Sports

North Salem Senior Goalie a Vocal Leader for State Champs

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James Buzzetto throws the ball to a teammate in the Class C state championship game last year.
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North Salem senior James Buzzetto is the starting goalie on the varsity boys soccer team. He’s also a member of the lacrosse team.

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

I started at 3 years old in (North Salem varsity boys soccer coach) Ron Hendrie’s soccer camp.

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Coming off an incredible season where the team won a state title, what are the team’s expectations/goals heading into the season as you move up a class into Class B for sectionals?

I believe the entire team will have the expectations to repeat starting the year with a lot of potential. We want to get better everyday because we believe we have the pieces to take us places in the postseason.

The team has lost some talented seniors who played vital roles. How is the team progressing so far and how do you feel you’ll be able to replace those players?

Losing possibly North Salem’s greatest captains will take a toll. But many of us will be returning for our second or third year so a lot of players have really stepped in to fill the leadership gap. We have always had a very flexible team in terms of where you play on the field, along with our “next man up” mentality, which can prove to fill the gap created by losing our graduated seniors.

As a goalie, what do you feel are your strengths in net?

I feel I can be very vocal and use my vision of the field to anticipate and communicate possible threats to our strong defense.

As a senior, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?

I feel I need to help instill coach Hendrie’s tactics in our newer players. I value having leadership as a goalie because I can direct our defense on where to be.

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

Every day, starting the first day of preseason, we have a chant which we have chanted pre-game for the past few years. It can really determine if our team comes out firing or not.

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

My uncle because he has taught me how to look for the best in everyone and also how to have a good time everywhere I go.

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

I live in a family of five while being an only child.

Do you plan on continuing to play soccer in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?

As of now I haven’t looked into it much, which is unfortunate as I don’t want this to be my last year.

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

Kobe Bryant because of his “Mamba Mentality” and the Los Angeles Lakers.

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

Pop, hip hop and rap. Anything upbeat to get my mind ready.

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

Teleporting because it’s better than flying.

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

I would go to Australia to visit much of my family and to explore a new culture I haven’t been to.

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

Bacon, egg and cheese before and after a game.

Best place to eat in North Salem and why?

Hayfield’s because of how close it is to the school and the milkshakes there are amazing.

Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?

Instagram because I like keeping up with the newest media while scrolling through pictures and videos.

For a young athlete growing up in North Salem, what would you tell them about the experience of being part of the soccer program and why should they go out for the team?

They should go out for the team because they will be brought into North Salem’s soccer community, which is the most loving one of a kind group you could meet. Also, if they want to grow and progress with amazing coaches who pride themselves on making sure the team has fun first even while grinding and getting better.

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