Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School hired new varsity soccer coaches for both the boys and girls teams this month. Esteban Aranzabe of Edgartown will replace Damon Burke as the boys varsity soccer coach, and Rocco Bellebuono will replace Richard Bennett as the girls coach.
Mr. Aranzabe accepted the position on June 2 after meeting with Mark McCarthy, the high school athletic director. He will meet with superintendent James Weiss on June 12 to confirm the position.
Mr. Aranzabe has coached the MV United boys travel soccer team for the past eight years, from the Under-10 level to the U-18s. He has 25 years of coaching experience with boys and girls teams of all ages and coached the U-15 boys to the state championship at the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions in 2011. He spent one season as junior varsity boys coach at the high school, and has coached Island recreational, school league, and travel league teams for the past 11 years.
Rocco Bellebuono currently coaches the U-16 girls travel team, which is progressing to the playoffs this weekend with a 6-1-1 record, their best ever. He has coached on the Island for eight years, starting with recreational league, then travel soccer for the past five years. He grew up playing the game in the Atlanta, Georgia, area and played at Augusta College.
For Mr. Bellebuono, coaching is a passion.
“I’ve put a lot of time and energy into coaching myself through the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) coaching education program,” said Mr. Bellebuono in a telephone conversation with The Times. He has progressed through the USSF rankings from grade G to grade C and plans to continue advancing.
He credits the USSF program as the best possible way to improve players, in terms of skills, fundamentals, and tactics, as well as with handling the physical and psychological demands of the sport.