New boys' varsity soccer coach hopes to continue team's success
By Christian Mysliwiec - Staff Writer
Manchester - posted Fri., Aug. 31, 2012
Manchester High School's boys' varsity soccer team had a strong season last year. They made it to the state tournament, and though they lost in the first round, their presence was indicative of the driving talent of senior players. The challenge facing new coach John Tedesco is to rebuild the team after losing those players and to continue Manchester's success.
Tedesco has coached at Manchester for six years, starting as freshmen coach, then working his way up to junior varsity coach. He was the assistant varsity coach for the past two years, and this is his first year as head coach of the varsity team.
“Our goal is to always make the state tournament,” said Tedesco. However, he is aware that the team's performance is cyclical: they seem to make it to the state tournament three out of every four years.
Five starters graduated last year, leaving a gap in the team that will need to be filled. “We graduated some talent which left us with a few holes to fill – not that it's out of the question to fill them with the senior leadership this year,” he said.
There are seven returning seniors with varsity experience. “We're looking forward to the fact that we have a good-sized group of returning players from last year,” he said. Unfortunately, as he notes, when seniors move into the crucial roles held by last year's starters, the spots they leave become vacant. Because of this, a lot depends on younger players stepping up.
“We're trying to fit some pieces together,” said Tedesco. “We're looking to our freshmen, sophomores and juniors to see who can fill those roles.”
Will those younger players step up? “It's hard to say after three practices,” said Tedesco. “But I think there are definitely some of those younger players who have potential.”