College soccer team prepares for season
Skylanders begin competition in September
The Skylanders soccer team in a post practice portrait.
Far right Vernon Township High School graduate Travis Eustace about to kick the ball.
The Skylanders huddle.
Skylanders goalie Josh Gates with the ball. Gates hails from Australia. He is attending SCCC studying liberal arts.
Skylanders coach Frank Vernacchio talking with players as they stretch.
Skylanders assistant coach Auggie Casas plays goalie as the ball moves towards him. Casas is from Peru.
NEWTON — The Sussex County Community College Skylanders soccer team practiced Wednesday, Aug. 6, which they do regularly during the summer to prepare for competition that begins in September.
Skylanders Coach Frank Vernacchio who is in his third year as head men's coach is busy getting his squad in shape.
Practices usually begin at 6:30 a.m. and last into the afternoon with a break for lunch.
The preseason for the 21-member team begins later this month.
Vernacchio, who is a 2005 graduate of Pope John XXIII Regional High School, explained the importance of summer soccer practice.
"Starting soccer practice early in August is very important because it gives the guys a chance to know each other," he said. "We have players from around the world here and the new players can mix it up with the older players."
Vernacchio said the players can learn from eachother.
"In the morning we work on conditioning and ball work technique and possession games. Then in the afternoon we work on formation, such as how to attack and how to defend. Towards the end we put it all together, divide the players into two squads then play some games," the coach said.
The players come from different parts of the United States. Australia and Peru are among the other countries Skylanders originate from.
The Skylanders made a foray into the quarterfinals last year.
They hope to do better this year and go all the way.
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