I wanted to share this piece from my colleague Sharieka Breeden on this week’s Con Ed Award winner, who also happens to be having an excellent season on the pitch.
Fast forward to the 2013 soccer season and the 6-foot-2 Byram Hills goalie still has those attributes, as well as some other impressive items that make his resume worthy of being The Con Edison Athlete of the Week.
“From then on I devoted my life to soccer and I have been working on it ever since,” Weitzman said. “Sometimes you come off the field and you aren’t even sweating but you have made some big saves for your team. I love it.”
Weitzman has recorded 12 shutouts for the 14-0-1 team as of Oct. 17. His most recent was in a 4-0 win over Ossining. As a student-athlete, Weitzman prides himself on improving.
“In soccer I don’t dwell on the past because I focus on the future and I’m always thinking about 40 minutes,” Weitzman said. “In life,i if I get a bad test grade, sitting around won’t do anything, but studying hard will.”
The Bobcats captain is a leader to the players he shares the field with. It’s not just holding the title of being a captain for him though. It’s the confidence his teammates, like center-back Ganeles, have in him to step up when the team needs it most.
“During the Port Chester game, I was guarding one of the best players and every once in a while I would get beat,” Ganeles said. “He would make the saves and handle it so gracefully. He always makes me keep my head up. He is such a natural leader.”
Leading is one thing, but the student-athlete who maintains a 3.11 G.P.A with a course load that includes subjects like Physics and Calculus also knows how to adapt to playing other roles. He is a member of the Alzheimer’s Awareness Club and a Peer Tutor.
“As the captain I have to assume the responsibility and take charge,” Weitzman said. “As a member of a club, I have to take the other side of it; listen to the leaders and recognize that I am not in charge.”
Weitzman’s natural gift of being a reliable resource for others, which was exemplified when he started the organization Helping Underprivileged Athletes (HUPA) last year, which is no longer active, is a signature characteristic that Ganeles will miss.
“It’s been awesome playing with him, especially this year,” Ganeles said. “I have so much confidence in him as a goalie and a person. I can trust that he won’t let me down. That is something different and special that he is blessed with.”
The Con Edison Athlete of the Week recognizes students in Westchester and Putnam schools who excel athletically. Academic achievements, leadership, citizenship, school and community activities are also factors. The winner is selected each week by a panel of ADs and coaches who review ballots submitted by each athlete’s athletic director or coach.
Photo by Frank Becerra Jr./ The Journal News