James Palumbo is no stranger to coaching soccer. The former Mahopac High and Stony Brook University standout grew up with a father who has been coaching the game for 35 years, so when Joe Palumbo decided to step down as the head coach at Somers, he simply looked to his son to fill the void.
At 24 years old, James is now the youngest boys soccer coach in Section 1.
"My dad wasn't sure if he wanted to come back, and we saw it as a good opportunity," James said.
Since Joe took over as the Somers coach prior to the 2010 season, James has been coaching the Tuskers' JV squad. The Palumbos also run the Joe Palumbo Soccer Academy located in Putnam Valley, which is where Joe has decided to devote his time.
"I think that the pressure has increased a lot," James said. "Every single game there's a lot of pressure and stress. I'm 24 -- a young coach -- but I find it to be a lot more demanding of a job. I'll go home and work on practice plans and formations. You have to change everything from game to game."
Despite James' age, he feels he's been prepared for the job through years of working closely with his father.
"I suppose you can say I've been groomed to do it," he said. "I've been coached by him all of my life, and even after that, I was coaching with him all of the time. I've learned how to coach all different age groups and get the most out of them. Mostly important at the high school level is the intensity. I just demand every day in practice a high level of intensity."
LoHud power rankings: Rankings were released earlier in the week on the LoHud Boys Soccer Blog. All records as of Friday.
Top 10 overall -- 1. Arlington (6-0); 2. Byram Hills (4-0); 3. Port Chester (5-0); 4. White Plains (4-1-1); 5. North Salem (5-0); 6. North Rockland (5-0); 7. Pearl River (5-1-1); 8. Lourdes (3-1); 9. Keio (3-2); 10. Mamaroneck (5-0).
Class AA -- 1. Arlington; 2. White Plains; 3. North Rockland; 4. Mamaroneck; 5. New Rochelle (3-1-1); 6. John Jay-EF (3-2); 7. Yorktown (2-3); 8. Scarsdale (2-1-1); 9. Horace Greeley (2-3); 10. Clarkstown South (4-1).
Class A -- 1. Byram Hills; 2. Port Chester; 3. Pearl River; 4. Keio; 5. Beacon (5-0); 6. Lakeland (3-2); 7. Pelham (3-2); 8. Yonkers (4-0); 9. Somers (1-3); 10. Nyack (3-2).
Classes B/C -- 1. North Salem; 2. Lourdes; 3. Bronxville (4-1); 4. Blind Brook (3-3); 5. Valhalla (3-2-1); 6. Briarcliff (4-0-1); 7. Kennedy (3-1); 8. Croton-Harmon (3-1); 9. Hastings (3-2); 10. Solomon Schechter (4-1).