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A New Era

AFS Boys Soccer 2023 FSL Season
Mason Fullerton ’25


The 2023 AFS fall athletics season comes to a close with many positive highlights. AFS Varsity Boys Soccer has seen many changes since the 2022 season, including the introduction of a new head coach, Warren Richards, and the addition of Assistant Coach Luigi Lemmo. 

Coach Warren had attended Friends Central School during his high school years, a local FSL school, and would go on to play Division I soccer in his college years starting at Rutgers University and then transferring to Temple University.

Following the end of the 2022-2023 school year, I began connecting with Coach Warren and the team. This continued from early July to the end of the season. 

From the first practice, I could tell that this year was going to be a special one. The team’s season concluded on Tuesday, October 24 with a heartbreaking loss in the Quaker Cup semifinal, against George School. 

The hard-fought match would end in double overtime with George scoring the goal to secure their place in the Quaker Cup Final. That disappointing overtime loss would in no way define the team’s season.

Team captain Ruairí Rossi ‘24 said,  “[It] was great to see kids blossom into [the kind of] players that they hadn’t anticipated themselves becoming.”

AFS boys soccer might not have won every game or the Quaker Cup, but they created a family and learned what it truly is to be a roo. 

There wasn’t one game or practice where someone didn’t end the team huddle with “AFS ON THREE FAMILY ON SIX,” with the whole team responding, “ONE TWO THREE AFS, FOUR FIVE SIX FAMILY.” 

Every game Coach Warren reminded his team to play together and play as a team. I also got a chance to speak with Issa Rabb ‘24 about his thoughts on the season. 

Rabb said, “I would say this season was different from other seasons we had in the past despite the record being similar, the friendships created and genuine passion for the game made it feel different. 

The main takeaway from this 2023 season was this: The team played with passion and developed genuine connections. 

AFS as a whole is one family. Going into the 2023 boys’ soccer season was a mystery as the team had lost six seniors from the 2022 season and had hired a new coach in June.

Being the boys soccer manager opened my eyes to how tightly knit this team was, and the strong connection that flowed throughout a newly built AFS boys soccer program. 

Team captain Cameron Benfer ‘24 said, “I think the team showed a lot of spirit. We played against many teams who had more experience, better opportunities to play, and more team depth. Every game though we showed up and gave it our all. We gave some good teams a really good fight. It will be exciting to watch as an alum next year, and see what the future of this program holds.” 

Marcus Ceralde said, “Even though we may not have gotten the wins we wanted, I’m proud to say that everybody worked their hardest. In the end that’s all that matters. If anything I’m ready for the team to get back next year even better, after working even more during the summer.”

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