My name is Matthew Mihalik, I graduated from Wayne valley in 2016, and although my time with Coach Roca was brief the memories are everlasting.

We weren’t the most talented team my senior season which was his first year as head coach, but that didn’t matter to him.

Right before our semi-finals game against Clifton I sat with coach Roca in the locker room I was telling him how nervous i was. Being a goalie you feel like almost all the pressure is on you if you make a mistake. But his words helped give me the confidence to play in that game, as well as the game we call life.

Sign Up for Wayne Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

That season we ended up making it to the county finals making us I believe the lowest seed to ever play in the Passaic county finals.

His approach and passion for the game helped my teammates and I establish a winning culture and ultimately giving us the confidence to not only be successful in soccer but post graduation, in the real world.

Regardless of how some parents may feel about his coaching decisions, his approach is so much more than soccer it’s about working hard whether in the classroom for a grade, earning more minutes on your team, or someday in your professional career, because in the real world you aren’t just handed what you feel like you deserve, and that’s what I think Sam tries to implement into his coaching methods. To this day I still have a strong relationship with Coach Roca, as I help him catch a few W’s in his men’s league games when he needs a goalie. Thank you for your time.


Matthew Mihalik #12