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.”