Coach Fred Synder. Source: sheepsheadfootball.stackvarsity.com

Sheepshead Bay High School head football coach Fred Snyder doesn’t spare kind sentiments when reflecting on this year’s team.

“They’re reliable, they’re personable, they’re good students, good citizens all the way down the line,” he told the New York Post. “I think our strength can be teamwork and leadership.”

With just 30 kids on his Sharks roster, he doesn’t feel like the low number is any type of detractor from gaining a coveted playoff spot for the 16th straight season this fall. After all, his 29-person team won the city title in 2001.

Snyder is especially counting on his three captains, Rashaad Coward, David Sharpton and Artem Artemyev, to lead the Sharks.

Coward, who has been working hard academically and athletically to improve himself, has seen his work payoff. He has already been recruited by some of the top colleges in the country to play for them.

Coward worked with a tutor all summer and took summer classes in order to bolster his academic record.

“He’s a good leader for the team, he understands our system and he’s played a few roles on offense and defense,” said Snyder. “He can rally the other guys together. If I have to get something done, I’ll ask him and he’ll do it.”

As for the rest of the team, Snyder has faith in each of their individual abilities.

“He’ll find a way to get something done,” Snyder said of Artemyev. “If he has to throw, he’ll throw; he’ll run. He’s got a good balance.”

Sheepshead Bay players have been successful in reaching the players the last 15 years in a row. Snyder is careful not to start the sports season with playoffs on his mind. He doesn’t pressure them to win the title, but to play well in each upcoming game.

“We’re not trying to be that team to end the streak,” Coward said. “So we have to keep working harder and harder and harder and hopefully get further than the first round.”

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  • http://www.brucebrodinsky.com Bruce B

    I was at the Lincoln – Sheepshead game last year. Lincoln of course went on to win  the championship. But Sheepshead put quite a scare into Lincoln in the first half that evening. They were able to move the ball and score two touchdowns in the first half, and should have had one more. Lincoln supposedly had a defense that could shut down anyone, but it didn’t look it at the time.

       Lincoln won, taking charge in the 2nd half, they won something like 34-14, but  the game was much closer than the score indicates.

       By the way, my dad used to take me to watch HS football way back in the early 60′s. The improvement is incredible. The games back in the 60′s were not well-played, were quite boring. The games now, geez, sometimes they look professional to me. Outstanding quality from the top teams, good quality even from the mediocre ones.