EDISON — Zach Bialik of Woodbridge, a senior at The Wardlaw-Hartridge School in Edison, is taking plenty of excitement, confidence and speed to the college level.
Bialik signed his National Letter of Intent to play soccer at Rutgers University on Feb. 6, the national signing date. Bialik is thrilled to be joining the Scarlet Knights.
“It’s an indescribable feeling right now,” said Bialik, who was joined by his parents, David and Cindy, in the Wardlaw-Hartridge Admission Conference Room. “I’m basically on Cloud Nine.”
Bialik expects to make an impact at the college level right away. He knows that Rutgers isn’t afraid to play freshmen and he’s prepared to fight for playing time.
“I’m more excited and determined than anything else,” said Bialik, who also was recruited by Harvard, Cornell, St. John’s, Cincinnati and Georgetown. “I’m pretty confident that I’ll get a chance to play.”
Bialik starred for the Rams for three seasons but had to sit out his senior year due to a club soccer commitment with Match Fit Chelsea Academy. His preparation at the club under coach Malcolm Murphy and his rigorous training sessions with Wardlaw-Hartridge 2004 graduate Mike Olim have been instrumental in making Bialik the player he is today. He also credits former W-H head coach Mike Romeo, who is now an assistant coach at Rutgers.
Bialik’s parents are excited to have their son playing close to home.
“I’m very happy he’s going to be local,” David Bialik said. “It gives us an opportunity to see him play. We’re looking forward to it. I’m sure he’s going to do well. He just has to be himself out there.”
Bialik becomes the fourth Wardlaw-Hartridge player in the last five years to play Division 1 soccer, joining Jordan Neuhauser ’08 (Elon), Sean Gardner ’10 (Duquesne) and Jordan Beckett ’10 (Dayton). The school is establishing a presence on the NCAA level, with athletes competing on various levels in many different leagues.
“He gave us three great years on the high school level,” said Karl Miran, the W-H Athletic Director. “Zach contributed to the soccer program here and we’re proud to see him have this opportunity.”