SOMERS, N.Y. Somers High School football coach Tony DeMatteo knows he has a chance at 300 wins this season.
DeMatteo, the winningest coach in Section 1 history with 292 victories, needs just eight more wins to reach the milestone. But at practice Thursday, the coach focused on the impending start of the season.
I guess its important. It just means Ive been around a long time, DeMatteo said of the 300-win mark. Im excited about it but Im more excited about the season. If we hit 300 this year, were having a great year. Thats going to be more important to me and Ill enjoy it after the seasons over. But it is a milestone and I cant ignore it.
DeMatteo has coached for 43 years, 13 at Somers and 30 at Roosevelt High School in Yonkers. And this year, he has a shot at history with a strong Tuskers squad.
The coach said Somers strength is in its first unit, but the backups must get up to snuff. The coach likes to play 22 to 25 players per game and does not typically let a starter play the entire game, including the quarterback.
Im rotating everybody. The kids I want to rotate in have to get a little better, DeMatteo said. But Im very happy with the first unit.
Part of that first unit is senior fullback and linebacker Joe Lombardo. The fullback said the teams offensive line, comprised of players 6 feet, 4 inches or taller, will be instrumental in Somers success this year. For his part, the senior said he wants to be the best leader he can and make sure no one gets down after a poor play or series.
Lombardo has a chance to be part of history in his last year at Somers but he, like his coach, just wants to focus on winning each game.
Its going to be really cool. I think its going to be a very cool experience for us, Lombardo said. Were not really going to look at it like that. Were just going to take it game by game and hopefully get him to 300.
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