Athlete Of The Week: Ari Kantorowitz

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Ari Kantorowitz (No. 21) dribbles the ball at a recent Jericho High School soccer match.
(Photo courtesy of Ari Kantorowitz)

Everyone on Long Island knows when it comes to soccer, Jericho High School is a force to be reckoned with on the soccer field. But this year, there is no player as prolific of a scorer as senior Ari Kantorowitz.

Kantorowitz, who started high school at Jericho, transferred to Solomon Schechter School of Long Island, but returned to Jericho this year. Now, he’s one of the leaders for the Jayhawks’ varsity soccer squad, leading not only Nassau County, but all of Long Island with 26 goals this season.

Q: What’s it like to be Nassau County’s top scorer?
A: On my club team, my main role isn’t to score. To be able to come to Jericho, score all of these goals and help the team like this is different for me. It’s a great feeling.

Q: What’s this journey been like for you?
A: It’s an honor to get all of this attention from different schools that we play. When I play, I just play. I don’t think. I need to clear my mind before I play. When I do that, I’m able to create plays for my teammates and even for myself. I’m good at creating something when nothing seems available.

Q: What are some of your goals moving forward?
A: Right now, I’m looking to play Division I soccer. If not, there’s a chance that I go overseas to play. Dani [Braga, head coach of the Jayhawks] has been helping me get recruited. The success of the entire team has helped me get attention from different coaches.

Q: What’s it like to know coaches are trying to get you to be part of their programs?
A: It’s an honor. I know few kids who have the chance to play Division I. I know I can’t take it for granted. Everything I do every day is meant to achieve that goal. Whether it’s taking to the field after practice to get extra reps or going to the gym after a long day at school, I know I can achieve that goal.

Q: What do you feel you can do to lead this squad in the playoffs?

A: I think the team, having such a great reputation, is a little nervous. We know teams are trying to come after us when they see us. It creates some nerves. As a leader on this team, it’s my job to make sure they know when they’re on the field to not be nervous. You need to be composed and not try to do too much.

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