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For St. Francis Prep senior Kenny Redzematovic, the rise to the top of his school’s all-time goal scoring list wasn’t entirely an individual achievement.
Redzematovic, who burst onto the scene as a freshman with 27 goals on the junior varsity team, wanted to make sure his teammates were involved in the goals that would put him alone atop the list. And for the record-breaking goal, Redzematovic was thrilled that his longtime friend, teammate, and fellow captain Eric Mirkov got the assist.
“I didn’t want the record-breaking goal to be a little chip-in or putback,” Redzematovic said. “I saw the opening and Eric and I had a connection and I put it in the goal.”
That 47th career goal came in a win against league rival Iona Prep on Sept. 20. It broke a 16-year-old record held by Mark Prizant. Redzematovic hasn’t slowed down. He’s now at 52 goals and counting. He has St. Francis Prep at 8-1-0 and on eight-game winning streak.
“A player like that comes along once in a long time, to have a kid who can finish like that,” St. Francis Prep coach Franco Purificato said. “He has a special gift in front of the net.”
Redzematovic, described by his coach as a hard worker who leads by example, seemed surprised at his ability to climb the all-time scoring list so quickly.
“To be honest, I didn’t even know there was a list,” he said. “Sophomore year when I scored goals, that wasn’t my focus. Then the goals kept piling up my junior year.”
But Redzematovic’s success doesn’t end on the soccer field, even after helpng the Terriers to the CHSAA Class AA intersectional title last season. In fact, despite his prolific scoring record, he isn’t afraid to push athletics to the back seat for academics. He has a 99 average and realizes that injuries could derail his soccer career at any time. His education comes first.
“The way I’ve been brought up, academics have been the priority,” he said. “It doesn’t happen often, but I’ve missed a couple practices to prepare for a test or midterm.”
Just as he leads by example with a calmness on the field, he’s not rushing his college decision. Redzematovic is looking into engineering and has a short list of possible destinations, including Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, Columbia, Princeton, and NJIT.
“A lot of my club teammates have committed to colleges,” Redzematovic said. “I just want something that suits me and that gives me the best education.”
©2012 Community Newspaper Group
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