Individual accomplishments come secondary to Braves linebacker Evan Kappatos. Yes, he may be the two-time winner of the Piner Award - given to Nassau County's top linebacker - but that's not why he plays the game.
"I like that it's a lot of people working for a common goal," said the 6-1, 235 pound linebacker.
However, that's not to say Kappatos isn't grateful about receiving the award for the second consecutive year.
"It was a fantastic feeling," he said of winning the award two years in a row. "I was really happy that my efforts paid off in the end."
The honor came after a season in which Kappatos recorded 115 tackles and three sacks for the Braves.
Like most star players, Kappatos plays his best when the Braves need him most. All three of his sacks came in two must-win games against East Meadow. The first, , sent the Braves to the Nassau County Conference I playoffs. The second, a of those playoffs, with eventual champion Freeport at Hofstra.
Although he's played the game since the fourth grade, Kappatos doesn't have much interest in spending his Sunday's watching NFL - his love of the game comes from playing.
"As a kid, I thought it looked pretty cool to run around and hit people," he said, speaking like a true linebacker. "I tried it out and stuck with it. I like the contact."
Off the football field, Kappatos is also a wrestler for Syosset, as well as a dedicated student. He's in AP (advance placement) classes, always striving for the A or A+ grade.
"As much as I love sports, academics come first," he said.
Kappatos said this devotion to school work not only comes from within, but from the Syosset Braves coaching staff.
"They definitely stress it and make sure that the most important thing is academics," he said.
With one more season left at Syosset High School, the linebacker already has his sights set on the 2011 season. A pretty scary thought for opposing offenses.
"I want to get a little bit faster and stronger," the junior said of his goals for the offseason. "I want the team to put their heart into the next season, play harder, and work extremely hard to get a better result."
If history is any guide, Evan Kappatos will be a heavy favorite for next years Piner, but he doesn't care. He just wants to win.