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Coach: Guy Callipari
Darby Anderson Jr., M
Mike Bennett So., F
Anthony Berardi So., F
Jack Coutre Sr., M
Luis Cruz Jr., D
Dom Dalmasso Sr., D
Ian Daniels Jr., M
Eddie Dreyer Jr., M
Edson Gomez So., GK
Jurguen Gomez Jr., F
Adrian Guzman So., F
Edwin Huerta Jr., M
Christian Lazcano So., GK
Elliot Kettle Jr., M
Max Leonard Sr., D
Jose Perez Jr., M
Everardo (Lalo) Robles Sr., D
Joe Spera Sr., D
Mike Stelletello Sr., D
Ryan Trockman Sr., D

Tigers edge Blackhawks to claim senior night win


By Chris Walker

Four years ago, Wheaton Warrenville South seniors Jack Coutre, Mike Stelletello, Dominic Dalmaso, Everardo Robles, Ryan Trockman, Max Leonard, Joey Spera and Denis Majer were just starting high school.

At the time, they probably felt that high school would never end, but on Thursday, there they were, on the soccer field, being recognized on Senior Night as their high school careers crept ever closer to the end.

Thanks to a goal from sophomore Michael Bennett, who still hasn’t reached the mid-point of his career, the Tigers turned back West Aurora, 1-0. The Blackhawks will be departing the DuPage Valley Conference so it was the final conference meeting between the two foes.

The action on the field didn’t take a back seat to senior recognition, but emotions were certainly running wild. The event included a grand performance by the Wheaton Warrenville South marching band during halftime.

“If you had to draw up a script on paper, this is what you would’ve wanted,” Tigers coach Guy Callipari said. “You’ve got West Aurora playing in their last DVC game against us, you have the band here, the weather is perfect. It couldn’t have been laid out any better.”

After the victory, the seniors did the Little River Band well by “Reminiscing.”

Jack Coutre, nicknamed Cutch, doesn’t know what the worst song sung on the team bus was this year because, “(I) would not know, (I) always have my headphones on.”

Coutre’s favorite memory?

“Being the JV captain sophomore and junior year and having the two winningiest seasons in school history.”

Cutch is also a big fan of Pulp Fiction. Remember Jack, hamburgers are the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.

Mike Stelletello - who five years from now wants to be living with his homies with a starting salary at Apple of $500,000 - will never forget last year’s regional title.

“My favorite moment was winning regionals last year against Naperville North on penalty kicks,” he said. “I didn’t play, but we battled as a team and came out with the win and moved on to sectionals.”

Stelletello, who is a big fan of the comedy “Step Brothers,” did not say if he planned on attending the Cataline Wine Mixer this weekend.

Dominic “Derm” Dalmaso’s favorite soccer moment is “The Fartlick,” but he would not go into detail about what that means. He did say, “I’ve enjoyed progressing through the years from freshman year all the way through now.”

Dalmaso’s parents might not be too excited to hear that Dalmaso hopes to still be under their roof five years from now.

“Five years from now I want to be living with my parents and living like it’s high school for as long as I can,” he said.

Denis “Sauerkraut” Majer’s favorite moment was “becoming one of Claypool’s Kids, scoring my first goal for Wheaton Warrenville South.”

Joey “Broseph” Spera wants to travel around the world, but also won’t forget his time with the Tigers.

“I’d say it’s a tie for favorite memories between the regional win last year and sophomore year playing at Toyota Park in the Pepsi Showdown.”

Fellow senior Ryan Trockman would have a “beach chair, snorkel and a surf board” if he were stranded on an island. For now, he’s stranded, so to speak, with school work and soccer in Wheaton. Ideally, it will lead to an engineering job and perhaps “a sweet job at Amtrack.”

Trockman’s best memory?

“I’ve just liked getting out on the pitch with all my best friends.”

Everardo “Lalo” Robles isn’t afraid to say that his mother, father and teammate Joey Spera have had the greatest influence on his life. Someday they’ll be proud to see Robles working in aviation flight or automotive technology, as he plans on pursuing a career in one of those fields.

“One of my most memorable moments came with the JV1 team when we won the Neuqua Valley Invite,” Robles said.

Finally, there’s Max “Lenny” Leonard who boisterously and with a straight face said, “My favorite part about soccer is just playing under the badge and playing for tradition and keeping it alive.”

Coincidentally, Leonard’s favorite movie is “This is the End,” and this is the end of the Tigers reminiscing on Senior Night.

Now, back to the game itself.

Bennett’s first-half goal would be the only scoring needed for the Tigers. The scoring play was started by Dalmaso before Bennett and Anthony Berardi took over.

“Dalmaso just came back from an ankle injury and he played a flat ball down the line to Mike (Bennett) who was running down and he was able to get behind a little bit,” Callipari said. “Anthony beat a guy down the corner and then Bennett came across and Anthony played it back to him and he tucked it into the backpost.

“It’s one of those balls that’s really tough to defend with the ball being played against the grain. You like to teach it that way, but it’s always harder to do and it just worked out like we would’ve written it.”

The match was pretty much up for the taking for either team, but the Blackhawks couldn’t find the equalizer, even though they controlled the pace of possession of the contest for longer stretches than the Tigers.

“It’s frustrating because you make one mistake and you can’t overcome it,” West Aurora coach Joe Sustersic said. “This is the second time this week this has happened and it’s unfortunate. No disrespect to Wheaton Warrenville South, but I believe we controlled the possessions and didn’t deserve to lose, but that’s soccer.”

Sustersic instructed his players to take some time off on Friday before returning to action on Saturday against Romeoville. Sometimes a mental break is all it takes, although a goal here and there, certainly will help too.

West Aurora (4-4-3) has now dropped four straight matches.

“It’s Homecoming tomorrow so they’ll be at the football game or working and I told them to take a break and regroup,” Sustersic said.

Wheaton Warrenville South (5-6-2) might have won on Thursday, but it’s still a ways away from playing good, consistent, smart soccer for 80 minutes a night.

“We had a sense of rhythm but then (West Aurora) would take over and swing it and then we’d be on our heels,” Callipari said. “Give them credit for continuing to fight and our backline has been brilliant all year. That’s one thing we’ve been able to count on.”

Plus, it was nice for the seniors to leave Red Grange Field on a winning note, although they’ll return to host Lake Park next Tuesday for their final home game.

“We just haven’t been able to put it all together yet, but at times it feels like we’re getting closer,” Spera sad. “Tonight we hung in there. It was sloppy at times and I think we were distracted because of senior night, but Michael Bennett played really well and had a great goal and we were focused on defense.”


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