Few high school athletes can say they’ve traveled around the world to showcase their athletic prowess. But Division Avenue High School’s Justin Weinert is one of a select number of young stars to do exactly that.
The senior center forward for the Blue Dragons boys varsity soccer team has continuously impressed his coaches over the last four years. His raw scoring ability, combined with a sense of awareness on the field, led the team into the playoffs last year, ultimately losing to the No. 1-seeded South Side team.
“Justin has been an integral part of Division’s soccer program for the past four years,” head coach Brian Maloney said. “His drive to succeed is second to none. Both on and off the field, he carries himself with a sense of maturity and self-confidence making him a tremendous team leader. His raw talent and focus to be the best soccer player that he can be sets him apart from others on the field.”
But this young star doesn’t just play for Division Avenue. He’s part of a travel team, consisting of players from 12 states in the Northeast region.
Only 18 players, though, are chosen to travel across the globe, and Weinert is one of them. In his freshman year, he joined the club in Barcelona before journeying to Scotland, Germany, as well as Barcelona once again, in his sophomore season.
“My goal is to play Division I,” Weinert said. “It’s everything I worked for since I was young. It’s always been the goal.”
In Weinert’s sophomore year, he was named to the All-County team. A year later, he excelled even further, being named to not only the All-County squad, but he became the Conference A2 Player of the Year.
So what are the keys to success for this lad?
“My individual ball control, my ability to see other players and people around me gives me an advantage,” Weinert said. “Playing since I was young, my experience pays off, I know what to do, knowing when to look over my shoulder, looking for where my opponents are and where my teammates are.”
Thus far into the season, Weinert has two multiple-goal games (against North Shore and Bethpage). And he has large goals before he graduates high school.
“We had a pretty impressive run, which isn’t common for Division,” he said of last year’s success. “We hope to make it even further than we did last year. Last year, we didn’t expect to go that far. Our hearts are in it and now, we know we can do something special.”