Many know Mr. John Pantuosco as a teacher in the Business Department here at Longmeadow High School. However, this fall, he took on the role of the boy’s varsity soccer coach and led them to the state championship tournament, being defeated by West Springfield in the semifinals.
Mr. Pantuosco started his coaching career at Longmeadow in 1991, where he was welcomed into a community that knew him as both a coach and a teacher. He transitioned a few times between coaching at Somers High School, where he coached his children, and Pope Francis Preparatory School, where he attended when it was known as Cathedral High School. This fall, he returned to Longmeadow. “Being here at LHS where I see our players every day in school has been special. It is like being home again,” he says.
Mr. Pantuosco instills many values for his team. One is being accountable for one’s actions, especially when someone is unable to make a practice, which he explains has “been a big success” for the team this season. He also practices good sportsmanship with the boys, and their “behavior on and off the field is something [they] talk about on a daily basis.”
Senior captain Colin Goodhines believes Mr. Pantuosco’s new role as the soccer coach has positively benefited the team during the 2021 season and improved Longmeadow’s soccer program in general. “Ever since coach Pantuosco was brought in as the new coach, he has focused on building character, increasing sportsmanship, and helping us rely on each other,” Goodhines says. He further comments that Mr. Pantuosco has gone beyond his role as the soccer coach, stating, “he has taught us things beyond the game of soccer and has helped shape us into great soccer players and even better people.” In addition to soccer, Mr. Pantuosco has helped Colin become a leader on the team by putting “a lot of faith and trust” in him.
Sophomore Thomas McMahon has a similar view on how Mr. Pantuosco has helped to create a positive team atmosphere. He explains, “our players go in with a good mindset and our coach always brings us up when we are feeling down.” He adds that Mr. Pantuosco, “hasn’t treated me any differently than any upperclassmen… which is best for my growth as a player.” In addition to soccer skills, Mr. Pantuosco also teaches players important skills off the field like good time management, which McMahon explains has helped him to “be more productive with the time that [he] has.”
As Mr. Pantuosco states: “LHS has become a home away from home for me.” The boys on the team, as well as Lancer fans, have warmly welcomed Mr. Pantuosco to the coaching position, and look forward to many seasons with him as their coach.