Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
In a must win game at long time rival Cambria Height’s home field, the BU17 Port Washington Predators prevailed 2 to 1 to become the Long Island Junior Soccer League’s Division One Champion with a 7-2-0 record.
The Predator story is an inspiring one. Formed eight years ago, the team entered Long Island Junior Soccer’s BU10 age group placed at the bottom, in Division Eight. The early days were difficult. The team lost their first seven games by an average score of 5 to 0, until they finally tied a game.
“I remember all the players and parents storming the field after that first tie,” said Jordan Finkle, tri-captain. “It felt like we won the World Cup! We’ve achieved a lot since then and I couldn’t be more proud of my fellow teammates. We stuck together, worked hard for eight years and steadily improved until we reached the top of the hardest division in the league. Now we are champions.”
One of the primary reasons for the team’s continued success is the dedication of their coaching staff, in particular, trainer/coach Dean Moraitis, founder of the European American Soccer Academy of Port Washington. “Dean’s focus on conditioning and tactics has made us the team we are today, said tri-captain Arjan Saraon. “More importantly, Dean’s ability to read game situations and make critical adjustments, put us in the best position to win games.”
In addition to the Predators, Dean also trains and coaches the undefeated BU11 Division Seven Champion, Port Washington Torpedoes. “This season was especially bittersweet,” said tri-captain Brian Aronow. “Two players broke their collarbones while competing. It was a very tough and physical division, but in the end, we prevailed.”
What’s next for the Predators? According to the coaching staff, they are exploring the New York and New England premiere leagues, and will make a decision in the near future. For youth sports teams experiencing early disappointment, the Predator coaching staff would like to encourage you to keep plugging away and always remember that its not where you start, its where you finish!