Student to serve on NJSIAA student athlete council

By David Karas | Correspondent

Kyle Harris

Kyle Harris, a junior in St. John Vianney High School, Holmdel, was recently selected to serve on the inaugural Student Athlete Advisory Council of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association.

The 17-year-old Tinton Falls resident and member of St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, was one of approximately 100 students across the state to be selected for the council. The body is the first of its kind in the 100-year history of the NJSIAA, which serves the more than 280,000 student athletes across the state.

Harris, who plays boys lacrosse, was selected by his school community to represent his high school on the council.

“I am most looking forward to giving student athletes a voice in the NJSIAA,” said Harris. “It is an unbelievable opportunity that, as a student athlete, I never thought I could achieve.”

On campus, Harris is also a leader in the Catholic Athletes for Christ program. He is a member of the National Honor Society; vice president of the Classic Car Club; and has been part of the Heroes & Cool Kids program, which mentors sixth-grade students in healthy choices, bullying and anti-drugs and alcohol.

“He does a lot,” said Patrick Smith, SJV assistant athletic director. “It makes it all worth it when we turn out student athletes like Kyle Harris. As our Catholic Athletes for Christ coordinator and director of Christian Service at SJV, it makes me proud when our best student athletes put God above the game!”

Mike Dowd, who is Harris’ coach, said that the school “couldn’t ask for a better kid to ask for feedback on issues.”

“As an athlete, he is a tremendous leader, highly skilled, easy to coach and an asset to our program,” Dowd said. “As a student he is conscientious, comes for help, comes to study on his own and well respected by his peers.”

According to its mission statement, the NJSIAA “is committed to serving all types of student-athletes, its member schools and related professional organizations by the administration of education-based interscholastic athletics, which support academic achievement, good citizenship, and fair and equitable opportunities.”

The newly formed Student Athlete Advisory Council, according to the NJSIAA, “will give an unprecedented voice to the state’s student-athletes, who last year numbered 283,000 at the NJSIAA’s 434 member schools.” The body first met in August, when members listened to speakers and shared thoughts on issues affecting themselves and their teammates at their institutions.

Harris said he relies on his Catholic faith “for everything” and recognizes “God’s Divine Plan working in my life, guiding me (through) whatever the day to day life brings.”

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