2022 Northeast Florida boys soccer player of the year

Now you see him.

Not now.

Just when opponents thought they knew where Antonio Mancinotti was going to attack them next, the Mandarin High School forward found a way to fool them again.

“He used to just run away from people,” said Jason Cooley, Mandarin Boys football coach. “Now he’s changing his pace. He learned how to throttle down from 60 to 30 to attract them and then just hit the little burst on them.”

Whether on the right, left or in between, junior forward Mancinotti was a year-round goalscorer for Mandarin and was named the Times-Union All-First Coast Player of the Year for high school boys’ football.

Mancinotti finished the season with 30 goals and 15 assists, leading the Mustangs to a repeat Gateway Conference title.

For the 2021/22 season, he was, as he put it, “in the zone”.

“Everything changes in the game when I’m in the zone,” he said. “My speed, my shots, my mentality.”

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Antonio Mancinotti will be shown in portrait at Mandarin High School in Jacksonville on Tuesday, June 28, 2022.  The junior forward is the Times-Union All-First Coast Footballer of the Year for 2021-22.  He recorded 30 goals and 15 assists while leading Mandarin to the Class 7A semifinals. [Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union]

Catch the football fever

Mancinotti got his first taste of the sport when he was 9 years old and soon got the football fever.

“Since then I’ve wanted to play football every day for the rest of my life,” he said.

Arriving at Mandarin, he found himself in a squad filled with several experienced Mustangs, with veteran midfielders Adel Iriskic and Amar Mesic at the helm. But he quickly settled into the lineup.

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