That saying is what the Lower Merion boys’ soccer team got used to hearing from former longtime Haverford High School boys soccer coach Jorge Severini, who patrolled the Lower Merion sidelines as an assistant coach for his son Nicholas for the past five years.
However, due to his untimely passing the players and son Nicholas have had to move forward and hope the lessons they learned could carry them to another successful campaign.
“We miss Jorge,” said Lower Merion senior Quinn Vagnoni. “He was a funny guy and a good coach. He gave us a lot of good tips and we miss him a lot.”
“It’s been a really nice season but we definitely miss the influence of Jorge,” said Nico. “We think about him quite often. Using Vamos Aces on the warm-up shirt was the idea the seniors had to pay homage to him.”
Entering their first season without Jorge, this year’s senior class wanted to follow the path blazed before them. Playing in the challenging Central League the seniors knew what it would take to accomplish this goal.
“We try to stay positive and come out every day with plenty of energy,” Vagnoni said. “We also try to keep things light and try not to get too high after a win or too low following a loss. We also teach the younger players one of the keys to success is by being aggressive. We have learned that games can be won or lost on how aggressive you can be.”
Nico added, “We have had a really nice season. The guys have had a good attitude, they work hard and play the right way.”
With a senior laden team, the Aces have followed the lead of seniors Vagnoni, Anthony Haines, Ryan Tillman and Max Knight-Surie; along with junior keeper Sebastian Jenkins, who had to fill the void left by Will Rosenbaum, who had established himself as one of the premier goalies in the Central League.
Despite some tough results, the team has powered through the adversity, picking up key wins over Central League foes Haverford High School, Upper Darby and neighborhood rival Harriton. Lower Merion has also registered draws against Strath Haven and most recently Radnor.
“We had some tough results but this year’s senior class along with Sebastian (Jenkins) has stepped up and continues to carry the torch,” said Nico. “Sebastian had huge shoes to fill. Will was an impactful player for us but Sebastian has stepped up and I don’t feel we are missing a beat in that area.”
With the regular season quickly coming to a close, Lower Merion hopes to finish strong and qualify for the PIAA District One Class AAA tournament.