Weeki Wachee’s head of the Class inks with D-III NC Wesleyan Battling Bishops

Former Hornet Offensive Coordinator Dan Gigantelli fist bumps with Sebastian Class during his signing with D-III North Carolina Wesleyan.

FOOTBALL

Four-year Hornet

gained over 3,000 yds.

of total offense, scoring 31 TDs

By TONY CASTRO

HernandoSport.com

Weeki Wachee’s current first-year skipper Chris Cook is contending with several issues on the Vespa Way campus.

The first of which – probably his No. 1 priority right now – is consolidating his coaching staff for the fast-approaching 2019 season.

The past off-season has been particularly unkind to the Hornets, as the majority of its key staff members departed for greener pastures.

One of the next issues would be how will Coach Cook and his staff replace one of WWHS’ building blocks of the last four seasons: running back/receiver/kick returner Sebastian Class.

The 5-foot-9, 170-pounder was an integral cog for the Hornets, particularly on offense.

Sebastian Class

Across four seasons, Class gained over 3,000 yards of total offense and amassed 31 touchdowns, totaling 208 points.

That represents 21 percent of the Hornets’ total of 983 points scored during that span – that’s a lot.

Class, 19, recently signed a letter-of-intent to play D-III football for the North Carolina Wesleyan Battling Bishops in Rocky Mount, NC.

Class 101

Sebastian was born in The Bronx, NY, as the oldest of three children to Pedro and Rosemarie Class.

Sebastian’s father, who played football and baseball as a young man, eventually became a was a police officer in New York.

The semi-pro football player is currently a corrections officer in Florida.

The Class family has called Spring Hill home for the past 12 years after relocating from the Empire State.

Class first foray into organized sports was at 7 years old when he padded up playing football for the local Screaming Eagles Recreational League.

The raven-tressed and brown-eyed Class alternated playing tight end, running back and safety until eighth-grade.

In middle school, he initially played for Explorer K-8 as a sixth-grader.

He played mostly fifth-quarter football for the Bobcats before joining the basketball team.

Winding Waters Yellow Jackets

He transferred to Winding Waters prior to seventh-grade and played football and basketball for the Yellow Jackets for the next two seasons.

As an eighth-grader, he was a member of the Yellow Jackets’ best-ever team to date at 5-1.

Once he matriculated to the US-19 campus, Class concentrated in football.

After only playing three games at the junior varsity level as a freshman for mentor Mark Lee, he was promoted to the varsity roster.

He recently graduated with four varsity letters in football, mostly playing wide receiver and running back.

He was voted All-Hernando County in football following his breakout junior campaign at running back.

As a senior wide out, he led the local circuit in receptions (35), yardage (585) and TD receptions (7).

For three seasons, Class was also a member of the Hornets’ track team specializing in the 400 meters, the 4×100 relay and 4×400 relay.

In 2016 as a member of the 4×100 relay, he was named All-Hernando County.

Outside of athletics, Class was a member of the yearbook staff and served for a year in the school’s Wine & Dine Club, interacting with other students, who would normally sit by themselves during lunch.

In the classroom, Class maintained a 3.3 unweighted and 3.4 weighted grade point average.

His favorite courses featured English III and IV writing essays with Mrs. Gigantelli and learning geometry from his former head coach Jacob Gray.

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class sprints for a touchdown against Hudson.                                                 Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

Head of the Class

After mostly playing defense under Lee, under Gray, Sebastian morphed into the head of the Class.

Besides grabbing seven passes for 100 yards, he enjoyed a breakout season at tailback.

Despite his wiry frame, he finished Year 3 with 137 carries for 1,301 rushing yards.

He averaged nearly a first down a carry at 9.5 .

He ended up visiting the end zone a team-best 13 times and added a trio of two-pointers to conclude the season with 84 points.

Sebastian Class

“Nobody saw me play running back until my junior year,” shared Class. “When I went out there I wanted to make a statement. Coach Gray proved we could run the football here.

“With Coach Gray here we didn’t have nice practices,” stressed Class. “We padded up even on Thursdays. That kinda changed the culture around here. From the linemen to the backs, we gave each other our best look prior to the game.”

Class credits his quarterback’s maturation process for his team’s growth.

Vaughn Sykora

“Nobody knew who Vaughn Sykora was until he became our starting quarterback,” noted Class. “Give him the credit. He really stepped up his play. With the weapons we had around Vaughn with David (Richards) and Brian (Strickland) and Amar (Walker), we got open lanes to run through and created seams for our pass routes.”

Brian Strickland

As a senior, he was part of his team’s “Golden Group” of receivers featuring Brian Strickland, David Richards, Amar Walker and tight end Brock Vance.

The Hornets were so deep at wide out that opposing teams had to respect the aerial abilities of junior quarterback Vaughn Sykora.

Class, however, crossed up defenses by rushing 122 times for a team-best 716 yards and eight touchdowns.

He enjoyed his homerun capabilities. He burned Gulf High for a 70-yard TD gallop at the Hornets’ Nest.

As a receiver, he could easily split a secondary in half.

He burned Fivay for an 70-yard TD reception.

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class runs against Hernando. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

He also proved his toughness grabbing six passes for 108 yards against Crystal River’s stout defense.

Jacob Gray

“As a senior, I felt I did better because I was stronger,” detailed Class. “Our young guys did their best. I don’t regret a minute here. I’d be the first guy to tell you we didn’t finish how we planned to, but this was a different Weeki Wachee program from the past. We fought until the last whistle.”

“I’m gonna miss banging heads with the fellas. Coach Gray said not padding up showed signs of weakness. We went through a lot here That’s why this group bonded so well. We were like brothers here.”

On what it was like playing on a program still seeking its first-ever winning season, “I’m gonna miss the Friday Night lights of high school ball,” shared Class. “We tried to go into the second half of every game like it was 0-0. As a whole we weren’t selfish. Coach Gray instilled a sense of pride among us to play not for ourselves, but for the guy next to us.”

Choosing the Fighting Bishops

Before landing at Rocky Mount, Class shopped his services to D-I University of Central Florida – which offered nothing, Charleston Southern and Jacksonville University along with Hiram College.

Charleston Southern and JU were originally interested until both of their receivers’ coaches did not return.

In his search, Class also looked into Webber University and Mount St. Joseph’s in Ohio.

Eventually, the visit with Wesleyan sealed the proceedings.

“When I visited Wesleyan with my father, I fell in love with the smaller campus,” noted Class. “It’s a small town environment and everybody comes down to watch the football game. There’s a real strong community support there.

“I was there with Jahike (Facey) and Brian (Strickland) and we all met with coach. He didn’t promise us anything. He said you guys are here because you’re ballers. We need ballers.”

Class also indicated that Wesleyan College is building a new football stadium – an all-turn field on campus – which doesn’t hurt.

“I remember the weight room wasn’t as big as some that I’ve seen,” shared Class. “But we’ll get our lifting in between our course schedule. We don’t lift at fixed times. Plus, the classroom sizes are between 12-15 students, tops. So there’s a lot more one-on-one with the teachers. I thought coach just won us over.”

“I remember my father saying that the decision was totally up to me on whether to attend or not,” said Class . “But that mom and dad would support whatever decision we made.”

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class dives for extra yardage against Hudson. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO

On how pivotal Classes’ academics are, he plans on studying criminology to become a forensic science expert (a crime scene investigator) or become a police officer.

“The motivation for me is simple,” said Class. “I want to make a difference in what I do for a living. Dad always stressed getting an education has to come first, not playing ball.

“He always stressed to us to be the best you can be. Dad always said you can’t play football forever. Whatever I do, just make it count,” recalled Class.

Class indicated that when Strickland opted to sign, that he’d be roommates with an old friend from the neighborhood.

“The two of us are very competitive people. If I make a great catch or run, Brian wants to do even better – but not to hurt the team. It’s just because we’re sooooo competitive.”

The biggest hurdle facing Class, “Is leaving my family,” indicated Sebastian. “I’m very tight with my little brother. But it’s time for me to move on and he’s got to learn on his own. Playing for USA football over the last few seasons has helped me mature as a person. It’s taught me how to adapt to living in a dorm setting.”

Before reporting

Before reporting to school by Aug. 1, Class will continue to work at Philly’s Best Cheesesteaks on Spring Hill Drive and continue his part-time gig as a correction officer’s position locally.

After work, every day he visits Planet Fitness to stay in shape with a variety of different exercises.

He even credits Sykora’s father as treating him like a personal fitness trainer maintaining his sharp receiving skills in tact.

Before traversing nearly 642 miles – taking nearly 10 hours before reaching Rocky Mount – Class addressed his legacy.

“Before I arrived at Weeki Wachee, I think I was something like 45-2 in football. I was on teams that never lost,” explained Class. “This experience was good for me because it made me overcome adversity. This helped build my character.

“I’m originally from The Bronx. It’s a tough part of town. In life, you have to fight for what you want. I came from the trenches which has helped me. From here on out, it’s all about how much I push myself to become better.”

By the Numbers:

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class (2015-18)

– Compiled by TONY CASTRO

RUSHING

Sebastian Class put Weeki Wachee on the board with a touchdown against Ridgewood. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

ATT

 

YDS

 

AVG.

 

TD

 

LG

 

HG

2016

12

19

1.58

0

9 vs. LEC

7/25 vs. LEC

2017

137

1,301

9.50

13

72* @ LEC

22/289 @ GF

2018

122

716

5.87

8

70* vs. GF

9/169 vs. GF

 

TOTS

 

271

 

2,036

 

7.51

 

21

 

72* @ LEC

 

22/289 @ GF

* Denotes touchdown.

RECEIVING

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class heads to the end zone versus Gulf high. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

REP

 

YDS

 

YPC

 

TD

 

LG

 

HG

2015

6

78

13.0

0

35 vs. CIT

4/64 vs. CIT

2016

13

278

21.4

3

65* @ CIT

3/74 vs. RW

2017

7

100

14.3

0

2/45 vs. CIT

2018

35

585

16.7

7

70* vs, FIV

6/108 vs. CR

 

TOTS

 

61

 

1,041

 

17.1

 

10

 

70* vs, FIV

 

6/108 vs. CR

* Denotes touchdown.

SCORING

Weeki Wachee’s Sebastian Class and Amar Walker (20) celebrate a TD in the game with Gulf High. Photo by JOE DiCRISTOFALO
 

YEAR

 

TD

 

PAT

 

2-PT

 

FG

 

SF

 

TP

2016

3

0

1/1

0

0

20

2017

13

0

3/5

0

0

84

2018

17

0

1/5

0

0

104

 

TOTS

 

33

 

0

 

5/11

 

0

 

0

 

208

DEFENSE

 

YEAR

 

SOL

 

AST

 

TTK

 

TBL

 

SK

 

QBP

 

CF

 

FR

 

PB

 

BK

 

INT

2015

0

2

2

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

2016

41

33

74

1.0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

2017

5

0

5

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

1

2018

1

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

0

 

TOTS

 

47

 

35

 

82

 

1.0

 

0

 

0

 

0

 

3

 

1

 

0

 

2

 

 

 

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