FORT LEE, N.J – Jared Brusco of Fort Lee has signed on to play soccer at Sacred Heart University in the fall.
Jared has been playing soccer since he was 5, said his dad, Franco Brusco. He played baseball from a young age as well – Franco's sport – but chose to focus on soccer when he was 12.
"I worked all my life for this moment, and I can't believe I achieved my goal of becoming a Division I athlete," he said.
Jared thanked Fort Lee High School; Athletic Director Make Raftery; Coach Demba Mane, who started him on the varsity team as a freshman; his girlfriend; friends and family.
Jared thanked his little sister for motivating him to work harder; his mom for her love, support and help with all the schoolwork; and especially his father.
He has pushed me and shaped me into the person I am today. He is the main reason I am in the position I'm in. He supported me and taught me not only about soccer but about life as well. He believed in me and that is the greatest gift anyone could've given me.
Franco said that Jared is one of the few male seniors in the county to commit to a Division I school, citing NJ.com's signing day list.
Three New Jerseyans donned the red jersey of the Pioneers for the 2016 season, but the only Bergen native – Kieran Walsh, of River Vale – is already a senior.
Jared had four offers, but he chose Sacred Heart.
"We loved the school, the coach was very nice," Franco said.
Going into high school, Jared had been heavily recruited by private schools, Franco said. He thought that might be the best route for his son, to pursue his soccer goals and land in a Division I school, but Jared decided he wanted to stay in town.
And he's done Fort Lee proud.
"Thank you to all my friends, family and coaches who helped me throughout this long journey," Jared added.
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