Boys soccer: Sebastian Gangemi elevates Eagles

Sebastian Gangemi joins Trumbull High standout Chris Lancia at his signing to play at St. John’s.
Sebastian Gangemi joins Trumbull High standout Chris Lancia at his signing to play at St. John’s.

It doesn’t take long for the positive energy and the excitement to overtake you.

Sebastian Gangemi, the Trumbull boys soccer coach, has the kind of personality that has been influencing the Eagles soccer team since 2005.

Gangemi took over a program that hadn’t won a state tournament game in five years and has strung together 12 successful seasons of qualifying for the state tournament (137-56-35).

Last season Trumbull went undefeated during the regular season at 12-0-4 and went on to share the FCIAC title after tying Greenwich 1-1 in the championship game.

The Eagles advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class LL state tournament, before falling to Danbury and  finishing the season at 16-1-5.

It marked the third time that Trumbull earned the FCIAC title and the third time they reached the quarterfinals of states under Gangemi.

He was named the FCIAC boys soccer Coach of the Year for the third time in his career and was also named the Class LL-L boys soccer state Coach of the Year.

“I consider it an awesome achievement by the team,” said Gangemi, who is assisted by Silverio Vitello. “To be selected from all the coaches in Fairfield County is an outstanding accomplishment for the team.”

Trumbull had a strong group of senior captains led by the Connecticut Player of the Year Thang Dao and All- FCIAC players Chris Lancia, Jon Campbell and Paul Costa.

“We lost one of our leaders Paul Costa to an injury before the season started,” said Gangemi. “But he proved to be just as an effective leader off the field and will be going on to play at Western Connecticut.

“The kids want to be part of this program and that is why it has been so successful. We have an outstanding feeder program with youth soccer and it carries right into high school.”

That success began in the first year Sebe took over as he guided the Eagles to a 14-3-1 campaign, reaching the quarterfinals of the Class LL state tournament.

That was only the start of things to come.

Trumbull went out and won the FCIAC title the following year, sharing it with Staples as the championship game ended in a 0-0 deadlock.

The Eagles finished 15-1-5 and reached the quarterfinals in the states again, with Gangemi being named the FCIAC boys soccer Coach of the Year.

“The seniors come in here and take that leadership role as a real challenge,” Gangemi said. “They are willing to sacrifice and bring a lot of talent to the field. They are willing to put in the hard work that is needed to be successful.”

All that hard work paid off for Trumbull in 2011, when Gangemi and his boys won their second FCIAC title by beating Staples 2-0. They reached the Class LL state championship game before dropping a 2-1 decision to Pomperaug.

Gangemi was named the FCIAC Coach of the Year.

Over the next four seasons, Trumbull qualified for the state tournament but struggled to make it back to the FCIAC tournament.

Last season marked a new beginning for the Eagles. It begins with a coach they call Sebe whose attitude and positive energy is the one thing these players will never forget.