Some students devote their high school years to building up the highest GPA possible to get into the best academic schools in the country. Other students, such as Matt Gianfortone, are motivated for other reasons and devote their high school years to achieve different goals.
Since Gianfortone was 4 years old, he has been playing soccer. He started out on a recreational team just like any other kid, but his parents soon realized he needed to be playing against better talent. He was moved up through several teams at the Capital Area Soccer League (CASL).
“I started off in rec soccer, and then I played Challenge for a year. After that I played YTS, and then made the Elite team, and for the past 3 or 4 years I have been playing Academy soccer,” said Gianfortone.
During his 14 year stretch at CASL, Gianfortone’s best moments have come from playing with his Academy team. “My favorite memory is scoring goals during Academy playoffs in Indiana last year,” said Gianfortone.
Gianfortone has wanted to play college soccer at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington since sophomore year. He finally got the opportunity he was waiting for when the coaches offered him a scholarship in the beginning of his junior year. “UNCW was the only school I wanted to go to. I attended their soccer camp two years in a row because that was the only place I was interested in.”
In order to be eligible for a scholarship, student athletes must have a GPA of 2.3 or higher. “I’d say my biggest focus in school is to get A’s and B’s to be able get into college, so I can play soccer [at UNCW],” said Gianfortone. His current GPA makes him in the middle for this year’s senior class.
Throughout his high school career, Gianfortone’s favorite class was Lifetime Sports. “It’s fun because you get to go bowling,” said Gianfortone. Lifetime was full of memorable moments. “This one time, we were going bowling and our bus broke down. We were really late. Civ was freaking out because he didn’t know why it broke and then he had to fix it,” said Gianfortone.
Coach Civitello, the teacher of Lifetime Sports 1 and 2, had Gianfortone in both classes and thinks very highly of his work ethic. “Matt is a very consistent student. He’s here every day, he’s prepared for class every day, and he is a very energetic student,” said Civitello.
Gianfortone plans to major in business and finance next fall at UNCW.