Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garfield Standout Doubly Dedicated

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Garfield Standout Doubly Dedicated

Article excerpt

Alex Victorino knows that it's not easy being a standout athlete in two demanding high school sports, especially in the summer, when both the football and basketball teams at Garfield, where he will be entering his senior year, are conducting off-season workouts almost simultaneously.

"It gets pretty rough," said Victorino, who will be a third-year starter at quarterback for the Boilermakers this fall and is a fine guard on the hardwood in the winter months.

"You have to be in pretty good shape to do both. Right now, it gets to be a pretty long day, going to football workouts, then the weight room, then go play with the basketball team. It's a pretty long day."

Victorino said that he regularly gets up at 4:30 a.m. to go to the school and run passing routes with his receivers, then heads to the weight room, then manages to find time to play basketball with the Boilermakers in their assorted summer league activities.

"I love being able to play both sports," Victorino said. "I've been told I'm a better football player. Being able to play two sports helps me in a lot of ways, but especially learning how to win.

"A lot of what I do in football carries over to basketball. I've learned that if things go bad, I can't put my head down. I still have to work hard. I can't slack off one minute. I am expected to be a leader in both sports. If the team sees me working hard, then they'll work just as hard as well."

Victorino threw for 1,700 yards and 21 touchdowns with only three interceptions for the Boilermakers last fall as Garfield posted an 8- 2 record and returned to the NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 playoffs.

Victorino also averaged nearly six points per game in basketball, as Garfield won 23 games and advanced to the semifinals of the North 1, Group 3 tournament.

Football coach Jeff DeVito knows how important Victorino is to his program.

"He's obviously our offensive leader," DeVito said. "He knows he has to stay within himself and not try to do too much. …

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