Defensive Leader Keeps North Salem's Intensity Up

Tiger Anthony D’Innocenzo sends the ball long against host Briarcliff last weekend. Credits: Deena Bell

North Salem senior Anthony D’Innocenzo is a team captain and defender on the varsity boys soccer team.

How old were you when you started playing soccer and how did you get started?

I was 4 years old when I started playing AYSO soccer in North Salem.

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What do you think are your strengths as a soccer player?

I think that my strengths as a soccer player are my intensity and how vocal I am during games and practice. Being vocal allows me to able to control the team’s defensive shape during games.

As a senior defender on the team this year, how do you see your role as a leader?

I communicate a lot and try to keep our team shape organized during games. At practices I try to keep the intensity high.

What will it take for North Salem to repeat as section champions this year?

If we continue to work hard, have chemistry throughout the team and have a strong desire to win we should have a good chance.

What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you share with your teammates?

My favorite team activities are team dinners, doing the chant before every game as it gets us in a better mindset for the game, and the tape ball.

Who has been your biggest role model over the years and what have you learned from them?

My biggest role models have to be my parents as they have taught me so much whether it’s how to act or how to carry myself. They have encouraged a never give up attitude and that I can do anything I set my mind to. I strive to be like them as I get older.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?

I hated sports when I first began to play them as a child and my parents had to push me to continue playing them.

What does it mean to be able to play for a program like North Salem?

Playing for the soccer program in North Salem has been a great experience as there are so many dedicated people in the program from AYSO to varsity. Many of the friends I play with on varsity have been my teammates since the fourth grade. Both (coach Ron) Hendrie and (assistant coach Mike) Valenti are outstanding coaches that have a lot of knowledge for the game and make the program so strong.  It was a great experience playing for both of them.

Do you know what you want to study in college? If yes, what and why?

I am not sure what I want to study in college but most likely something involving math. 

Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?

Lionel Messi and my favorite teams are Barcelona, Manchester United, New York City FC and the Yankees.

What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?

I enjoy listening to rap music before games.

If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?

Teleportation because I would not have to pay for gas and I could travel wherever I want to go and it would only take a second.

If you could pick one place to visit on vacation that you’ve never been to, where would you go and why?

I would travel to Barcelona, Spain because I want to see a European soccer game in person and I would like to see Barcelona’s stadium.

What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?

Before games I always eat eggs and right before kickoff I eat a banana.

Best place to eat in North Salem and why?

The Blazer has the best food because everything is great there especially the burgers and fries.

What advice would you give to a young soccer player growing up in North Salem?

If you play soccer in North Salem you will have many great experiences as there are so many people that are dedicated and make the North Salem soccer program great.  I have had an unbelievable experience playing on AYSO teams all the way up to varsity and everyone should have that same experience that I have had in North Salem.

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