CLARK, NJ — Jonathon Sot has been playing baseball and football since he was a child. Now his perseverance, hard work, talent and grit have landed him the ultimate trophy — an invitation to attend Harvard University.
A Clark resident and rising senior at Saint Joseph High School in Metuchen, Sot has received the highest accolades from coaches and faculty alike.
“Jon is the perfect example of a 'scholar-athlete,' and I am very proud of his achievements in the classroom and on the athletic fields. He is a wonderful representative of Saint Joe's and his family,” said Dr. Gregory Brandao, president of Saint Joseph High School.
Rich Hilliard, head coach of the Saint Joseph football team, said, “Jon is a humble and genuine young man, and at the same time he is a fierce competitor."
“Jon is a scholar-athlete. His academics are off the charts. He wants to be the best no matter what he does. His work ethic is terrific all around and when competition comes, he is ready,” said Hilliard.
“Jon is not only a kicker, he is a tremendous all-around athlete, and he is deceptively fast. We knew we would never have a problem with a tight game, we had a shot to win because we had Jon,” said Hilliard.
“When it comes to field goal time, most kids get nervous, but not Jon; he looks for this,” Hilliard said. Last season, Sot kicked 50 extra points and five field goals. Sot received 17 passes for 435 yards and six touchdowns, averaging over 25 yards per catch. Sot’s football record also includes a 55-yard field goal for Saint Joseph’s against Perth Amboy High School last season.
Hiliard confirmed the coaches at Saint Joseph’s sent tapes of Sot to numerous schools and several Ivy League schools were interested. Harvard invited Sot to attend a specialist camp in the spring.
According to Sot, shortly after arriving home from camp, he got a call with an offer.
“The second I stepped on the campus at Harvard, I knew it would be home,” said Sot. “The academics and prestige of the school, made the decision easy it’s the opportunity of a lifetime, my family is all psyched up.”
Over the year’s Sot’s talents became well known in town, across the county and beyond. Sot says he never really saw himself as better than everyone else but he knew he wanted an edge so he did more work whenever he could.
“I worked hard and then toward the end of eighth grade and into freshman year, something clicked in my head. I’m going to have to do more than everyone else. So I started getting up and running at 5 a.m., kicking footballs after school with my dad, working out at home every chance I got, making myself better every second of everyday,” said Sot.
Sot announced his commitment to Harvard via Instagram.
“I want to thank all of my family friends and coaches for their guidance during this journey. After years of playing multiple sports during my childhood, making the decision to pick one was not easy. This is not the end, it is only the beginning. I am thrilled to announce my commitment to Harvard University,” he wrote.
Sot acknowledge the help he received along the way from the people around him.
“The Saint Joe’s coaching staff for both sports, supported me and pushed me, over these years and they helped bring out the best in me,” he said.
The one thing Sot is leaving behind when he heads to Harvard is one of his first loves, baseball. When he talked about leaving the diamond, Sot was reflective.
“Baseball has been a love of mine since I was 4 or 5, it won’t be easy to give up, but this academic opportunity [Harvard] made it easier to make the decision,” he said. “Thankfully I have one more season of baseball at high school to look forward to."