New System For Crusaders

The first year of leading a sport is often a transition period.

For new Saint Louis boys head soccer coach Don Mangiarelli, implementing his own style should be enhanced by the team’s natural athletic ability.

“Our athleticism is our strength,” said Mangiarelli, who also coaches with Rush Soccer during the Club season. “Our kids are big, strong and fast, and it’s an extremely fun group to coach. We’re looking forward to a competitive season in the ILH. That’s our goal.”

One priority is the new system. The team “will be moving toward a more possession-oriented style.

“We want to possess more,” Mangiarelli explained. “It’s coming along slower than I’d like, but it’s a process and it’s not going to happen overnight.

“What I like best is their effort. They come to practice every day with an open mind and a willingness to learn. We’re bringing in a completely new way for them to play.

Most of our kids don’t play soccer year-round, just during the high school season, and they’ve been putting in an extraordinary effort to learn the new system.”

Mangiarelli is expecting a corps of talented senior captains in Jeff Jorgenson, Seamus Hurley and Adam Kawamoto this winter, with Jorgenson slated as goalkeeper.

“Jeff brings good leadership and gives 110 percent to everything he does on the field.”

Hurley is a “center defender,” in Mangiarelli’s terminology, while Kawamoto is a center-midfielder.

“Seamus is a quiet leader and a solid defender,” he said. “The team looks up to him for the same reasons (they look up to Jorgenson).

“He’s like E.F. Hutton. When he talks, people listen to him. He’s one who has a lot of charisma.

“Adam is a former Rush player,” he added. “He’s quick and shifty, has a great skill set and great vision to be able to see the field. The kids look up to him because of his playing ability.”

Saint Louis faces Kalaheo at 10 a.m. Saturday in preseason play; its ILH opener is 4:15 p.m. Dec. 11 versus Pac-5. Both games are at home.