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As the excitement of the high school soccer season comes to an end, the players hurl themselves into different types of competition: travel, academy or club soccer.
Of course, winning is nice, and players, coaches and parents want to win but this story is not about winning, it is about players that in high school play against each other but in the fall and spring become teammates.
“It is every practice, every game, and every trip that you hear these guys talk about who will win the 2012 high school season. Even the coach (Ovid Cusu) joins in, as he coaches Christ the King. It is almost like a high school soccer debate but once the game starts, each one of them plays for Gottschee,” said Jacob Glowala of Hunter College High Sschool, one of the captains on the team.
Last fall, players from Christ the King, St. Francis Prep, Iona Prep, Fordham Prep, Spellman, Francis Lewis, MLK, Aviation, Cardozo, Hunter, Brentwood and Elmont high schools-and from schools as far as John Jay in Cross River and Ossining High School-decided to play for the BW Gottschee U17 developmental team.
One of the seniors on the team, captain Eric Lavelanet, is happy to be part of this team. “I was a captain on the John Jay [team] and by joining Blue Weiss Gottschee, it gave me a great exposure to college coaches,” he said. “I was able to work out at different college camps and pay official visits to Northeastern, Eastern University and Stony Brook.”
Juniors on the team are still looking forward to play high school soccer with college on their mind. “After the high school season at Iona Prep and backing up Alex Kapp, I joined the BW Gottschee and via college showcases I was able to continue working hard and pursue my dream of playing division one college soccer. So far I joined camps at UConn, Quinnipiac, and Syracuse and looking forward to work out at Fairfield, Seton Hall and Columbia,” said Nicholas Congionti, a junior from Iona Prep.
In October 2011, the players had a chance to compete in the Columbus Cup, in November the PDA College Showcase, and in April 2012 the team played in the MSSL College Showcase.
In the fall of 2011 the developmental team stayed undefeated in the CJSL U17A division and eventually become the champions of 2011/2012 season winning 14 games and tying two.
In the winter of 2012 the team won the Clarkstown Indoor invitational tournament, in the spring Gottschee won the MSSL Gold Cup division, and in the summer, the team won the City Cup for Under 17 level. Biggest win of the season is the Disney International Soccer Tournament. The team won games against opponents from Honduras, Brazil, and Florida, with the final game being broadcast on ESPN3.
Emails from college coaches are coming in, but these guys are looking forward to the 2012 high school season before they worry about their college future. The pre-season starts Aug. 20.