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Millbrook’s fall teams hit the fields

Millbrook — Though school doesn’t start until next week, Millbrook Central School District’s student athletes turned out for tryouts beginning Monday, Aug. 22. The football team will play the first game of the season Friday, Sept. 2, while other teams will start competing once classes begin.Brian Devincenzi, director of athletics, said participation is high. “We probably have, from modified up to varsity, 60 percent participation give or take a little,” said Devincenzi. “But for the most part, 60 percent of the student athletes grades seven through 12 participate in something throughout the year.”Kyle Shoemaker, head of the boys varsity soccer team, has been coaching in Millbrook for 25 years. He discussed his thoughts on the approaching soccer season.“We are pretty young this year, although we are all on the same page,” said Shoemaker. “I am optimistic that once we get into the season we will come along fine. We have a good turnout. We have a varsity and a junior varsity combined coming to about 30 students. Our first scrimmage is next Thursday.”The girls varsity and JV soccer teams have begun early-morning tryouts for the season as well. Sean Mcguigan will be coaching the girls soccer team this year for the first time as head coach.“This year is probably the most talented girls team that we have had, from what I have heard,” said Mcguigan. “They have a chance to get to regionals. The goal this year is to get to states. We should win sectionals this year. We only have five seniors; the bulk is the juniors. Everyone is finally catching up, and all those years of work are adding up.”Monica Koralus, a junior on the team, said she is ready for the season.“ I am excited; we worked hard to get to this point,” she said. ”We have all been playing together for a while and this will definitely be our best year.”Koralus said she has been playing soccer for 13 years and still loves it.“It is my favorite sport,” said Koralus. “My dad inspired me to play. He played in Poland as a professional.”While Devincenzi said he is pleased at the high turnout for fall sports, he said he was also concerned about the condition of Millbrook’s athletic facilities. The topic of improving the facilities, including installing artifical turf, comes up often at the Board of Education’s meetings. Devincenzi said that the teams have done a great job with the facilities that they have, but since the practice field is also the game field, every season the fields take a beating. The boys soccer coach agreed.“I have been coaching 25 years here and the drainage has deteriorated in the fields,” Shoemaker said. “In late October, during the end of the season, it’s become completely a mud slick because we have over 100 kids playing on one field, between the boys and the girls.”Devincenzi added that the school doesn’t have a track for home meets.“Those kids should have a opportunity to have a home track meet, but unfortunately we can’t right now,” he said. “But those are the circumstances and we deal with what we have and move forward.”Devincenzi pointed out that upgraded facilities would benefit the community as well as the students.“If we were fortunate enough to get a field that has lights and then have more night contests, that would open up opportunities for the community and parents to participate even more,” he said. “To me, night games are about the community. Have some dinner and then come see a game. It’s a win-win for everybody.”Regardless, the director of athletics said he hopes students have a good experience playing sports.“Overall, I want the students to work hard daily and to compete,” said Devincenzi. “Most of all, I want them to be good citizens on and off the field, do well in the classroom. And most importantly, represent the school district and the community well on the playing field when they wear the jersey of Millbrook.”For information on the Millbrook Central School District fall athletic schedule, go to www.millbrookcsd.org.

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