It was a well-attended Senior Night for the Johnson High School boys’ soccer team in Clark , but a couple of Roselle Catholic soccer players enjoyed the greatest and loudest fan support that evening from the bleachers behind the visiting team’s sideline.
More than two dozen relatives and family friends of the Carvalho and Sweeney families came to Clark on Oct. 17 to cheer for the entire Lions’ soccer squad, but especially supported Roselle Catholic student-athletes Tomas Carvalho and Billy Carvalho.
Despite sitting (and standing) through rain, the fans, many of them Roselle Catholic and Girls Catholic graduates, were rewarded with a thrilling, 2-1 RC victory under the lights – and a post-game visit to the stands from the Carvalho Brothers.
“I am a very lucky person because my family supports me in everything I do, but the night of the Johnson game I felt overwhelmed by all the support from my family,” senior Tomas Carvalho said. “I thought a lot of RC students showed up – they did, and they were inspiring – but after the game when I went into the stands I realized how much of my family was there I was like ‘Wow.’ I think I will always remember that night.”
“My family is loud and I could hear them on the field and that was exciting,” freshman Billy Carvalho said. “It energized me and motivated me even more to win. It was really cool to see how many fans came out for the game that night.
“I was so happy when the game was over and I went into the stands and realized just how much of my family was there, even my cousins from down the shore were there.”
The Carvalho Brothers, and the Lions, hope to deliver more memories to all of their fans and supporters during the state Tournament. The eighth-seeded Lions play a home game vs. Wildwood Catholic at Chakey Field on Tuesday (2 p.m. start) in the NJSIAA’s Parochial B South Tournament.
Tomas Carvalho scored off a free kick in overtime on Oct. 29 to lift the Lions to a 2-1 victory at rival Roselle Park.
Thanks in large part to the work of junior forward Antonio Altamirano, one of the leading soccer scorers in the state, and the defensive efforts of the Carvalho Brothers in front of goalie Anthony Milano, Roselle Catholic will carry an 11-7 record into the state tournament.
“Playing together this one year must be something really special for Tomas and Billy and their family,” said Roselle Catholic varsity boys’ soccer coach Scot Simpson.
The Carvalho Brothers first season as teammates has been a winning experience for the team and the siblings.
“I like playing with Tom because he sets a high level of expectations and makes me a better player,” said Billy Carvalho, who plays right back and outside mid for the green and white. “I know what a skilled player he is how much he adds to the team. And it feels cool to play with my brother.”
Center back Tomas Carvalho said, “I have confidence in Billy to do his part and I feel confident whenever Billy gets the ball. The team and I can count on him as a strong player.”
Tomas Carvalho, a second-team All-Union County Coaches selection last fall, has scored five goals and eight assists this season and Billy Carvalho has contributed three goals and eight assists to the Lions’ attack.
“Tomas and Billy work really well together,” said junior goalie Anthony Milano. “They definitely have a lot of chemistry. They play very similar positions and have similar mindsets on how to play the game.
“You can tell soccer is very important to them. They have a passion for the sport.”
And the brothers boast a shared affection for Roselle Catholic.
“Soccer was a large part of the decision to switch from homeschooling to RC. I wondered what it would be like to play for a school and to play with my brother and for RC, which has been a part of my life since I was a little kid. Playing soccer has been a great way to make friends at RC. I think RC has a good soccer community, the way the varsity, the JV and the girls’ teams all support each other.”
There is, of course, a Carvalho connection with the RC girls’ soccer program as well.
Head coach Gary Carvalho, Tomas and Billy’s father, is beginning his second decade as coach of the RC girls’ soccer team. Kelley Jane Carvalho, Tomas and Billy’s older sister, is completing a successful college career at Centenary after playing for her father on Chakey Field.
“It has been a joy watching Tomas and Billy grow as players,” Gary Carvalho said. “They feed off of each other and really push each other to be the best they can be, which is the way it’s been since they were young.
“The whole Roselle Catholic experience has been one that words cannot describe. I feel Roselle Catholic has done a tremendous job preparing my kids for the next level.
“Seeing the RC community come together to support each other and be there for each other has been a truly great experience as a coach, spectator and father.”
Away from the pitch, the Roselle Catholic volleyball team experienced and enjoyed tremendous fan support from family, students and alumni during the UCT final on Nov. 1, when it defeated Westfield at Kean University. Standing near the front of the rabid student section, shirtless and cheering, were Tomas and Billy Carvalho.
On Tuesday, the Carvalho Brothers, Tomas and Billy, will be back in RC soccer uniforms with their teammates trying to win a state tournament game in front of family, friends and fans.
RC girls’ soccer coach Gary Carvalho experiences extra special season
Few have experienced more Roselle Catholic soccer games on Chakey Field than Gary Carvalho, but this has been an extra special season for the RC girls’ soccer coach.
In addition to coaching the Lions, Carvalho has enjoyed watching both of his sons, Tomas and Billy play together on the RC Varsity boys’ squad.
And the Roselle resident, who operates his own Prudential Insurance agency in Cranford, also found the time to support his daughter, Kelley Jane, an RC graduate and senior on the Centenary College women’s soccer team in Hackettstown.
“I think I’ve only missed a couple of the boys’ games, but missing any has been hard,” said Gary Carvalho, head coach of the girls’ soccer team since 2003, who guided RC to a division championship in 2005. “The one game I really wished I had seen was the Roselle Park game in which Tom won it on a free kick in the second overtime.
“Thanks to social media however I was able to see a video of it. Not the same as being there, but good enough. My wife (Jane Ann) keeps me updated by text.
Coach Carvalho and the RC girls will carry an 8-8-1 record into Monday’s state tournament game at Cardinal McCarrick in South Amboy.
“I never thought of not coaching the girls because I love it so much,” Carvalho said. “The biggest joy I get out of coaching is watching the girls come in usually very shy and inexperienced and watching them mature into confident young ladies.”
Kelley Jane Carvalho, who also ran track for Roselle Catholic, was a captain and MVP of the RC girls’ soccer team. A senior midfielder for the Cyclones, she has one goal and two assists this fall.
Kelley Jane Carvalho, Roselle Catholic class of 2010, earned All-Colonial States Athletic Conference Honorable Mention and All-Academic Team recognition after the 2012 season.