The J. Taylor Finley Middle School boys’ soccer team is off to a successful start with two lopsided wins.
Coached by physical education teachers Travis Smith and Alex Nelson, Finley cruised past Northport, 6-0 and Candlewood, 7-0. Four more games are scheduled over the next few weeks.
The roster includes seventh graders Alex Bonilla Mejia, Max Carino, Xavier Garcia Granados, Christian Luca, Jason Mejia, Jonathan Morales Salguero, Charles Polak, John Reyes-Alvarez, Angel Salvador and Rudis Villatoro Benitez; and eighth graders Kenneth Canon Soto, Bradley Contreras, Jerson Contreras-Moreira, Stephen Connor Fox, Chase Gadaire, Henry Lemus Nieto, Colin Lennon, Antonio Leotta, Christopher Lopez-Ramirez, Brian Lynch, Keegan Malone, Carlos Marroquin, Raul Ortega Salgado, Nicholas Plachta, Anthony Rodriquez-Rivera, Ryan Scanlon, Jayden Schneider, Zachary Schnitzer, Edgar Vidal-Villalba, Justin Villatoro, James Vohs, Parker Wands and Luke Wesnofske.
In the first two games, Finley saw numerous players score goals. Carlos Marroquin has a team high three goals. “Everyone has played a role in our success offensively and defensively,” Smith said.
Mr. Smith has been a Huntington physical education teacher since September 1998. A member of Huntington High School’s Class of 1992, he obtained a bachelor’s degree at SUNY Brockport and a masters’ degree at Stony Brook University. He has coached wrestling on both the middle school and high school levels and earned many awards, including national varsity assistant coach of the year in 2004. He has also coached boys’ soccer and lacrosse on the middle school level.
Mr. Nelson has been a Huntington physical education teacher since September 2017. A graduate of Smithtown High School East, he obtained his undergraduate degree at Adelphi University, where he dual majored in physical education and accounting. He earned a master’s degree in coaching and exercise science at Concordia University Irvine in California. He is also pursuing certification in health education.
Licensed by Eastern New York Youth Soccer as a professional soccer trainer working for Long Island Professional Soccer, Mr. Nelson has coached middle school and JV soccer and middle school basketball. He trains travel soccer teams for the Long Island Junior Soccer League.