Hard-working, self-motivated kids are behind Somers High School’s three-season success in sports, according to Roman Catalino, the school’s director of athletics. Catalino, a firm believer that success feeds on success, says, “The kids see one team become successful, and that makes them try harder themselves.”
About 60 percent of the school’s 1,100 students participate in sports and athletics, sometimes with remarkable results. This past fall, Tony DeMatteo became the first coach ever to lead a team to 300 wins in New York State Section 1 football. Somers has earned championships and titles in a gamut of other activities, including soccer, golf, track, cross-country, baseball, and wrestling.
“There’s a lot of enthusiasm and support from the parents, the community, and the administration,” Catalino says. “We have a good turnout for all of the games, not just the major sports. Youth-program kids come to the games, too, with an eye to the future.”
Grooming future leaders is an important component of the Somers athletic program. The school recently instituted SALT (Somers Athlete Leadership Training) to work with select younger student athletes with leadership potential. The coaches talk to them about leadership and “things we think are important in the community,” such as poise, team spirit, and self-control. The message they hope to impart is, “It’s very important to be good community people, leaders, not just athletes” on and off the field.
Students from Somers athletic programs typically go on to study and play at Division I, II, and III schools.
Also Distinguished: Bronxville High School, John Jay High School, and New Rochelle High School also have gained recognition for great teams, regardless of the season.