Before he was deployed to Iraq with his National Guard unit earlier this year, Mohonasen boys soccer coach Corey Gregg asked his younger brother Joshua to take over for him.
Though Joshua was the head coach at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, he honored his brother's request.
It was tough to leave that program, but when my brother asked me to do it, I knew it would be one less thing on his mind, said Joshua Gregg. "Once he asked, I knew I had to do it."
The Mighty Warriors are glad Gregg agreed to assume command. Mohonasen is enjoying its best Suburban Council season in several years, winning four out of five league games at one point before dropping its last three games against perennial powers Bethlehem, Shenendehowa and Guilderland.
"We had a good bunch of kids coming in, and the seniors stepped up," said Gregg. "We just had to put the right guys in the right places."
The first indication that this was a different Mohonasen team came in a 1-0 non-league victory over Scotia-Glenville Sept. 3. The Mighty Warriors (4-6-1 league, 5-6-1 overall) struggled in their next game against Bethlehem, but a 2-2 tie against Saratoga Springs and a hard-fought 2-1 loss to Guilderland proved to be the springboard to a run of victories including a 3-1 South Division win against Colonie and a 2-1 cross-divisional win against Niskayuna " both Class AA schools.
"The guys have been very conscious of the fact that we haven't beaten many AA schools," said Gregg. "We're just trying to win as many games as possible."
Though wins haven't been easy to come by lately, Mohonasen is giving its Suburban Council opponents a run for their money. The Mighty Warriors led Bethlehem 1-0 at halftime of their Oct. 2 rematch before the Eagles pulled away to a 4-1 victory, and they shut out Shen through the first half before the North Division-leading Plainsmen earned a 2-0 victory last Saturday.