Tom Pajic didn’t know what to do with himself.
The 1987 Paul VI Excessive College graduate had spent 25 years teaching in school soccer, however after a brief stint as Temple’s director of participant personnel led to 2018, Pajic determined towards transferring his household for an additional place and stayed residence in South Jersey.
Pajic, who additionally coached at Gettysburg, Fordham, Hofstra, Wilkes, South Florida, Bloomsburg and Quincy throughout his profession, tried to maintain busy. He labored at NFL Movies and did some freelance jobs, however he nonetheless wished extra.
Then, final 12 months, he considered placing his efforts into serving to South Jersey youngsters get recruited. He wasn’t positive although, not till his son gave him some recommendation.
“Out of the blue he stated, what I discovered at (Tom Owens) Mindset Academy (for soccer), for those who’re undecided on the follow subject or the sport subject, Tom Owens stated simply decide to it and work out the remaining later,” Pajic recalled.
That’s what Pajic did.
He began Jersey Gridiron Scout with the mission to provide publicity to space gamers that need to compete on the subsequent stage. In December, he held the Jersey Jam Showcase as 72 coaches from 42 faculties got here to South Jersey to judge 150 senior prospects.
Pajic’s subsequent occasion (Jersey Juice) is Sunday at The Discipline Home in Moorestown and he’ll have near 200 native juniors and sophomores figuring out in entrance of practically 60 faculties.
“Soccer has been my life, my household’s life,” Pajic stated. “This is a chance to pay it ahead, pay it ahead the place I’m from and that’s particular to me. It’s an opportunity to assist.”
The registration price was $90 per participant, however Lenape head coach Joe Wojceichowski believes the occasion is price it.
“I undoubtedly encourage my youngsters to reap the benefits of any alternative they will in a well-run camp,” he stated. “It’s not a cash seize. It’s a spot you may compete, get coached up and get a chance to showcase your self. … This can be a man who’s been within the enterprise for a few years. He understands what coaches need to see and what they’re on the lookout for and I believe he’s geared the occasion towards that.”
Jersey Juice may have conventional testing just like the 40-yard sprint, but additionally concentrate on drill work, one-on-ones and extra.
The exercises will probably be invaluable to the Division-II and Division-III faculties in attendance. Most, if not all have been unable to recruit like regular on account of COVID.
“My first three years right here we normally have 90 to 100 faculties coming via our door in a given recruiting interval, December via January, April via Might,” Wojceichowski stated. “There have been 4 or 5 faculties day by day. That’s not the case proper now. Compared, it’s dormant. There’s not been a complete lot of contact. With the extension of eligibility for present school athletes, there’s quite a bit much less scholarships going round and that limits the pool of who they’re going to take a look at and consider.”
Kingsway junior Elias Collins has gotten some curiosity from Division-I applications, however nothing official has come his approach.
He’s hoping Jersey Juice will open doorways.
“This has been my most efficient offseason,” Collins stated. “I really feel I’ve gotten higher for the reason that final time school coaches have seen me so I’m actually excited to point out out.”
Josh Friedman has produced award-winning South Jersey sports activities protection for the Courier Submit and The Every day Journal for greater than a decade. When you have or know of an fascinating story to inform, attain out on Twitter at @JFriedman57 or by way of electronic mail at [email protected] You too can contact him at 856-486-2431. Assist assist native journalism with a subscription to the Courier Submit, The Every day Journal or the Burlington County Occasions.