Scott DeBenedittis says he enjoys a good challenge.
The senior midfielder, who is the reigning Player of the Year in Nassau, believes he is up to the task of again leading Syosset to a county championship.
"I like the challenge," said DeBenedittis, who finished last season with 13 goals and 14 assists en route to leading the Braves to their first AA title since 1998. "We're the type of team that always comes back, never lets down, just goes out there and keeps fighting."
Asked if DeBenedittis surprised teams with the way he competed, Syosset coach Brett Waxer said he did in a way, but that he most certainly will be on other teams' radar now.
DeBenedittis isn't concerned. "In my career, I've always tried to get my teammates involved," he said. "It's more about the team."
Waxer said he can't think of another player he'd rather have on his team than DeBenedittis, a three-year team captain and three-year varsity starter who has played for Met Oval as part of the United States Soccer Federation.
"He's one of those kids you want on your team," Waxer said. "You're going to notice him. He's crafty, calm and cool on the field. He sees the game unfold."
DeBenedittis is a leader by example and Waxer said when his captain talks, everybody listens.
"I think somehow during some games, guys get nervous, so I want to talk to them and tell them to be at their best, don't be nervous," DeBenedittis said. "I think I'll relate to whatever they're going through because I went through it. Just go out there, do your best and have fun."
DeBenedittis isn't concerned about individual statistics. What he is more focused on is beating Suffolk power Brentwood, which upended the Braves in last year's Long Island title game, 1-0.
"I think we definitely have the talent to get back there, we just have to play faster," DeBenedittis said. "We needed a little bit of luck last year, but I think we'll be able to beat Brentwood. We feel like we have what it takes to win."