Athletes credit success to W.E.

By Jordan Flusser, Editor-in-Chief

West Essex sports are known for their prestige, competitiveness and tradition. Many young players share the same goal; start on one of the school’s many varsity sports such as football, lacrosse, soccer and track. Student athletes have been given great opportunities to shine as a result of the school’s quality athletic program.

Since he was able to pick up a baseball bat, junior Phil Lutz has dreamed of wearing a West Essex Knights jersey. He can always be spotted showing off his number 21, whether it be around town in his varsity jacket or sprinting down the football field in his uniform. His hard work and commitment to the school’s athletic program have shown through his achievements, and allowed him to become one of the most talented athletes at West Essex.

Phil’s successes, which he attributes to the eminence of the West Essex athletic program and staff, include leading the football team to a State Championship and earning the title of captain of the boys lacrosse team.

“The West Essex athletic program is always elite,” Phil said. “Every year our school dominates in a lot of sports.”

Phil is not the only athlete that values the school’s athletic department. Sophomore girls soccer and lacrosse player, Lindsay Fusco, has been on varsity since her freshman year and said she’s not only formed many connections through athletics, but also discovered her goal of playing lacrosse in college.

“The program has been extremely supportive,” Lindsay said. “All of my coaches have been amazing so far and have taught me a lot.”

Lindsay has won several awards already for her athletic performance including freshman Rookie of the Year in lacrosse and First Team All Conference in soccer. She says the program’s dedication to their athletes is crucial in helping teams succeed. Lindsay said she believes sports have helped her grow as a person and that she is always learning new things about herself and her teammates.

“Playing sports lets me be competitive and challenge myself,” Lindsay said. “It is always something I look forward to doing.”

Although many see them as individual sports, junior runner Kouros Sadeghi-Nejad values the teamwork and family aspect of his sports of choice: cross country and track. Kouros has led both teams to many achievements and says their medals and trophies are a culmination of the team’s hard work and dedication to the program.

“The West Essex Cross Country and Track & Field program has afforded its athletes the unique opportunity to be a part of a team where one not only gets to test the limits of his or her abilities, but also be a part of something greater than themselves,” Kouros said.

No matter the sport or the level, the school’s athletic program is highly respected around New Jersey as a result of its accomplishments. Athletes across all fields say they benefit from the teamwork and communication skills they learn from athletics and help them feel like part of a community.

“I love being on a team,” Phil said. “It develops tighter friendships and it feels great being on the field with your best friends having fun and winning as a team.”

“We are more than just a ‘team’—we are a family,” Kouros said, “and every time we step on the track there is a great sense of camaraderie between each and every one of us.”