St. John’s Boys Football, Catholic Conference, Shane Fonseca, Kwame Adu-Gyamfi, Jorgo Karamelo

A year after taking the Catholic Conference by surprise and winning the Pod Championship, St. John’s appears well prepared to handle the rigors of a full season playing arguably Central Mass’s toughest schedule.

The Pioneers will also be an exciting team to watch, with stars leading the attack in the senior captains. Shane Fonseca and Kwame Adu-Gyamfi, and junior captain Jorgo Karamelo, who collected one goal and one assist in the St. John’s Pod Championship 2-1 win over BC High last fall and is the team’s leading scorer this year.

Fonseca, who was named one of Central Mass’s five men’s soccer players. The Telegram & Gazette, which will make an impact this fall, will lead the line in St. John’s 4-4-2 lineup, while Adu-Gyamfi will play in a more creative role alongside him at the top.

“He has carte blanche as a creative midfielder, just because of the creativity and his runs are very deceptive and dangerous,” said the St. John’s coach. Kurt swanbeck noted. “I think that kind of freedom makes it very difficult for the players to defend him.”

Adu-Gyamfi is a four-year contributor for St. John’s, but Swanbeck said his profile as a college prospect skyrocketed over the summer after attending a showcase event as it sparked the interest from Division 1 schools in the East. Rating.

Back home, Adu-Gyamfi is already a known quantity, and is one of the most feared actors in CMass and the Catholic Conference.

“Although he hasn’t scored yet, he’s a marked man,” Swanbeck said. “The other teams are constantly calling his number to stay with him, but it’s hard to stay with him.”

Swanbeck said it has a ripple effect on the rest of the squad, with the extra attention he commands, providing more space for other St. John’s players.

“He’s very careful about creating opportunities for others,” Swanbeck said, adding that Adu-Gyamfi had “eyes” in the back of his head. his own shot. “He’s extremely selfless, but sometimes you want these players to be more focused on scoring goals.”

Although Karamelo is a year younger than Fonseca and Adu-Gyamfi, it didn’t show, as he has returned time and time again in great moments, most recently scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory over the road against Algonquin Regional last Saturday.

“He’s playing with the same maturity as Kwame and Shane,” Swanbeck said. “Everything is falling into place for him a season earlier than his last year, so it’s good for us to have him for another year, and he’s a strong captain already.

Like the other two, Karamelo can play in the middle, but in order to fit him into the roster, Swanbeck has the junior play on the flank where he can provide wide serve or overload the middle as another goal threat.

“A very strong player, a very smart player and sometimes a very lethal player,” Swanbeck said.

The Pioneers are off to a 2-2 start, with quality wins over Algonquin and Catholic Memorial, while losing by one goal to Leominster and St. John’s Prep, in a start-to-season roster that is emblematic of the frequency at which St. John’s will be tested this season.

“The kids play well and move the ball well, but we know we have a target in the back, we’ve been doing well last year and historically,” said Swanbeck.

—Contact Carl Setterlund at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @tgsports.

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