GARWOOD, NJ—Governor Livingston students Lindsay Gerrato and Dan Baroff were honored as the 2017 Union Country Interscholastic Association Conference Scholar-Athletes at the Westwood in Garwood for their commitment to excellence in academics and athletics.

Each year, the school athletic department selects a male and female student athlete who embodies the qualities of an exceptional scholar athlete—leadership, intelligence, dedication, and motivation—striving for greatness in athletics and academics. The following criteria were guidelines used to choose the 2017 UCIAC scholar athletes: Nominee must be a graduating senior; nominee should have participated in extra-curricular activities; nominee must have participated in an UCIAC sponsored varsity sport; nominee must have exhibited athletic and academic excellence.

Gerrato and Baroff were chosen by the school along the previously stated criteria and were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship at the awards dinner at the Westwood.

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“It has been an honor to watch Lindsay Gerrato and Dan Baroff grow as student athletes during their tenure at Governor Livingston High School," said GL Athletic Director Ann Clifton. "Lindsay and Dan were able to hone their athletic skill set to be huge difference makers for our athletic department, Both student athletes are role models to our younger players by showing their abilities to champion their scholarly duties and athletic endeavors with the same high passion for greatness!  A legacy of hard work and commitment to team goals will be the lasting impression Lindsay and Dan will leave behind for their coaches and younger teammates.”

Gerrato has been the force behind the GL Girls’ Basketball Team for 3 years and the Girls’ Lacrosse Team for all 4 years. Throughout her time as a Highlander athlete, Gerrato has raked in many impressive accomplishments. In basketball, the center attained an all-conference title, was named Union County and all-state all-star, and was just the 12th female in Highlander history to reach 1,000 points—a milestone every basketball player covets.

During Gerrato’s lacrosse career, she broke the school record for season points and goals, career points, goals, and assists. She was named conference player of the year, all-conference, as well as all-Group 2, and at the end of the season, was 5th in the state for goals scored.

“It feels pretty amazing to know that I was chosen out of a lot of other well deserving athletes. It is nice to be recognized for my academic and athletic achievements from the past four years," said Gerrato about being named UCIAC Scholar Athlete. "The other scholar athletes from throughout the county were really impressive so it was pretty exciting to share the honor with such outstanding student athletes.” 

The senior has participated in sports throughout her life, and due to her involvement, has found her niche.

“I can confidently say that most of the positive lessons I have learned in life are thanks to sports. I learned how to take control of a game, how to lead others, how to win at all costs but also how to lose with grace, how to take advice from a coach and from teammates, how to give advice to others, how to manage my time, how to push through adversity, and how to have fun in a productive way,” Gerrato said, “ I have also made the majority of my friends through sports. Being on a team is a guaranteed way to make friends. I now know people from all different friend groups, towns, and even states because of my involvement in athletics.”

Not only does Gerrato excel in lacrosse and basketball, but also is the Co-editor-in-chief of the GL Newspaper, on the executive board for student council, is a Link Crew leader, volunteers at Little Flower Parish, and more.

Gerrato will be attending Union College in the fall, where she will continue her lacrosse career.

Dan Baroff has been an integral part of the GL Baseball program for four years, acting as catcher and reliable hitter throughout his time on the team. Baroff made Highlander history in 2016 as he, along with his fellow teammates, won GL Baseball’s first ever Union County Championship. In the 2017 season, Baroff and his team were ranked the #1 Baseball Team in New Jersey and ranked nationally among some of the best teams in the country. Most recently, Baroff smacked the walk-off double to claim the 2017 Sectional Championship for the Highlander Baseball program.

Along with Baroff’s athletic achievements, the senior has been committed to excellence in the classroom and the greater community. He developed a sports equipment drive that sent gently used and new equipment to villages in Ghana, Africa—allowing children to learn different sports and participate in them. Baroff is also the commissioner of GL’s Link Crew and participates in the Spanish Club, St. Baldrick’s Club, Math League, and is a staff writer for the Highlander Newspaper.

“This is an incredible honor. To be recognized as a scholar athlete amongst many different students throughout Union County is a very humbling feeling. It is also a validation that all of my hard work both academically and athletically has paid off,” Baroff said, “Being a student athlete has allowed me to see the importance of balancing my responsibilities throughout high school. I have experienced many late nights of studying because of games and practices and through it all I learned that you must continue to push through and remain determined to achieve success in both academics and athletics.”

Through his time as an athlete, Baroff has learned various lessons that will help him for the rest of his life.

“I have learned many lessons from being a student athlete including the importance of time management and hardwork. In my experiences I learned that you must be determined to excel in both areas and willing to take on the challenges that both aspects may present you,” Baroff said, “I would like to be known as a very determined and hardworking student that put equal amount of time and effort into his studies and athletics. I would also like to be remembered for my respect for others as both a student and athlete.”

Baroff will be heading to Franklin and Marshall in Pennsylvania next year, where he will be playing baseball.

Editor's Note: Lauren Boyd is a graduating senior at Gov. Livingston High School who is participating in the TAPinto Berkeley Heights Intern Program. To learn more about the intern program contact bpeer@tapinto.net.