Somers Blazers Suit Up for National Games

The 10U Somers Blazers team. Credits: John Vera

SOMERS, N.Y. — When you have a dedicated group of young soccer players, it makes sense to take the next step.

“We pulled this team together from a bunch of different Somers AYSO teams and picked the best of the group,” co-coach Chris Maciulewicz said. “We nominated the team to go to Florida this summer. But because the kids have never played together before, we split off from the normal AYSO group and joined the travel season.”

The Somers U10 Blazers (6-1) will wrap up their season at the biennial AYSO National Games from July 5-10 in West Palm Beach, Florida. Ten of the 12 children and their families will make the trip down south as Somers will compete with premier AYSO teams from different regions of the country.

Sign Up for E-News

“There will be 10 to 16 other U10 boys teams that we are going to play against,” co-coach John Vera said. “We are scheduled to have two games a day for three days. The fourth day we are going to have some sort of playoff, and the fifth day we may have a little championship game just for bragging rights.”

Somers has taken on teams from all over Westchester County this year, and most recently knocked off Croton Harmon, 9-2. Even though the national tournament should be more competitive, the 600,000 AYSO clubs around the country pride themselves on sportsmanship.

“Everybody has to play at least 50 percent of the game,” Maciulewicz said. “There’s a lot of rules that make it engaging for the kids so that they don’t have to sit on the sideline if they’re not as good as the other players.”

Player Andrew Fasone’s mother Michelle has watched the season’s transformation of the young Blazers.

“It’s just been nice to see the boys grow,” Michelle said. “They knew each other in school but they have now really come to be friends. You have seen the development on the field in skills and in the team effort. The idea of them staying together would be nice because I can only imagine it getting better.”

Keeping the crew together is something that everybody would want to see.

“Our goal is to keep these boys together and have them play,” Vera said. “The national games happen every two years. Next year they are going to be eligible for U12 and we may be trying to keep the three or four boys that are underage on the U12 team to keep the team together.”

For player Drew Maciulewicz’s mother Wendy, it’s crystal clear that the Blazers have formed smooth chemistry.

“They are such a team in the real sense of the word,” Wendy said. “They have been playing for a couple of months now and you can just tell that they trust each other. They have all become friends at such a young age. They don’t all go to the same school, but it doesn’t matter.”

Drew’s brother Jacob described how the team’s grand formation coincidentally fell into place.

“We had just found out that my little brother had been invited to this team,” Jacob said. “We weren’t sure if we would be able to go, and then my dad got invited to be a coach. A number of things kind of collided.”

Sending the team to Florida though has been the challenge. The Blazers have been doing tons of fundraising to help get these families to the Sunshine State. The website for donation is There will also be a charity fundraising garage sale this Saturday, June 25.

“I played at a national level as a kid with my father as my coach from when I was five years old to when I graduated high school,” Chris Maciulewicz said. “Honestly that’s been my motivation with my son to give him the same experience. I remember the vibe and excitement. It’s an experience that they will never forget.”


Top row, from left: coach John Vera, Aiden Meza, Edon Ukaj, Bryce Vera, Andrew Fasone, Ryan Paucar, Christian Dotto, coach Chris Maciulewicz. Middle row, from left: Sebastian Wissa, Alexander Wissa, John King, Hayden Carbonaro. Bottom row: Daniel Gomes, Drew Maciulewicz.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


'Help Me! Get Me Out of Here!'

Last week I chatted with a long-time friend from my IBM days. We caught up on our families, friends, thoughts about the world and whatever else came to mind. We revisited, finally with humor, the time we got stuck in the elevator at work. Mind you, she suffers from claustrophobia.

“Claustrophobia: the fear of being enclosed in a small space or room and having no escape.” I’ve ...

Greetings From Pyeongchang

For those of you who are too busy to watch the Winter Olympics this year, I have been covering the events for The Somers Record. It all started with the opening ceremonies, which, using complicated special effects and choreography, told the story of five Korean children who travel from the past to the future, learning of the country’s history and culture. They return to the present, where ...

An Ongoing Comedy of Errors

Shelley Berman, where are you? My sister and I have just experienced one of your hysterical sketches in real life.

For those who don’t remember or weren’t around, Shelley Berman was a monologist back in the 1970s whose routine usually consisted of frustrating telephone encounters. In one of his most famous skits, he engages in conversation with a telephone operator in a department ...

Should Valentine's Day Be Celebrated at School?

Dear Dr. Linda,

I’ve been a third-grade teacher for over 20 years and have never allowed my students to celebrate Valentine’s Day in my class. I know my colleagues think I’m mean, but I’m refusing to celebrate it for many reasons.

1) Children hand out cards to each other and there’s always some child left out or who gets very few; 2) Children are always asked ...

I Love 'I Hate Hamlet'

Let’s face it, folks. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not even all actors. Andrew Rally is one of them. In fact, where there’s a Will, there’s a way Andrew will find to avoid acting in one of those famously timeless plays. And for good reason. Shakespeare tests, to the fullest, an actor’s mettle, and Andrew is strictly a TV actor.

He has just ended a star turn in the ...

I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, February 24, 10:00 AM

Jefferson Valley Mall , Yorktown Heights

Yorktown Indoor Farmers Market

Food & Drink Health & Wellness

Sun, February 25, 10:30 AM

Yorktown Heights

Kids Hamantash Bake

Religions And Spirituality

Mon, February 26, 7:00 PM

Westchester Collaborative Theater, Ossining

WCT Scene/Monologue Study Open For Enrollment Now

Arts & Entertainment Education Other

NYSEG Customers 'Deserve an Explanation' of Ballooning Rates

February 22, 2018

The following is a letter sent by Hudson Valley lawmakers to Carl Taylor, president of NYSEG:

Our offices have been inundated with [calls from] frustrated constituents who have recently received their electric bills for the month of January. Some claim their bills have quadrupled compared to the previous month. A recent review of your website shows no issuance of a press release to customers ...

Cuba Goes Country

February 16, 2018


RELEASE: “Cuba Goes County” to be held at The Palmer in Cuba, NY.

For more information or to schedule and interview, contact Theater Manager Michele Conklin at (585) 209-5512.

The Palmer Opera House is hosting “Cuba Goes Country” on Sunday March 11th- at 2:00 PM

Come join us for a boot stompin', toe tappin' afternoon of country ...

'Are You Friggin' Kidding Me?'

February 15, 2018

Faye M. DeSanto

Guest Columnist

I never watched the hit TV Show “Mad Men.” My best friend, who rarely watches TV, recommended it to me when it was gaining its first good reviews. I said, “I lived through that time period. I can see no good coming from reminding men about that sexist era.” Little did I know how right I was.

My husband drooled over the short-lived ...