Kappatos three-peats as Piner winner
And the Piner Award goes to . . . the same player who won it last year . . . and the year before that.
Never before had an award winner's name been called for three straight years at the Nassau Gridiron Banquet. Evan Kappatos, a senior middle linebacker at Syosset, changed that Wednesday night.
Kappatos was named the recipient of the Piner Award, given to Nassau's most outstanding linebacker, for the third consecutive season.
"To win an award like that once is very special," Syosset coach Paul Rorke said. "I don't know of anyone, Nassau or Suffolk, winning a major award like that three times. It speaks volumes of him and it's a great honor."
Rob Rinck of Calhoun, Paul Bitetti of Bethpage and Emmanuel Jones of Roosevelt also were nominated for the award.
Kappatos first won the award in 2009, becoming the first sophomore to do so, after making 103 tackles. He only got better as a junior, with 115 tackles and three sacks, to capture the award for the second straight year. This season, Kappatos, who also played offensive line, had 106 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions for the three-peat.
Kappatos can break down a running play on the field about as quickly as he can break down an algebraic equation in the classroom. He was also recognized as the top scholar-athlete in the county by winning the Kessenich Award.
"He doesn't rest on his laurels," Rorke said. "He's willing to work. Out of everybody in our program, he's the hardest worker and that's why he's in the situation he's in."
Brown honored. Jere Brown, a senior wideout at Freeport, won the Jets' Receiver Award, given to Nassau's most outstanding receiver. He edged out Anthony Pintabona of Oceanside, William Chesire of MacArthur and Alex Rawa of Locust Valley.