KENTS HILL — Sebastian Falck-Stigsby, Walter Washington and Adam Gigliotti might as well have the letters ‘PG’ emblazoned in red and yellow across the chests of their Kents Hill School football jerseys.

At least, that is what the expectation is anyways.

It is the same pressure — fair or not — all postgraduate players face when they attend prep school for a fifth season. They are a year older, that much more experienced, looking to play collegiately at some level and everyone knows that.

“The kids that are here look to these guys to be the superstars,” Kents Hill coach Steve Shukie said. “They’re coming in for one year and they’re recruited, so they have to live up to those expectations early.

“They have to come out and prove themselves right away and adjust to being with a new team.”

“It’s nice to have guys like that,” Raph Major-Dagenais, a senior from Montreal in his second year with Huskies, a said. “It adds something good to your team, you have more power, you have like older guys with your team. You know they’re stronger, they’re more mature.”

When it comes to bringing in postgraduate players, Shukie said it is an “interesting” process.

“It’s kind of a crapshoot a little bit in terms of who you get. We’re by no means the first choice for a lot of people,” Shukie said. “There are a lot of schools that have 10, 11, 12 (postgraduates) and we only get three. We’re the furthest north prep school that plays football in the country, but the three guys we got were all real excited to be here and we’re all real happy with.”

All three players understand what they are getting into this season. The Huskies may not have picked up a win in either of their first two games, but so far Falck-Stigsby, Washington and Gigliotti have handled the pressure well.

“It’s kind of difficult. You have to do in one year what you couldn’t do in four,” Washington, an undersized offensive and defensive lineman, said. “It’s a little bit of a tedious process but you have to be able to stay levelheaded and take on the pressure.”

Washington, a native of Rockland County, N.Y., came to the Huskies after a standout career at Mount St. Michael’s Academy (N.Y.). He had originally looked into the Gunnery School in Washington, Conn., but was ultimately recommended by Steve Gritti — a former coach at Kents Hill — to look into the central Maine school.

“He had told me to look at this place called Kents Hill,” Washington said. “I e-mailed Coach Shukie, sent him my film and he said he was looking for a lineman. I came through and interviewed and I liked this place.”

Washington’s journey to Kents Hill was the norm for most players who make their way to Kents Hill, as Shukie said most athletes find him first. Gigliotti made his way north from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School in Massachusetts, where the running back/linebacker helped lead the Warriors to a 7-4 record and a berth into the Division 2 North sectional finals.

It was quite a different path for Falck-Stigsby, however, one that began a few months prior to his sophomore year of high school.

A native of Denmark, Falck-Stigsby was set to do a study abroad year at Mahwah High School in Bergen County, N.J. where his godparents live when a friend noticed he had started lifting weights a few months prior to making the cross-Atlantic trek. His friend suggested that he should try playing football, and he enjoyed it so much that he continued playing in New Jersey.

“I played for their JV team and had a few plays on the varsity in the fourth quarter, but nothing big,” Falck-Stigsby, a punter, offensive and defensive lineman, said. “That was in 2011-12, and then I went back to Denmark and I joined the national team. (I) played with my club and we won the national championship a couple times.”

Through the national team he met Lars Carlsen, the director of the Danish American Football Federation who had a son playing at a prep school in Chicago around the same time Falck-Stigsby was beginning to look at prep schools.

“(Carlsen and I) looked at different schools and I kind of came in contact by random really with Coach Shukie,” said Falck-Stigsby, who spent the summer preparing for this season with former Yale University football player Dylan Drake. “It’s just been going great from there.”

While the trio came from vastly different backgrounds and places, they are all at Kents Hill for the same reasons — to win now and prepare themselves to play collegiately next season.

Falck-Stigsby is looking at Division III or NAIA schools with strong academics, including Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (N.Y.), Grand View University (Iowa), American International College (Mass.) and Western New England University (Mass.).

“(Gigliotti) is a very good Division II prospect running back,” Shukie said. “I think he’s been looking at some of the Northeast 10 Conference.”

Washington, meanwhile, is drawing interest from Division I Football Championship Subdivision and Ivy League Schools.

“I’m looking really Ivy League and also Georgetown showed some interest in me, so Princeton, Yale, Harvard, Georgetown and there’s a school here in Maine, Bates, e-mailed me a couple weeks ago and said they were going to be looking at me,” Washington said. “Whoever gives me that offer, whoever shows the most interest, wherever I think I’ll be good at academically and athletically (is where I’ll go).”

It will be absolutely critical for each of the three to make an impact on the field for the Huskies over the next few weeks, as they will be looking to put together some highlights to send off to colleges. There is little reason to think that they cannot do so either, as each has shown they are willing to put the work in since arriving in Maine.

“At the end of the day you can’t let anybody take advantage of you on the field. It’s like that in life period,” Washington said. “You have to excel and do whatever you can to exceed, because there’s somebody out there working 10 times harder than you and there’s somebody out there who is just going to be better than you.

“That’s what football is all about. It’s about handling adversity and you’ve got to be able to work hard.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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