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Somers Football Coach Enters Season With Chance At History

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 it’s important. It just means I’ve been around a long time,” DeMatteo said of the 300-win mark. “I’m excited about it but I’m more excited about the season. If we hit 300 this year, we’re having a great year. That’s going to be more important to me and I’ll enjoy it after the season’s over. But it is a milestone and I can’t 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.

“I’m rotating everybody. The kids I want to rotate in have to get a little better,” DeMatteo said. “But I’m very happy with the first unit.”

Part of that first unit is senior fullback and linebacker Joe Lombardo. The fullback said the team’s 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.

“It’s going to be really cool. I think it’s going to be a very cool experience for us,” Lombardo said. “We’re not really going to look at it like that. We’re just going to take it game by game and hopefully get him to 300.”

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