With a brand new shared turf field for practices and games and a revitalizing batch of freshmen, everybody’s upbeat about the soccer team.
On the team this year are seven sophomores and 18 freshmen. They have talent coming from all over the Capital Region and beyond: Loudonville Christian School, Ballston Spa, Mount Anthony Union, Columbia, McCann Technical, Cohoes, Hoosick Falls, Shenendehowa, Hoosick Falls, Greenwich, Guilderland, Troy and Shaker. There is even out-of-state talent on the team from Coronado High School in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The Viking’s forwards this year are Nicholas Petschko, Thomas Seeberger and Tyler Demartino. Playing the defensive positions are Brahe Gazzeli, Luke Fane, Collin Skiff, Nikolas Siggia, Michael McCann, John Hope, Garrett Derosia and Matthew Bluteau. Along with Juan Mejicano, Jonathan Mejicano, Scott Joya, William Walkley, Ethan Thomas, Poe Day, Jonathan Leal, Nicholas Hinkell, Austin Famiglietti, Thilo Bell and Asan Anarkkulov, as the team’s midfielders. And last but not least Pat Gerdtenbeger, Kyle Saba and Joshua Knowles as the team’s goalies.
The construction of the new Sports Complex is coming to a close, but the already-finished turf field is clearly appreciated, especially by the athletes.
“There is nothing like playing on turf. The ball goes farther, and is great for cleats,” said Luke Fane, the team’s captain. The team’s goalie, Pat Gerdtenberger, also stated that playing on the new turf is beneficial to the team.
Due to the construction of the complex, the team started practicing a few weeks later than in previous years, and they’re not where they were last year. “We are not up to our fitness level yet, but we’re improving every day,” said Coach Travis Cooke.
Besides the low fitness level, there was a change in the typical schedule the men’s soccer team usually follows. There was also a slightly-delayed formation of the camaraderie and partnership a team creates over time. This could potentially hinder the team’s success, but the recent years of successful seasons begs to differ.
However, the loss of those few weeks was clearly worth the wait. As Cooke put it, the new complex is “amazing,”; the lush color of green and the bright color of the lines of the field that all the Hudson Valley sport teams needed is a great addition to the Athletic Department.
Coach Cooke has been with Hudson Valley for 10 years and counting. He started playing soccer at a young age and decided to continue his career by becoming a coach. The decision to coach at this level was influenced by the attraction of “European style of coaching”, which is more about managing or hands-off, instead of having to teach players how hone the basic skills like in youth soccer leagues as well as at school levels.
Last year, the men’s soccer team ended the season with 11 wins, five losses, and one tie. The goals for the men’s soccer team “are not specific this year”, other than to go as far as possible in the season and to do their best as said by Cooke.
“Go Vikings!” said Gerdtenberger, echoing the spirit of the rest of the team.