By Kyle LoJacono
Offensive and defensive linemen do not usually get a lot attention, but two Gaither High seniors impressed enough to earn college scholarships.
Offensive guard Vasilios Nenos signed with Jacksonville University and defensive lineman Chad Hannah picked the University of Cincinnati. The two signed their letters of intent Feb. 2, national signing day.
“It’s always great to see kids sign with colleges,” said former Gaither football coach Mark Kantor, who stepped down following last season. “These two are very good at what they do and I’m proud to see that they’ll continue playing.”
The two were the 69th and 70th players to sign during Kantor’s nine-year tenure. Both Nenos and Hannah have only been varsity starters for one season.
Nenos said he relishes the role of springing his teammates for touchdowns.
“It’s just the personal satisfaction of knowing that without us, the play wouldn’t work,” said Neno, who will study pre-med. “Somebody has to block or no one would get the ball.”
Nenos switched from the defensive line this season and put on 30 pounds, putting him at 6-foot-3, 240 pounds.
“Coach Kantor thought I should do it and it was a great idea,” Nenos said. “I give all the credit to him. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t be going to Jacksonville right now.”
Hannah received 12 scholarship offers despite only playing football for two years. He was mainly a basketball player until Kantor told him he should try out.
“It’s been amazing because I almost quit football last year,” Hannah said. “After our last game my junior year I didn’t play at all, but my dad told me to stick with it and I’m very glad I did.”
Hannah said basketball with the Bearcats is very unlikely.
Hannah had 48 tackles and seven sacks last season on a Gaither defense that allowed 23.5 points per game. He was named to the All-Laker/All-Lutz News first team defense for his performance.
Hannah said he is likely to study physiology. He said his second choice was Rutgers, followed by Texas Tech University.
“They said to me, don’t go to a school that wants you. Go to a school that needs you,” said Hannah, who will play as a defensive end/linebacker hybrid position.
One downfall about playing at Cincinnati is the cold weather. Hannah said he has lived all of his life in the Tampa Bay area.
“I’ve got my winter stuff already,” Hannah said. “The coaches said to me if you get drafted by the Green Bay in the NFL, are you not going? They said weather can’t be the deciding factor and it made a lot of sense to me.”
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.