off the field to live up to our mission to DIG,” said Agovino, “which means to play with Dignity, Integrity and in order to achieve Greatness.”
Winning the Big Four Championship after a 2-6 season last year is a tribute to the dedication of the 34 Varsity football players.
“It is not easy to win football games especially in Conference III, so we take great pride in this accomplishment like we did in 2006, 2010 and 2016,” said Agovino.
—Story and photos submitted by Mitchell Schlimer