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Selts, Coan will be keys to Sayville's success
Two players who have already made verbal commitments to play lacrosse in college — sophomore Jack Coan at Notre Dame and senior Matt Selts at Marist — hold the keys to the high-powered engine that is Sayville football’s offense for 2014.
Both are bigger than last year’s models, thanks to rigorous work in the weight room. Coan added 10 pounds and now weighs 170 on a rangy 6-2 1/2 frame, while Selts packed on eight pounds to his compact 5-10, 165-pound package.
“They needed the weight,” Sayville coach Rob Hoss said at Monday’s opening practice, where quarterback Coan and running back Selts looked sharp and in-synch. “Jack was a string bean last year. I can see already that he’s got more velocity, more zip on the ball. He got stronger. The thing about Matt is that he’s a physical runner. I wish he’d try to make people miss a little bit more, but he likes contact. He’s small, but he’s very strong down below and very explosive.”
The entire Sayville offense should be dynamite. Selts rushed for 1,395 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013, when a young team made it to the county final before losing to Huntington, the No. 2 seed this season. Selts is also a dangerous punt and kick returner and earned first-team Newsday All-Long Island honors as a sideline-to-sideline linebacker who made 134 tackles.
Coan, as a 14-year-old freshman, completed 118 of 231 passes for 1,695 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also rushed for 367 yards and three more scores. He expects to improve all of his numbers.
“I’ve got a better grip on the offense. I know the guys a lot better,” Coan said. “I made a bond with them and I’m definitely more confident.”
Selts’ running should make things easier for Coan and his receivers.
“Quite frankly, he’s who is going to make Jack real good,” Hoss said. “As much as teams will give Jack a lot of attention, teams know that they have to shut down the run. If Selts runs the ball, we’re going to be hard to beat.”
Hoss said Selts will get plenty of touches.
“He returns punts; he returns kickoffs. That’s field position. He’ll play safety this year, and for us that means he’ll be a hybrid, coming down to make tackles and dropping back in coverage. We’re only as good as Matt is going to be.”
There appears to be no ceiling yet for how good Coan is going to be.
“This year, even though he’s only in 10th grade, he feels that this is his football team and we’ve had those conversations,” Hoss said. “Last year he was still learning, even during the season. This year, he knows the offense. Now he’s mastering it.”