Written by Dan Guido, Head Football Coach Friday, 01 January 2010 00:00
The end of the year turned out to be a good one for the Mineola football program as senior quarterback Mike Escobar won the prestigious Roy Kessinich Memorial Scholarship. This award is presented to an All-County Nassau football player that excels in three different sports and at a high academic level.
In my 31 years covering 53 varsity seasons, Escobar has been one of the best all around student athletes I have ever coached. As captain of my team, he was a tremendous leader. In all my years coaching, I have never had a young man play quarterback and inside linebacker. Not only was Mike playing quarterback but we instituted a whole new “no huddle” spread offense this year that was not easy to learn in one year.
Although we knew Mike was one of the best defensive players on the team, we had planned on only playing him on offense. Due to a rash of injuries during our scrimmages, he went from an occasional safety in long yardage passing downs to a starting inside linebacker. He did a great job at both positions. Mike got in on 50 tackles and rushed for 350 yards while passing for 600. Mike was also the long snapper on extra points and punts.
As a captain and goalie on the lacrosse team, Mike showed the potential to play beyond the high school level. His goals include playing lacrosse in college and leading the Mustang lacrosse team to the playoffs. He will also be one of the captains of the wrestling team this coming season. (He was an All-Conference wrester as a freshman.)
As a sophomore, he was not sure if his heart was in wrestling so he joined the junior varsity basketball team where he was once again named team captain. Although he was a starter and very good playe,r he then came back to wrestling as he felt he enjoyed the excitement of individual competition. Even with the year off, he had an excellent wrestling season as a junior and expects to do very well as a senior.
Athletics is not the only thing that makes Mike such a great person to have in our school; it is just a small part of Mike’s life as a student at Mineola. He will finish as the school’s Salutatorian with a 98.7 average (97.2 unweighted). He is very involved in the student government and does a tremendous amount of volunteer work, most of it year round. He does everything from working with young children to tutoring his peers to taking time every month for senior citizens.
Mike is also into fine arts. He plays the cello in a Chamber Ensemble, sings in the A Cappella group and has acted in the school plays for the last three years. Mike was also named Mineola’s Physical Education Student of the Year. This past summer Mike worked full time as a custodian in one of our buildings.
Mike is just an unbelievable kid. He gets along with everyone and is always ready to befriend and help out the kid no one else will. He has a great sense of humor and is very well respected by all his peers. What also makes Mike special is that he is in a very unique and possibly very intimidating situation at school. His father is the principal of Mineola High School. This could be very uncomfortable for the average teenager, yet he always handles things well and it shows in his personality every day
He also has done a great job of never giving anyone reason to doubt that the all the awards and recognition he has won have always been truly deserved. He has gotten where he is because of hard work and his great personality. Right now, Mike has applied to Swarthmore and Columbia for early acceptance, Columbia being his first choice to attend. Congratulations Mike, this award is well deserved.
On another note, Mike and fellow captain Joe Hill were voted by the coaches to play in the Thanksgiving Day Nassau County Senior All Star game. They both played extremely well. Joe started as a defensive tackle where he made four individual tackles and had a couple of assists. He made crucial tackle on a big fourth down play late in the game. Joe will be attending Hamline College in Minnesota, where he will major in music and play football for the Hamline Pipers.
Mike also played very well in the QB position, leading the team on their first touchdown drive during Nassau’s eventual 21-8 victory over the Suffolk County All-Stars. Mike is also a member of the Nassau County Academic All-Conference team.
Great job guys!