But even DeMatteo, who has served as mentor to countless area coaches at various levels, has rarely tasted the elusive air of the state championship game.
DeMatteo and his Somers team topped Burnt Hills in a state semifinal game Friday night, earning the program's first-ever trip to the state championship game, to be played Friday at 3 p.m. at the Carrier Dome.
The coach, who spent 31 years at Roosevelt in Yonkers and is in his 16th season at Somers, got to the Dome in 1996 with Roosevelt, winning a state title, but that was his only state final appearance, making Friday's game even more special.
After this past weekend's semifinal win in Kingston, it was obvious that the coach was thrilled for the players, and the players were thrilled to be taking their coach and mentor back to the state championship game.
Watch the video to see Daily Voice talk to DeMatteo about career highlights, what it means to reach the state championship game and more.
To view a game story of Friday night's semifinal victory with a photo gallery, click here.
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