Photo by William Young: “Milan warms up for an epic tilt against Arsenal.”
The famous Brazilian soccer star Pele once said, “Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” All six Larchmont-Mamaroneck Recreational Soccer League teams are striving for success this fall, and they all have one goal: take home the championship.
Every year that passes, recreational soccer becomes more and more popular, attracting some of the best non-varsity players that Mamaroneck High School has to offer. Outsiders may believe that the league is a joke, but it’s not. It’s one of the most intense and competitive places you can showcase your talents. Aidan Larned ’17, one of Arsenal’s top players, expressed the intensity that takes place on the field, saying, “To win. I play rec to win.” Even Jack Spiridellis ’17, captain of the varsity soccer team, played a season of rec soccer a few years back. He described the experience: “Varsity is amazing. Playing under the lights is one of my favorite parts of high school. But it pales in comparison to Larchmont Rec Soccer. Waking up on Sunday morning, knowing that I could help my team bring home the championship is what I live for. The sweet smell of the unevenly cut Hommocks Grass and the squish of the goose poop as I walk onto the pitch is a feeling I will never forget for the rest of my life.”
Arsenal, currently undefeated, has established itself as the team to beat this year. The team has a plethora of strong seniors, an abundance of young freshmen, and nobody has been able to compete with them thus far. Larned described why he thinks they are going to win: “Our team has a great cast of kids from all grades who can positively contribute to the team both on and off the field. In the rare instance that a team of this caliber is formed, the possibilities are endless and in none of these scenarios do I see the Arsenal Gunners not bringing home a championship.”
Arsenal’s biggest competitors are Madrid and Milan, two teams that have both seasoned veterans and young talent. Madrid’s top assets are midfielder Henry Alimanestianu ’17, goalie Max Plonsker ’17 and strikers Spencer Stendig ’17 and Colin Lavan ’18. All four upperclassmen have experience in the league and have what it takes to put together some gutsy wins and compete with the best. Milan is led by seniors Jake Firestein ’17 and Jack Mollin ’17, but also has some young talent in JB Conner ’19, Brodie Fierstein and Henry Eaton ’19. While they aren’t the strongest team, they’re just a few wins away from asserting themselves in the discussion of title-contenders; anything can happen in this league.
The season is still in its infancy and there is still a lot more soccer ahead of us. If you have nothing to do on Saturday morning, head on down to the Alma Turf or Hommocks Fields to check out the rec soccer scene; you won’t regret it.
By William Young