Saying Goodbye to Seventeen Seniors

Michael Minars, Reporter

17 boys walk off the pitch as the 2021 soccer season comes to a close. This year, all of us were so eager to get on the field and play. With so much uncertainty with the pandemic and so many restrictions, we were all hoping for just any sort of season. Our starting goalie, Christian Calabro, said that, “The 2021 ‘Fall’ soccer season will be one I never forget. I mean starting a week later than every other school, having 17 seniors, and playing fall sports in spring? Yeah, I won’t forget this year.” As seniors, we have been working hard for six years in the Wantagh program in order to put every last piece of us on the field as we move on to the next chapter of our lives. 

Despite all the irregularities of this year, I think we did exactly that. In a way, the pandemic made us stronger than ever. Coach Zagari said, “This group showed true unity, friendship, togetherness, and toughness” through it all. We showed grit and determination through the masks and shortened season. Calabro said, “At first it was a bit of a struggle trying to put all the pieces together to form the team. But, when things started clicking, we were all brothers out there trying to do the same thing, win. The one thing I won’t forget about this team is the connection we had.” 

This team has shown so much passion and love for the game. The Wantagh Soccer program will forever be a huge part of all of us. As one of our captains Joe Dimatteo, explains “The past three years have been full of the best experiences of my life. [These are] memories that I’ll keep my whole life.” He also says, “I’ve learned so much from this sport and it won’t be the same without it. Can’t believe it’s over.” Another one of our captains, Austin Henglein, says, “To grow into a program for six years alongside my best friends has meant the world to me. I’ve made memories with these guys since 7th grade and it’s been the highlight of my experience not only in high school, but in Wantagh as a whole.”

Personally, this team has shown me so much. Playing with most of these guys since elementary school, they are like a second family. Through thick and thin over the years, I knew I would always have my boys on and off the field supporting me. We have shared countless hours together developing friendships and a brotherhood to last a lifetime. The Wantagh Soccer program has always been the mark of new beginnings, a new school year, and a new season of personal growth, learning, adventure, and most importantly a ton of FUN. I am filled with emotion with the close of the season. Wantagh Soccer has given me a place to call home the last six years. This is truly an unforgettable team, just one more game “repping” the Black and Gold would mean the world. 

It is never easy to say goodbye, especially to something that has made such an important impact on our lives. To quote our coaches, “This year it just seems a bit different. When one guy went down, the next was ready to step up. When one guy fell down, the rest were there to pick them up.” This team and our graduating seniors represented “our school, our colors, and our community with class” We left it all out there. “This was a TEAM in the truest sense of the word and this team embodied everything it means to be a Warrior and a member of this boys’ soccer program.” #taghfooty #ForeverWarriors