SOMERSET, NJ - TAPinto Franklin Township will be running a series called "Athletic Scholars.” The objective is to showcase exceptional student athletes attending Franklin Township Public Schools. Each student must be a senior playing a varsity sport with a minimum 3.5 GPA. The student should have also shown a commitment to volunteerism in the community. 

Parents, teachers, school administrators were asked questions about the student to gain some background information. The student was also interviewed and then sent specific core questions, and the answers to those questions will be published unedited. 

TAPinto Franklin Township’s first student interviewed was Garrett Callaghan a varsity player on the baseball team, with a 4.0 GPA. He will be attending Ithaca College next year and will be majoring in Sports Management and Finance, minoring in Legal Studies.

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 "The foundation and support my family gives me help to keep me on the right track," Callaghan said. 

Director of BaseballU Mike Murray said Callaghan's experience in the classroom and community has opened up several opportunities that will serve him well in the future. Murray also feels Callaghan has exhibited a consistent work ethic that is visible to his teammates and peers. 

Murray feels Callaghan leverages is baseball and academic talents to get the most of his situation. 

"Garrett did a great job in the classroom that opened several baseball opportunities for him, Ithaca is a great fit," Murray said. "Having 200 more baseball games to play, a great academic university, and an opportunity to compete with teammates that will become a fraternity of lifelong friends, it's a good deal."

"Garrett is an advanced offensive player with good physical strength," Murray said. "He uses the whole field when he hits and drives the ball in the gaps.  He has shown versatility defensively, as he plays the corner infield and outfield spots, as well as pitching in spots."

Callaghan's guidance counselor Heather A. Danberry feels he has shown a great degree of maturity through the four years she has worked with him and indicated his family is very proactive in ensuring his academic success. 

"Garrett and his family were very proactive in the college planning and application process," Danberry said. "They utilized multiple resources, such as Naviance, to perform college searches, attended information nights at the high school and visited many schools.  While I was here to assist Garrett through the process, he developed a strong list of colleges to which he chose to apply on his own.  We discussed pros and cons of each, however, knowing Garrett I was confident he would choose the school that was right for him as any of the colleges he applied to would be very lucky to have him."

Franklin Warrior's Baseball Head Coach, Nicholas Zucchero feels Callaghan is a hard worker on the field and feels he has what it takes to be successful as a freshman. 

"One of best attributes that Garrett has shown over the two years of coaching him would have to be his desire to improve his craft day in and day out," Zucchero said. "He is always asking questions and wanting more reps."

"Garrett has a chance to make a large impact next year as a freshman at Ithaca," Zucchero said. "It is not going to be an easy road to earn playing time but I do think he has what it takes on and off the field to have a successful first year." 

Callaghan was asked some specific questions and he provided the answers below:

Question: When did you know first know you wanted to play organized sports?

Answer: I was 8 years old when I was selected to be a player on the Franklin Township Little League All-Star team. We had a really good team and I did really well in competitions and tournament games.

Question: What was your first memory as an athlete?

Answer: My first game in T-Ball as a 5-year-old at the Franklin Township Little League complex on the T-Ball field In the Franklin Township Little League complex on the T-Ball field dressed in my first uniform! In my final game in T-Ball, I hit a home run over the fence which is something I will never forget.

Question: What is your favorite subject? The worse?

Answer: My favorite subject is Math and my least favorite subject is English. 

Question: What are you most looking forward to when you go away to college?

Answer: I am looking forward to getting independence, playing NCAA level baseball and meeting new people and making new friends.

Question: Who is your favorite sports player?

Answer: Mike Trout because he plays the game the right way and is from New Jersey.

Question: Who is your favorite scholar?

Answer: Bill Gates because of everything he does for the entire world with his massive influence and money to help mankind.

Question: Name at least three coaches that influenced you the most.

Answer: Bob Brazicki, Bill DiNicola, and my dad. The three of these men spent endless hours on the baseball field with me and my teammates to teach us baseball and made us into one of the best teams in the entire state and region.

The last word from Steve Callaghan, Garrett Callaghan's father and former coach on what Callaghan should do to stay motivated:

"Dream big and always continue to learn and work hard," S. Callaghan said. "Be the best you can possibly be in everything you approach and do not cut corners."

Editor's note: If you know anyone who is an athletic scholar, please email TAPintoFranklinTownship@tapinto.net so they can be featured. 

TAPinto Franklin Township is Franklin Township’s only free daily paper. 

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If you have any suggestions to add to this article contact the editor at mlyons@tapinto.net.

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