Spartans set on state championship three-peat
By Colin Rajala - Staff Writer
Somers - posted Thu., Sep. 20, 2012
The 2012 Somers High School Spartans have large shoes to fill as they come into the season fresh off of back-to-back Class S state titles.
The 2011 champions graduated 12 seniors last season, eight of whom were starters, but the Spartans are not worried about experience. The team reloads with 13 seniors this season. Somers’ senior laden team knows they will have a target on their backs all year long but they believe there is not a team that can derail them from their goal, a three-peat.
“As senior captains, we all work the hardest on the team every day, every practice, every game,” said Kyle Foster. “We try and show the guys what work ethic is really made of. Every sprint we go 100 percent. We know what it takes to win a state championship and we are working hard to win another one.”
The 2012 squad features a new coach, Rick Kelley, who takes over for John Pantuosco who retired after four state titles in 10 years. Kelley is helping the team continue to work hard and carry on the legacy left by Pantuosco and the former players. Kelley believes that their work ethic, coupled with the team’s chemistry and friendship on and off the field, will be their biggest strength moving forward.
Somers’ offensive attack will be led by senior captain Joe Pantuosco, who led the team last year with 10 goals. Supporting Pantuosco from the midfield will be captains Luke Alvaro and Nick Elia, who will be looked upon to attack and make plays while also creating and making players better around them. The Spartans’ defense will be bolstered down by Foster.
“These boys are not looking to lose this year,” Kelley said. “This is a group of kids that have tasted success in the past, maybe not directly, but they are learning what it takes. Their expectations are to move forward and win a Class S championship and a conference championship. They have opportunities to get better and they are working on them week by week.”