Very few high school programs – in any sport – have been as consistently successful as the Falcons under veteran Head Coach Marc Jones (364-68-31). The dean of area soccer coaches came to SSES in 1994 and has directed a string of teams that reload and compete annually at the highest level.
The Falcons have captured 18 district, nine regional, and one state championship in Jones’ 24 seasons. Originally from Bristol, United Kingdom, where he played professionally for the Bristol Rovers Football Club, Jones has been honored multiple times as the Sarasota-Bradenton area’s coach of the year. He also received that honor statewide from the Florida Athletic Coaches Association after SSES collected a state championship in 2001.
A model of consistency, the Falcons boast an 84-14-15 record since 2010-11. Their last district loss came during the 2009-10 season, a string of 42 games in which SSES is 40-0-2.
Saint Stephen’s has reached the state tournament four times since winning its lone title, and advanced to the Final Four in 2011, 2014 and 2015. SSES has an active streak of district championships dating back to 2011.
The program has produced a string of successful Division I collegiate players under Jones, including Frank Glover (Boston College), Alex Walters (North Carolina), Dale and Kevin Peterson (Yale), Toby Howell (Marquette) and others.
Former Falcon Brad Rusin was an EA SPORTS All-American, first-team all-state and all-area following his senior season in 2005. He went on to become an all-conference performer at UCLA and currently plays professionally for the Miami FC Soccer Club in the NASL. The defender has appeared in more than 125 professional matches as a member of the Carolina RailHawks (NASL), Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS), Orlando City (USL PRO), Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL), and San Antonio Scorpions (NASL).
In 2016-17, the Falcons finished 17-3-1 and extended their active streak of district titles to seven before falling (2-1) in the regional semifinals to Community School of Naples for the second straight year. This season, Jones will need to find offense to offset the graduations of high-scoring stars Jonathan Boyd and Alex Virgilio, who combined to score more than 70 goals the past two years. The top returning scorer is sophomore Nico Colacci, who notched 31 goals and collected a team-high 19 assists on his way to being named first-team All-Area as a freshman. Other key returnees include seniors Trevor Mulqueen (goalie), Chris Pennewill, Danny Kukanza and Ben Whorf, and junior Noah Labelle.
Soccer is FHSAA sanctioned and is a winter season sport.