SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD — Three-sport athletes have become somewhat of a dying breed in today’s culture among youth athletes.
They have succumbed to the cash-cow industry that has become club sports. In turn, that has bred athletes who specialize -- often spending thousands upon thousands of dollars to train year-round. In fact, many young athletes are specifically told that they must choose one sport to play; participation elsewhere will make them “a worse athlete.”
Jack Brady never got that memo.
A true chip off the old block, it probably is not a coincidence that all three varsity teams Brady has been a member of during his high school career have enjoyed success.
The senior has received ten total varsity letters over the course of his time at Scotch Plains-Fanwood — four in lacrosse and three each for basketball and soccer — and his mellow yet dependable leadership style has helped to take his teams to places that most high school athletes can only dream of.
“For dedication to sports, there aren’t enough positive words to commend him with,” said Scotch Plains-Fanwood HS Athletic Director Ryan Miller. “The high level that he played at shows that if you want to be dedicated to a sport, you can get better without paying private people and going off to private places.”
Though Brady juggled his school years between three sports, school work and a social life, his performance never suffered.
As daylight grew longer during the spring months, Brady shined brightest in lacrosse -- his “top” sport. Brady’s performance on the attack helped the Raiders win a combined 42 games over the past four years. That includes three consecutive Union County Tournament (UCT) semifinal appearances from 2016 to 2018, and four state tournament births. He became the program’s all-time leading points scorer this spring, setting a mark that now stands at 178.
Once the leaves turned brown and summer transitioned to autumn, Brady’s daunting presence on the Raiders’ soccer back line was the glue of one of the state’s best defenses. Brady was awarded for his hard work on the pitch, winning a 2015 UCT championship and the 2016 Section 2, Group 4 title, while also appearing in the state final game that year.
When the weather became cold outside, Brady turned up the heat on the hardwood. His high-flying presence on the wings as a three-year basketball starter helped the Raiders complete one of the best athletic program transformations in recent SPFHS history, which saw the team compile 43 wins during Brady’s junior and senior seasons after winning just three contests in his sophomore year. He netted 544 career points and certainly would have scored more, had his senior season not been cut short by a late-season injury.
As Brady helped all those teams win games each season with his athletic ability, it was his leadership and character that built sustained success.
“When you have great leadership and great seniors, you have great teams,” Miller said. “Being over 6-foot-2, he serves being a role model pretty well because everyone is always looking up to him, but at the end of the day, because of Jack’s constant smile on his face, his easygoing, effortless look about everything, I think people think it’s really easy to do what he did. He’s also an affable young man, and because of that, a lot of people want to follow him.”
Brady was named SPFHS Male Athlete of the Year at the school's annual Senior Athletic Banquet in June. Raiders fans won’t have to travel far at all to follow him. The three-time Iron Raider (three years on a varsity sport) will be taking his smooth athleticism and dependable leadership just over the Goethals Bridge this fall, when he embarks on a Division I men’s lacrosse career at Wagner College in nearby Staten Island.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also learn more at www.facebook.com/JointMotionPT.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076