NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – An experienced North Salem boys soccer team with 13 returning players will be led by senior captains Marc Schembri, Matt Cole, and Emmet Halton.

“I feel like we’re all very close with each other,” Cole said. “We’ve been playing with each other since we were little.”

The captains said that chemistry will be key to improving upon their 2018 season, which ended with a second-round exit in the Section 1 Class B tournament.

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Schembri said it will be incumbent on them as leaders to teach the 13 new players how to carry on the traditions of North Salem soccer, which includes playing with “respect.”

“We are a family,” Schembri said. “We don’t want to get on each other’s backs. We want to keep it positive, always look to reinforce each other.”

In addition to improving communication on and off the field, Halton said, captains are responsible for “teaching the new and younger players the expectations” of North Salem soccer.

Though the program is only three years removed from a state title win, the captains, when asked of expectations for the 2019 season, didn’t speak of success in terms of wins and losses.

“Just to go out there and be the best we can,” Cole said. “Put the best team out there. Play to the best of our abilities. We’ve just got to take it one step at a time and see how things go.”

The Tigers were scheduled to open the season at home against Pleasantville, at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29. They play again at noon Saturday, Aug. 31, at Briarcliff.