John Pagano is looking for strong leadership for this year’s Huntington High School boys’ soccer team so the longtime head coach turned to three veterans to serve as captains. Eren Aydin, Alex Rivera and Johnny Tucker will wear a proverbial “C” on their uniforms.
Aydin and Rivera are powerful forwards while Tucker is one of the best defensive players in Suffolk. All three are seniors and are essential to Huntington’s goal of having a successful season.
“At the moment, I feel great about the team,” Aydin said. “We have a lot of talent and are continuing to do what we did last year. The team chemistry is at its highest and we are starting to get to where we know each other like it’s nothing. We still have a long season ahead of us and I’m looking forward to it, but as of now I feel great about the team.”
In addition to the team’s three captains the Blue Devil roster also includes Tyler Abedin, Kolby Rappel, Christian Bellissimo, Owen Husselbeck, Jose Turcios, Roberto Contreras, Carmine De Iseo, Christian Garay, Rudy Salmeron, Edwin Rodriquez, Arnold Alfaro, Nick Thompson, Juan Salamanca, Manny Reyes, Wilber Cuadra, Jack Langton, Junior Flores, Emerson Forbes, Julian Rentsch, Luke Luckow, Jose Flores and Cole Pillion.
“As of right now I feel the team is ready to play against anyone,” Rivera said. “Every day we keep getting as close as a family and fight for each other on and off the field. This year we have a team filled with talent at every position and plan to do big things, just as we did last year. However, we plan to stay disciplined and focused and take this season one game at a time to make sure we have a great season.”
Huntington has very high hopes for the season, but the Blue Devils will have to successfully navigate through a challenging schedule against many of the county’s strongest teams. Pagano and assistant coach Jason Suarez intend to push their squad as far as it can go.
“We have a very talented dedicated team,” Tucker said. “We see each other as a family and will fight for each other no matter what, which is key to our success. We want to pick up from where we were last year and strive to win.”