Mike Zacchio here again with my recap from Clarkstown South. I’ll embed my video interview with Deanna Trongone later.
WEST NYACK — Entering this season, there were plenty of names that Clarkstown South expected not to have on its roster this year. Olivia Szeker-Cortes’ was not one of them.
The senior, who emerged as one of the area’s top strikers last year, did not show up for the opening day of tryouts and will not play out her senior year on the varsity, according to junior varsity coach Brian Peterson.
“I don’t know why she’s not playing,” Peterson said. “It’s a decision (her family) made, and you have to live with it. You have to respect that decision.” Peterson said that he believes Szeker-Cortes will play college at UNC-Wilmington and that she will likely still play club ball.
“I wish her luck, she’s a great kid, great player, but unfortunately we’re not going to have her this year,” Peterson said. Vikings head coach Tom Rolston was not at practice Tuesday and was unavailable for comment.
Under Rolston, who took over four years ago, the Vikings have enjoyed tremendous success, posting a 55-16-5 record, with at least a dozen wins in each season. Clarkstown South lost in the Class AA section finals in 2011 and 2013.
Peterson expects the team to feel some “growing pains” this year, with many of the team’s position anchors graduated. All-state defender Laura Rolston, goalkeeper Laura Castaldo and center midfielders Carly Glaser and Briana Jean-Charles are just a few of the many players the Vikings will attempt to replace this year.
The Vikings held two informal scrimmages on Tuesday, mixing the junior varsity and varsity hopefuls together. Peterson estimated that approximately 20 freshman were trying out.
Junior defender Deanna Trongone (pictured below) looks like she will be the prime candidate to fill Rolston’s shoes on defense. Trongone was a leader both vocally and physically on Tuesday, showcasing her ability step into a larger role on both fronts.
“It’s going to be hard, but hopefully I can accomplish (as much as Rolston) and live up to her,” said Trongone, who expects the team’s midfield section to be an area of focus.
Peterson said that Clarkstown South will likely be overlooked this season, which may be a good thing. “I don’t think people are expecting a lot out of us,” he said. “The past couple of years, we’ve been the center of the bull’s eye, now we’re like the yellow, outer edge of it.
“The focus is not going to be on us, so hopefully we can sneak up on people and have a real good season,” he added.
Photo credit: The Journal News