By Larry Moko
The new kids are pretty good, too.
On the eve of Cardinal Newman Catholic Secondary School’s induction into the Hamilton Soccer Hall of Fame, the current Newman senior boys’ soccer squad put on quite a show Thursday. The first-place Cardinals defeated the visiting St. Jean de Brebeuf Braves 4-0 to win the 2015 Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic Athletic Association championship.
Newman, which led 2-0 at the half, got two goals by Shawndel Ferron and singles by Tomasz Skublak and Luca Valeri. Andrew Pawlowski was in net for the shutout.
“They’re the complete package … a very dominant team,” Brebeuf coach Bruno Capretta said of the Cardinals. “We thought we were prepared. We gave it a solid effort.”
Newman is being honoured by the Hall of Fame for the excellent boys’ high school soccer program it has run in the past four decades. Its accomplishments over the years have included 23 city championships and 10 medals at the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations level (four gold). Commenting about Newman, Brebeuf assistant coach Anthony Sambuco said: “They’re phenomenal and they have been for a long time.”
The fourth-annual induction ceremonies take place at Michelangelo Banquet Centre Friday. The remainder of the Class of 2015 includes: Frank Riga, Alex Bunbury, Eversley ‘Bo’ Lewis, Whitey McDonald (players); Al Carifiello (builder), Alex Weir (official/referee); Dundas United Men, 1980-2000, (club of distinction); 1976 Saltfleet Major Bantams (team of distinction).
Newman has been a participant in the last seven straight HWCAA finals. The Cardinals did not capture the 2014 title, however, and that provided incentive this season.
“It was a bitter pill to swallow last year,” Newman coach Gerry Moretuzzo said of his team’s 2-1 championship-game loss to the Bishop Tonnos Titans. “That was a tough one. We re-dedicated ourselves to working hard as a group.”
The Cardinals advance to the Golden Horseshoe Athletic Conference Quad A championship May 27 in Halton against an opponent to be determined. Newman hopes to get past GHAC and earn a berth in the Ontario high school championship tournament, June 4-6,in Richmond Hill.
“We’ve got some great teams and great coaches in our league,” said Moretuzzo. “To get out of our league means we’re ready to compete at the next level.”
Ferron described the win over third-place Brebeuf, which was 6-1-2 heading into the contest, as a “team effort”. And when asked about the strength of this year’s Newman squad, Ferron said, “We have depth.”
Other Newman players are Joshua Ciuro, Justin Connolly, Marcus DiLoreto, Joseph Divincentis, David Fratarcangeli, Steven Frketich, Nikola Ljuboja, Paolo Mamone, Dominik Maric, Tiris Mingo, Adam Passaretti, Ayden Podrebarac, Jordan Rimac, Kareem Smith, Pawel Sokolowki, Davonte Stewart, Alexander Tougher, Andrej Truyen, Lucas Uggenti and Adam Villella.
Cardinal Newman also won the HWCAA indoor soccer championship and the McMaster Invitational tournament.