Mangotic truly a General for AW soccerWritten by Scott Calhoun | | firstname.lastname@example.org
In his final high school season, Tommy Mangotic is a phoenix risen from virtual obscurity.
After silently starring on an Anthony Wayne soccer team largely unrecognized in the middle of the Northern Lakes League pack during his first three high school seasons, the senior midfielder is the widely touted General on a squad relishing statewide recognition. With rankings as high as 7th, but currently 14th in Ohio’s prestigious Division I state polls. Mangotic’s team enters the district playoffs as the area’s number one seed.
The Generals enter the postseason with a 13-2-1 mark, one loss coming to state-ranked Gahanna Lincoln and the other against an under-appreciated Sylvania Northview squad.
”In the last four years I really didn’t feel like we had the talent, but this year is easily the best team I’ve played on. In the off-season we played together all the time, and now we are so focused on soccer,” Mangotic said.
A third-team All-State honoree during his junior stint, Mangotic statistically trailed the conference’s other talented players in regular season goals with 10, including his high-scoring teammate, junior forward Brandon Bucher. But the team co-captain led the conference in assists with 12. He plays the pitch like a quarterback on the gridiron. His teammates look to him to make things happen every time the ball touches his cleats. Mangotic delivers far more often than not.
”Tommy’s just an outstanding player going both ways. He works hard on both ends of the field, and passes the ball well, shoots the ball well. He’s just been a great senior leader this year,” said head coach Tom Shook of his prized midfielder.
The open space Mangotic creates from his movement with the ball allows him to deliver pinpoint passes to his teammates giving them ample opportunities to put the tethered sphere past opposing goalies.
Mangotic’s maternal grandfather, the late Ferenc Gal, played professional soccer in Hungary as a nine-year member of their national select team up to the mid-1930s. Gal migrated to Toledo in 1971.
Mangotic credits his grandfather for playing a major role in encouraging him to pursue the game. ”I got my passion for playing soccer from my grandpa,” he said, ”all of my motivation came