SPARTA, NJ – Lucas Faria was recognized as Sparta High School’s Distinguished Student for 2015.  Mayor Jerry Murphy honored Faria with a plaque at the Sparta Township Council meeting on Tuesday night.  With his family looking on, Faria came before the council members and the community for the award.

“I was a running back when I was on the football team in high school,” said Murphy.  “But you probably ran more yards in one game then I did in my whole career.”

Faria acknowledged having run for over 450 yards in a game.  He has impressive stats as a key player on the state championship team both this season and last.  He is Sparta High School’s all-time leading rusher in 2014, was the state’s leading rusher and 2013 NJ Herald’s Football Player of the Year. 

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As a varsity lacrosse player for the past three seasons Faria has a total of 64 goals, 28 as a senior.  Combined with his 14 assists this year, Faria was a team leader with 42 points. 

This winter Faria took on a different role, that of coach.  He coached his brother’s middle school rec basketball team. 

As this year’s United Way Scholar Athlete from Sparta, Faria is more than just an athlete.  His academic record has gotten him a place in the freshmen class at Columbia University beginning in September, where he will continue to play football.