As a youngster growing up in upstate New York, Dimitrios Tsesmetzis started playing football. He mostly played on offense, in the positions of left tackle and guard. However, as he grew older, he became lankier and longer.
“I was a very short, heavy-set kid. I made it all the way to freshman year (of high school) playing left tackle,” Dimitrios explained. “Then from freshman year to sophomore year, I went from 5’10” to 6’4″. My coach told me to go out and catch a ball. I caught my first ball and then he was like, all right, play tight end. And that’s where it all started.”
Once Tsesmetzis started playing tight end, his height, coupled with his wide wingspan, became his on-field weapons. Currently, Tsesmetzis stands 6’7″ with cleats on.
After high school, Dimitrios played for the Division 3 Western Connecticut State University Colonials. When he emerged from college, he was hungry for a pro-football career and was faced with the challenge of finding a spot on a roster. He was passed over in the NFL draft, but was eventually selected by the San Antonio Commanders in the Alliance of American Football. Unfortunately, Dimitrios only made it through the first Commander’s mini-camp before being cut.
Dimitrios refers to his time with the Commanders with a positive attitude. “Definitely a great experience,” he said. “It showed me what I needed to work on. I got right back into the gym, worked on all of it. Got right mentally, especially.”
From this learning experience, Dimitrios played with the Spring League in Austin, Texas in April 2019. In some way, this led to two separate XFL Summer Showcase invitations, in New York and Houston. Tsesmetzis chose to go to the showcase in New York, mainly because it was closer to home.
“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand,and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand”
Couldn’t have said it any better than that, so blessed to have this opportunity🙏🏼🏈💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/GpFfvzcD9Y
— Dimitrios Tsesmetzis (@Dimitrioss_) August 19, 2019
Dimitrios performed well at the showcase, and interest in his skills flourished. Later in the fall, he was invited to the XFL draft, where he was selected by the DC Defenders in the open phase of the draft.
On the first day of the XFL draft, Dimitrios and his father followed the picks closely. However, they did not hear Dimitrios’ name called on the first day, so they planned to follow the open draft picks on day two.
“I think that the open draft wasn’t live, so I was just waiting around,” Dimitrios explained. “It was raining really hard one day, and I was on my way to the training facility. Someone DM’d me a picture, and it was that the Defenders had picked me.”
When asked if he was ready for the Defenders first mini-camp in December, Dimitrios was quick to respond. “Definitely,” he said. “I’ve been preparing since I got the call.”
Demetrious is also enthusiastic to be able to learn from the Defenders head coach Pep Hamilton, assistant head coach Brent Battle and tight ends coach Chris Scelfo.
“I know that when we get the mini-camp we’re going to put in the work and we’re going to be the best team in the XFL,” Dimitrios added.
— The Spring League (@TheSpringLeague) October 16, 2019
The entire interview with Dimitrios Tsesmetzis may be found in XFL Xtra Episode 10-2019 – Breaking in
A rabid football fan, and founder and owner of XFLBoard.com since April 2000, Mark Nelson is happy to see the XFL come back for a second go around the buoy.