SOMERS, N.Y. -- How time flies. It hardly seems possible that Tony DeMatteo - the Dean of Westchester football coaches - is starting his 15th season at Somers this fall - after spending 31 years at Roosevelt prior to that.
DeMatteo has led the Tuskers to three Section 1 titles during his tenure, and last year's squad finished at 7-2, losing in the sectional semifinals to Rye.
DeMatteo said Somers fans have a lot to be excited about this fall.
"We have a brand new team," DeMatteo told Daily Voice on Monday, the first day of official varsity practice for the upcoming season. "And we have probably the most difficult schedule since I've been here. So it will be a challenge. That makes it exciting for me, I'm looking forward to it."
The coach mentioned some names he's building around.
"Aldo Kaczmarkiewicz (Sr, DE/G), Tom Castelluccio (Sr T/DT), Jason Holland (Sr WR/CB) and Messiah Horne (Jr FB/SS) - those are four kids I think are going to be pretty good," DeMatteo said. "But we'll play a lot of kids. ... Those are the four we'll build everything around. And we have a quarterback, Grant Tragni, who is back, and we have a junior, Joe Napolitano, and a sophomore, Kevin Olifiers."
DeMatteo's approach won't change.
"It's the same philosophy I've always had," he said. "We don't worry about who we're playing - we try to get better every day. If we do that, I usually win."
Somers, which was ranked third in the section, opens the season facing Rye - ranked the top team in the section. "That's going to be a very difficult opener," DeMatteo said.
Then the coach mentioned his record - 42-3 - on opening days. "In opening games, I've only lost three in 45 years," DeMatteo said with a smile.
DeMatteo and the Tuskers will try to add to that win total Friday, Sept. 4, when they host Rye at 7 p.m.
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