Standout play on the field is often rewarded with trophies and postseason accolades, but for the newly graduated Patrick Nuss of Fossil Ridge, there’s far more than hardware and headlines to recognize his accomplishments.
Nuss was a four-year starter on the Panthers soccer team. They just missed the playoffs this season after a goal was disallowed in their final game against Byron Nelson.
But about everything else around Nuss has worked out well due to his hard work and the right mindset.
Just some of the honors for Nuss include graduating fourth in his class and having served as the Panthers team captain for the last two years.
His unweighted GPA was 105.8.
Nuss was also a commended National Merit Scholar, a homecoming court nominee, Ridge ‘Man of the Year’ nominee and also captain of his select soccer team, the Tejanos, for the last six years where he also led the team in goals and assists last year. He was also president of Ridge Athletes for Literacy, given an opportunity to read to Heritage Elementary students during the school year.
So, it was only deserving – though a total surprise to Nuss – that he was recognized as one of Dale Hansen’s Scholar Athletes of the Week recently on WFAA.
The recognition is based on service to community, academics and athletics.
“I didn’t know about it,” Nuss said of his nomination for the Hansen recognition, which included a nerve-wracking TV experience. “My parents found it online and sent it in without telling me.”
The Ridge standout isn’t resting on his laurels, though.
Nuss is working out this summer before heading to New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J., to play at the next level.
Nuss said he will report on Aug. 12 and will begin his collegiate soccer career and work toward his major in biomedical engineering.
He is working out two or three times each day in preparations for his college playing days.
“I work on my skills such as dribbling, and then in the afternoon I’ll do my college workout of lifting and running,” Nuss said. He normally then fills his evenings with playing soccer with friends or another club team, as his team, the Tejanos, has concluded its season.
Finding such a good fit for Nuss took a bit of coincidence and a bit of planned research.
Nuss said before his club team went to a tournament in spring, they took note of the college coaches who stated they would be in attendance.
The Nuss family e-mailed the New Jersey school’s coach and the dialogue began after the coaches liked what they saw on the field and on the transcript.
The technical institute fitted well with Nuss’ desire to have a career where he could help in designing products or services which could serve people.
“I took an AP biology class from Mr. [Alan] Cotton and he made it really interesting,” Nuss said. “Then I took physics and always liked it and knew that I could work to make things that could help people.”
Nuss and his family had actually passed by the Newark campus while touring the Northeast for potential colleges.
“I thought, ‘Who would ever go there?’ and so we didn’t visit,” Nuss said. After the conversations with the school ensued, Nuss said he went back to visit and decided it was a great opportunity to study and play soccer.
Before he leaves for school, Nuss said his advice to younger players is to maintain persistence and diligence.
“Hard work does pay off,” Nuss said. “I didn’t know if I’d make the varsity my freshman year. In the end, it paid off and paved the way for me.”
In addition to being able to reflect back on his high school years, he said he’ll always remember scoring the first goal in a 2-1 victory over Carroll on Valentine’s Day last year and the pride in being able to represent his school.
“Being a part of 18 to 20 guys who are able to represent something a lot bigger than yourself was important to me,” he said.