New this fall, Community Middle School welcomed girls and boys soccer to its extracurricular lineup for students. The Knights made an impressive impact, winning two league championships in the program’s first year. A total of 45 student-athletes participated this season on the boys and girls teams.
Coach Anthony Melesurgo, Bound Brook High School special education teacher and coach of the varsity basketball team, took on his first-year coaching soccer. He was impressed by the players’ commitment during the program’s kickoff.
“They worked hard this season, practicing almost every day we didn’t have a game. I’m excited to watch this program develop and see the team progress even up through high school,” Coach Melesurgo said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls.”
Last November, a question rolled in during Dr. Freeman Friday – a social media series where Superintendent of Schools Dr. Alvin Freeman answers community questions. It was a request for more athletic programs at the middle school level, specifically for a soccer program.
Coincidently, conversations surrounding bolstering athletics at the high school were circulating among the administration. One solution was to create more programs at the middle school level.
“Strong feeder programs positively impact the strength of high school sports,” said Coach Melesurgo. “The team is already learning to build trust and confidence, so when they reach high school, that bond will only become more cohesive and more success will be evident.”
Seventh grader Megan Jannuzzi is proud of what the team accomplished in its first season and hopes to inspire younger students to get involved in the soccer program.
“We had a fun season learning and playing together. Winning a championship was awesome especially in our first year,” Megan said. “We hope that kids in the younger grades see all that we did this season, and we want to keep working hard so they can be a part of future middle school girls soccer teams.”
The boys team finished the season strong and won the middle school championship for their conference. Coach Ralph DeSordi, physical education teacher at Smalley Elementary School and basketball coach, is proud of the team for meeting the goal they set during week one of the season and excited to see what the team will achieve moving forward.
“These boys bought into the meaning of team from day one. Everyone wants to be a striker; everyone wants to be the one to score goals. On this team, everyone bought into their role,” said Coach DeSordi. “They did what would be best for the team and that mentality is what made us so successful.”
Much like other Bound Brook School District programs, there is a strong sense of community collaboration. Both teams supported each other in the stands. The Bound Brook High School Crusaders frequently cheered on the CMS Knights and offered advice throughout the season. Coach Melesurgo credits varsity girls soccer Coach Alex Chinich for inspiring the young athletes.
“Coach Chinch motivated them to play harder and began to build a relationship with the players. They are excited to continue at the high school level,” Melesurgo said. The teams will celebrate their incredible season with a banquet with their families. Next fall, the team is enthusiastic to build upon successes and continue to hone their teamwork.