Ludlow Soccer ready for new season


Luke Afonso, Guest Writer

As the national anthem comes to an end and all the players clap as they take their starting positions, packed stands start to erupt.  The Western Mass championship game is about to begin with both Ludlow and East Longmeadow eager to call themselves Western Mass Champions.  The starting whistle blows and both teams spring into action.  Ludlow takes an early lead thanks to junior Captain Sam Cocchi’s goal.  With the wind in their sails, Ludlow didn’t hold back the scoring ultimately catching East Longmeadow off guard winning the Western Mass Championships 5-0.  

Full of joy, Sam Cocchi and coach Greg Kolodziey are already looking forward to the next season. 

“We want more”

After a disappointing but impressive run for Ludlow in the state championship,  Cocchi has his eyes set on the title for the 2022-2023 upcoming season.  “Of course, there’s nothing I want more for next year,” Cocchi answered when asked if he thinks the state title is in reach for Ludlow next year.  

Joining the team as a freshman on varsity, Cocchi has spent his whole time at Ludlow High devoted to the soccer team.  He has scored many goals, recorded many assists, and became a western mass champ.  The only title he needs to fully complete his soccer career at Ludlow is the State Championship.

“I’m extremely excited”

Mixed emotions fill coach Greg Kolodziey’s head as he watches his successful senior leaders of the team graduate from Ludlow.  “I’m happy for what we accomplished this year but next year I believe we will do better,” Kolodziey said when asked what he felt about this year and what he thinks about the upcoming season.  Kolodziey has previously won the State Championship with older teams.  When asked if he thinks next year’s team is capable of winning the title again he responded, “I’ve won the title before and with next year’s team I think without a doubt the talent to win it again is there we just need to play it game by game”.

“The upcoming senior class has a lot of leaders including Sam, Matt, and Ben and overall the class is the heart of our team and I am excited to work with them”. 

“I have high hopes”

With Ludlow being a familiar face around the state championship and the western mass championship almost every year, not only do Sam and Greg have high expectations for the team but so do the other members of the squad.  “Although the team was phenomenal last year I expect more from myself and the team for this upcoming season,” said Ludlow’s top goalscorer Enzo Botta after being asked about his expectations for the upcoming year.  

With the school year coming to an end and the start of the summer league upon the team players are getting ready to get back into action.  With high hopes for the season, Ludlow looks forward to preseason as they evaluate and prepare themselves for the fall season.  I am sure that each and every one of Ludlow’s squad members have a clear-cut view of the goals for the season and are ready to take what slipped out of their hands last year… the state championship.

“Preparation for the fall”

With the summer league season only a couple of weeks away Kolodziey is ready to start evaluating and constructing his team for the upcoming season.  “Summer league is a time for seeing the freshman talent and getting an early look at the players so I have a better understanding of which players I want to add in the fall,” said Kolodziey when asked how he views summer league.  With Kolodziey planning the team for the fall, the players view summer league as a fun time where they can slowly get back into the team’s rhythm.  “Summer league is a time where the boys get to have fun but at the same time prepare for the fall where it really matters,” said Ludlow center back   Matthew Mendez when asked his opinion on summer league.

“Go out with a bang”

With the upcoming senior’s last high school season on the way the team is determined to win everything they can.  “Undefeated in the season, western mass champs and state champs, I won’t accept anything less,” said Captain Sam Cocchi.  He continued, “It’s a lot of our guys last year we need to go out with a bang”.  With the team mostly being filled with upcoming seniors every teammate is willing to leave everything they can in order to fulfill the season goal of going undefeated.

“Ready to make town history”

With Ludlow being known for being a primary soccer town, fans can’t wait for fall to come so they can go out to support the boys.  The boys’ soccer team is preparing themselves and planning for a memorable season the town will never forget.  Ludlow is looking forward to topping the 2018 season when the Ludlow boys team won the western mass and state championships by not only winning both championships but doing so without losing a single game all season.  Not an easy task to take but the boys are locked in and are ready to cement their names in Ludlow High School’s history books forever.