SPRINGFIELD, NJ – At the 2017 Sports Awards, Coach Fabiano started off by thanking his coaches, Dan and Matt. He also thanked all in the Athletic Department, which he called “…a real class act.” The he thanked the parents, relatives, friends and fans of Dayton soccer and said “…you were the 12th player on the field.”
“We had a great season” the coach said. He said it was great season because the Bulldogs did something difficult, they repeated their success of the prior year as Sectional Champions. They did it despite losing 13 seniors from last year’s team.
The coach said, “Our initial objective was to have a winning season and make the state tournament.” He went on to say, “Our captains and the few veterans left were able, with very little directive from the coaching staff, to convey to the rest of the team our basic philosophy: Pride, tradition, self-discipline, hard work and fun. Having a team that works hard while having fun is a dream of every coach. I lived the dream this year.”
There were signs something special might be happening before the season began. Coach Fabiano said, “The initial 30-minute run of practice is liked least by the players. Well, not this team. During the hot and sultry days of a dying August met the early days of a cooler September, they kept on running. They seemed not to mind it. In fact, I heard then singing once. I don’t know what they were singing, but the sound was melodic and the voices were distinct but unified.”
He then said, “Unity was probably the trade mark of this team. Playing as a team was the single most important factor responsible for our success. Even in the games we lost there was never a blaming moment. Everyone was supportive of each other.”
The Jonathan Dayton Bulldogs ended with a record of 18-4-1. For every one goal the opponents scored, Dayton scored four. They extended the winning seasons streak to 18 and one the Sectional Tournament of the State for the second straight year despite losing 13 seniors from last year’s team and battling many injuries this year. A great season.
Coach Fabiano’s team member specific comments started with the team managers and he said, “Our lovely and very effective managers. They were precise on recording stats and our greatest fans.”
They were second year managers senior Lauren Rechner and senior Holly Wilson, and first year manager freshman Abigail Wilson.
Then he talked about three players that did such a great job playing for the JV and freshman team that they were brought up to varsity. He said they are different in “…style of play and position, but they have one thing in common; I think they can be future stars.”
They are all first-year players and include sophomore Spencer Gary, freshman Jeremy Dash and freshman Jack Wolcott.
The next group of players had limited playing time but improved tremendously “…since joining the team. They are team players who made practices very competitive and effective.
All first year players, they include senior Ansh Baxi, senior Chuck Ofidike, senior Anthony Machado and junior Evan Berkowitz.
Then Coach Fabiano make comments on each of the following players
The First Year Players
Sophomore Bertram Groenborg: This was his first year on the team for this exchange student. He started a little out of shape and rusty, and played JV for a while. But he moved to varsity half way through the season and started in the all state games. Great job!
Senior Francisco Barbosa: He was coming along beautifully. We could have used his speed and energy. Unfortunately, he got hurt just after scoring a nice goal and we lost him for the season.
Freshman Aiden Forys: When he was in seventh grade he attended the Soccer Dinner to support his brother Bryce. We gave Aiden a special award, The Future Future Future Future Future Star player at Dayton Award. Well, that was intended to be funny, but I guess he took seriously. In fact, this year as a fresh man, he exceeded all expectation. He started in the very sensitive position of center back, played every minute of every game, did a fantastic job, played like a veteran, and was named to the top 50 freshmen in the State.
The Two-Year Players
Senior Scott Maran: And that’s what we are talking about; players who step up, when other leave. Last year Scott saw limited action, this year he took over and became a key player. Despite being hurt towards the latter part of the season, Scott scored 14 goals and had two assists. Well done Scott
Senior William Hodic: Will came out as a junior. He was the backup goalie last year. This year he was superb, and at times spectacular. He had 12 shut outs in 23 games and allowed less than one goal per game. In the tradition of good goal keepers at Dayton, he stands among the elites.
Junior Vincent Pulice: He contributed a great deal to our 18-4-1 record. He started many games and is a good technical player. I expect him to be a key player next year.
Sophomore Christian Mancini: He played in many games and always made an impact. Expectations are high for this player.
Sophomore Patrick Machado: He got some action and always did well. We needed his speed and energy in the final vs. Secaucus. He did a great job and we expect him to step up next year and be a big player.
Senior Nicholas McNamee: Nico is a very technical player. He had a very important role on this team and he scored four goals and had four assists. His most memorable is the goal he scored in overtime to beat New Providence.
Sophomore Ian Drogowitz: He was one of the most improved players. Ian plays as a forward and outside mid. He scored five goals and had one assist.
Sophomore Jagger Kebea: Jagger is both technical and aggressive on the field. He is the perfect dropped or defensive midfield and he was named one of the 50 outstanding sophomores in New Jersey. Jagger scored four goals, which included a real gem the goal against Hillside. He also had four assists.
Sophomore Hunter Gollin: Last year as a freshman he started as a right full back. This year, he played center back and he did a fantastic job. Hunter is one of the player we count on to
continue to be a competitive team. He was named one of the top 50 sophomores in the state. He scored three goals including the one to knock off top seeded New Providence in the tournament.
The Three-Year Players
Senior Diogo Barros: Diogo is an exciting player when he combines his outstanding skills and energy. He missed games due to injury at the beginning of the season. During the season I needed him as a forward and he responded with great performances. He scored 12 goals and was definitely a catalyst in the state tournament.
Senior Jordan Wendolowski: Jordan is a skilled and tough player. He was a steady contributor at the beginning of the season. Then we lost him for most of the season due to an injury. Fortunately, we got him back for the state tournament and he did a great job.
Junior Elie Kapengut: Elie is a tough defender. He never gives up and is one of the most improved players. A future leader, he got hurt in the semifinal of the tournament against Glen Ridge. We lost him for the remainder of the season. Next year, he is Captain Elie Kapengut!
The Four Year Senior Captains
Senior Sean Martin: And then you have players who are very important to the team; the kind of players who sacrifice their position to help the team. These are players who sweat the shirt and players who contribute in every game. Sean Martin was this kind of player. He has very good skills and is a great athlete. Not only did he contribute with his defensive skills, but with his repeated selective offensive runs he often ripped apart the opposing midfield and defense. He was also fast enough to come back in his full back position. This year he came up very big for us and definitely was one of the most important players on the team.
Senior Bryce Forys: What can I say about Bryce? Any adjective would not be sufficient. He is a great leader. He always used good judgement in keeping the team together. He was always positive and upbeat. As a player, he was a tremendous midfielder. Bryce had the arduous job of playing two positions at the same time, defending and initiating the attack. He did a great job in helping the defense. The opponents scored only 20 goals in 23 games and on the offense, we scored 83 goals. Bryce had 17 assists he also was directly involved in many of our goals. A solid person and a great player.
Senior Anthony Nagy: Anthony is a catalyst, the player who makes it happen both as a finisher and as a setup man. He is one of the most prolific scorers in the county and state. This year he finished with 28 goals and 19 assists. Anthony is a very exciting player to watch for his ability to take on more than one opponent at the same time. However, I believe that this year Anthony has grown to be a much better player, a more complete player. His decision making has been perfect. His ability to defend, distribute the ball and make runs without the ball has been just great. For the record Anthony, with 63 goals scored in his career, has tied Carmen Santarella as the second highest scorer in Dayton soccer history. He played represented Dayton in the New Jersey’s North South game.