There’s a new head man at Mahopac, but it’s not an unfamiliar face. Jim Gencarelli has taken over for Chris Emery after serving as one of Emery’s assistant in previous seasons. He returns an experienced group that is coming off of a strong season, which should make for a smooth transition. The Indians went on a run to the Class AA semis last season and should be a threat once again. They lost one of the most explosive scorers in the section in Joseph Iraola, which leaves a big void. If Mahopac can find a few capable goal-scorers to collectively make up for the loss, it will certainly be a team to watch in Class AA.
Here are the responses that I received from Gencarelli:
What was your final record last season and where did you finish in the playoffs? Mahopac ended last year with a record of 12-3-1. We earned the sixth seed in the playoffs and ended our run losing to North Rockland in overtime in the Section 1 Class AA semifinal.
Who are your key returning players? Our key returning players are senior Jared Milian (midfield), senior Conor Butler (midfield), senior Luke Wilson (midfield), senior Matt Fariselli, senior Nick Schiera (midfield), senior Ryan Conlin (midfield), senior Jesse Lichtman (defense), senior Sebastian Kufa (forward), junior Mike Bernardi (goalie) and junior Ray Arcieri (defense).
Who are the key players that you lost to graduation? Joe Iraola (forward; American University), David Kalaj (defense), Justin Fleischer (midfield) and Kieran Donnelly (defense; SUNY Maritime).
Are you anticipating losing any players to the U.S. Soccer Federation season? Arun Basuljevic will again play for his academy team. As a team and a community, we wish him continued success. While he is no longer playing for Mahopac, he will always be a member of our “family.”
What do you consider to be your team’s strengths? I feel our strengths this year will be in our defensive play and our ability to possess the ball.
What are some areas of concern? Developing into our new roles, returners developing into leaders, newcomers developing into varsity players and myself from assistant to head coach.
Which formation do you anticipate using? 4-5-1.
What is your goal for your team in 2013? My goal for Mahopac is to take the season one game at a time and go deep into the sectional playoffs.
Who is your biggest rival(s)? Carmel because they are our hometown rival. The games are very competitive and are always won in the final minutes of the game.
Up next: Byram Hills
Photo by Seth Harrison/The Journal News