The fall high school football season is underway, and the Seminole Ridge High School football team hopes to carry over last season’s success with new head coach Rick Casko.
The Hawks finished 8-3 last season and made it to the post-season. After former coach James Parson stepped down, Casko came in for the spring season and hosted the team’s spring jamboree.
The Hawks defeated West Boca and Lake Worth high schools to cap their spring season on a high note. “We got to play 81 kids,” said Casko of the spring jamboree. “We had great attendance, our kids worked hard and the coaches worked hard.”
Casko had a couple of runs as coach at Glades Central High School and was Royal Palm Beach High School’s offensive coordinator last year. He now looks to groom a young Hawk squad into a competitive unit.
“Leadership is the most important thing. It starts from up at the top,” he said. “I explained to the kids, you’re never not going to see me here or not hustle, and I’m going to set the tone. The kids seem interested in football, they want to work hard and they like the weight room. They realize the things we’re doing are making them better.”
The Hawks have been practicing the varsity and junior varsity together to encourage a consistent work ethic and a competitive spirit. The goal has also been to extract some leadership from the young squad.
“I think what we have are some good leaders, and we’re molding them into better leaders,” Casko explained.
The Seminole Ridge line is young, being hit hard by graduation. Returning to the trenches for the Hawks will be Nelson Sutton and Ertonn Chatelain. The veterans will look to anchor the offensive and defensive lines.
Senior quarterback Kaimyn Castilla will lead the Hawk offense, which will rely heavily on standout junior running back Corey Polk and receiver Ty’Korian Brown. Both are big and have blistering speed. “Corey has had a good camp. He has tremendous ability,” Casko said. “He knows what he is doing and is a real talent.”
Peter Sinoyannnis will return as linebacker and play fullback for the Hawks. His rugby experience will be sure to give him an edge when carrying the ball. Brown will also play on the defense at safety and corner back. Look for Brown to be used on special teams for kick and punt returns.
The Hawks have had a solid kicking game in Daniel Freire, and he returns for one more season. The stand-out soccer player has been a consistent asset and threat to opposing defenses. Casko is aware that if the Hawks can get inside the 30-yard line, they are in good position to at least come away with three points. “Danny, he’s a threat,” Casko explained. “He is a great kicker. If we get inside the 30, it’s easy points.”
Seminole Ridge is young, but the team chemistry is solid, according to Casko, and their optimism is high to compete in one of the toughest districts in Palm Beach County.
The Hawks are on the road for their kickoff classic against Boca Raton High School on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m. The Hawks will open the regular season game hosting Santaluces High School on Friday, Aug. 24.