Consistency and accountability are the two main pillars at St. Paul as boys soccer coach Joseph Campos continues to establish the foundation of the program.
Last season, the Falcons made it to the state tournament before losing to Oxford in the first round. Despite the loss, Campos said the team really started to hit their stride toward the end of the season.
He said entering this season the team has come back with a noticeably different mindset. He said the change has not only been shown in the way they practice, but in the shape they came into the season.
“They’re pushing each other and supporting each other, which is key, and that's how you build a team. That's the foundation that I want to set here for St. Paul,” Campos said. “The kids are really working. They are a very hardworking group of kids.”
He said within the first practice the team is so tuned in that they are running the drills themselves. He said he feels better heading into this season than he did last year.
“The cupboard is not empty,” Campos said. “We have a very promising squad. We have some young kids, but we have some talent. We have some freshmen who are going to make a difference.”
Team returners Michael Cipriano and Jordan Conrow said the team wanted to come in better shape and worked throughout their summer league so they could be ready once the school season began.
Conrow said they are seeking to build off of last year, not only by themselves, but by also using their experience and leadership to build up the younger players on the team. He added it also helps to have consistency at head coach after having three coaches in three consecutive years.
“Having a coach come back and someone who is as dedicated as he is to us is really a blessing,” Conrow said. “Also kind of our goal as seniors is leaving our program better than we found it so on our way out we want to build up as much as these guys as possible.”
As a team, the goals for the season are to make it to the state tournament as well as the conference tournament. Campos believes that based on their schedule they have the ability to be one of the top teams in the league, but they have to take control of it early.
St. Paul begins the season on Sept. 9 at home against Naugatuck at 4 p.m.