There are a number of fresh faces on the Cazenovia junior varsity boys soccer team this year, and not only the eighth-grade players are new.
Head coach and native Cazenovian, Danny Polsin, has led the Laker team to a winning record of 9-1-1 (so far) in his first year on the job.
He credits the talented roster, and their shared love of soccer for the continued success the team is experiencing this season.
“I’ve got a great bunch of players. I came into an awesome situation, with talented players who want to be on the field. They can be goofy sometimes, but when it gets down to gametime, they get intense and they want to win,” Polsin said. “Just coming back to be a part of the Cazenovia program is rewarding, though. This place has given so much to me over the years, I’m happy to give back.”
Polsin manages 20 boys, ages 13 to 15 on a daily basis during practice at the Sean Googin Sports Complex. Having just recently defeated the rival Lakers of Skaneateles, the team has only experienced one loss and one draw this season.
The squad’s gameplay illustrates their firm grasp on fundamentals, knowledge of the sport’s strategies and their ability to execute Polsin’s custom-designed plays.
Eli LaGorga, a freshman striker and one of the team’s leading scorers, attributes Polsin’s authoritative yet understanding approach to coaching for their success this season. “He is a great coach. He gets us pumped up and excited for every game. Even though we were jokers at the beginning of the season, he straightened us out during practices,” he said. “Once we had the loss against Westhill, he got us on a workout plan. We’ve been doing great since; it feels like no one can touch us.”
While he was a student of the Cazenovia Central School District, Polsin played soccer almost every season from kindergarten through senior year. His final year on the varsity team, he was named a captain.
Following commencement from Cazenovia High School with the class of 2006, Polsin attended SUNY Brockport, receiving a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education in 2010. Upon graduation, Polsin found work as a substitute teacher for area schools, and was given the opportunity to cut his teeth as an assistant coach for Chittenango’s modified soccer team last year.
After responding to a classified advertisement, Polsin was welcomed back into the Cazenovia Central School District, this time as a coach. While he is currently looking for a full-time teaching position, Polsin said he would enjoy the opportunity to continue coaching for the Lakers in future seasons.
Besides Polsin, his players, their parents and the school district are also pleased with the team’s successful season.
Cazenovia Athletic Director Mike Byrnes, one of the people who hired Polsin to fill the position, described his satisfaction with employing an alumnus and having the program continue to excel.
“Dan has been a tremendous addition to the boys soccer coaching staff. It gives me great satisfaction to see one of our own return to the program and give back to the school and community as a mentor for our young students,” Byrnes said. “Dan was a hardworking player and enthusiastic student-athlete in high school; I know these characteristics will serve him well as a soccer coach.”
Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or firstname.lastname@example.org.