Tigers honor top seniors at awards luncheon

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, the Fort Hamilton H.S. football Tigers held their annual awards luncheon.

Returning to the community club at the Fort Hamilton Army Base, head coach Dan Perez hosted the event and Principal Kaye Houlihan welcomed the student athletes and their families. To celebrate the past season, each member of the varsity and JV teams were saluted for their contribution to the team along with a 2022 season participation trophy. 

For the JV team, coach Dom DeLisi especially cited the contribution of sophomore quarterback Aiden Farley, who received the team’s MVP Award for leading the squad to the JV’s best ever finish with a 4-2 record. For the varsity team, four deserving seniors were selected as winners of awards named after retired educators who launched the football program in 1992.

On hand for the presentation of the award named after her was Dr. Alice Farkouh. The former Fort Hamilton principal, who brought football to the school 30 years ago, presented outstanding offensive lineman Benny Quezada the Farkouh Award for being the team’s “Ironman.”

“I was honored to get this award since it was something that I strived for,” Quezada said. “Since I was a freshman, I always wanted to be the hardest worker and the most intense person on the field. Whether I won or lost, I wanted to dominate in the trenches. This season didn’t go our way but I felt that we worked harder than our [2-5] record showed.” 

Karim Dari’s dedication to academics and athletics won this intrepid linebacker the Scholar Athlete Award. 

“Winning this award means that I have successfully balanced my academic pursuits along with my athletic commitments while demonstrating a strong work ethic,” Dari said. “It means representing my school and community with pride, and striving to constantly improve both as an individual of this society and as a member of this team. I can truthfully say that I bleed Tiger Blue.” 

Two-way player Anthony DeAngelis won the Joe Pancilla Award for being the “heart and soul” of the team. As a captain, DeAngelis’ never-quit attitude was an inspiration to his teammates.

“I was very thankful to win the award because I’ve known about it since my freshman year when David Harrell [2020] won it,” DeAngelis said. “Since that time I’ve held myself to that standard. This season was very up and down for me as well as the team.  We felt we played a lot better than our record suggested. So I can say that we left it all out on the field and that’s why we left with our heads up high.”

Charles Kitsakos won the Herb Soloman Award as the MVP of the team. While missing two games with a persistent ankle injury, Kitsakos still managed to be the team’s leading scorer with 14 touchdowns, 90 points and 947 all-purpose yards.

“The Tigers are a family; and it has been a privilege to be part of this team for the past three years,” Kitsakos said. “I worked very hard to give my teammates, my brothers, the best opportunity to win on the field. Being named MVP is a great honor and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. I will be forever a part of Fort Hamilton football history and what more could you ask for?”

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