North Salem senior John Martabano is a team captain and midfielder on the varsity boys soccer team. He is also on the varsity basketball team.
How old were you when you first started playing soccer and how did you get started?
I was 5 years old when I first started playing soccer and I got started through the AYSO league.
What are the team’s expectations/goals heading into the season?
Our team’s expectations this season are through the roof. We think with this group of guys we can hopefully win sectionals and go further. This group of guys is very determined to make our mark and be remembered as a great team in North Salem.
The team played in the Ossining Summer League. What did the team take away from playing in the summer league and what do you think you need to work on heading into the season?
In the Ossining Summer League we were able to get to the semifinals but unfortunately we lost in that game. In the summer league we focused on our team chemistry and continuing to learn about each other as teammates and players. One thing we have to work on is our communication on the field. In some situations we get ourselves into trouble because of the gaps between our strikers and defense that have to be filled.
As a senior, how do you see your role on the team, and how much do you value being a team leader?
I hope to bring the energy on the field that the rest of my teammates can feed off. It is an honor to be a leader of this team because they are awesome players and people. Every North Salem soccer player growing up wishes to be a leader of the varsity team and that is why I take my role very seriously.
What is your favorite team activity, pregame or postgame ritual that you shared with your teammates?
We love to have team dinners with each other to relax and have fun. Those team dinners bring us closer together and help build on our chemistry. On the field, my favorite ritual is our pregame huddles where we give a pep talk and make some jokes to calm everyone’s nerves.
Who have been your biggest role models over the years and what have you learned from them?
My role models have been the great varsity players that have come through North Salem. Watching players like Brian Span and seeing what he has done after high school is very inspirational.
Tell us one thing about yourself that not a lot of people know?
I really like the outdoors and I like to draw even though I’m not very good.
Do you plan on continuing to play soccer in college? If yes, where are you going and why did you choose that school?
In college, I plan to focus on my academics. If given the opportunity, I would love to play on a club team. After college I hope to do some coaching with younger kids.
Who is your favorite professional athlete and pro or college sports team?
Paul Pogba, who currently plays on Manchester United. His mixture of skills, size and physicality is what makes him the perfect player. My favorite sports team is Tottenham Hotspur because they play as a team and have an amazing fighting spirit.
What is your favorite music to listen to warming up for a game?
Before games, our team has a playlist that we create with all different types of music to get us pumped up and focused.
If you could have one super power, what would it be and why?
It would be the ability to run super fast because I have never been the fastest player and I want to feel like no one can catch me.
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 North London so I can see Tottenham play at their home stadium.
What is your favorite food to eat before or after a game?
After a game I like to have some type of sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk to replenish the carbs and energy my body burned.
Best place to eat in North Salem and why?
Hayfields Market is the best place to eat in North Salem because they have many healthy options that you can go to that also taste awesome.
Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? Why?
I have Twitter, Instagram and Facebook but I prefer Facebook because there are countless articles that have interesting information you can find.
For young athletes 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?
I would tell them to keep working hard at anything you want to accomplish and to never give up because something might challenge you. If you challenge yourself, you will be successful. My experience going through the soccer program has been amazing because of the friends and memories I have made. If you love soccer, I suggest going out for the team because coach (Ron) Hendrie and coach (Mike) Valenti are awesome guys and coaches who just want the best for you.