After training for numerous years, through hard work, John-Austin Ricks’ “dream since middle school” was achieved.

On July 11th of this year, Ricks verbally committed to Syracuse University which was one of his dream colleges.

“.. and I loved it, I fell in love with the school,” said Ricks.

With a top 25 ranking in the country, Syracuse is one of the few elite soccer  schools. Students who attend school there have grade point averages ranging from 3.7 to 4.5, so adding any type of sport on top of that is definitely adding on a lot of weight.

This stunning center midfielder is also a part of the San Jose Earthquakes Academy which practices four days a week and has a tournament every other weekend. Starting out there as a freshman on the under 16’s team John is now a part of the starting lineup on the under 18’s team.

The Academy Ricks attends has an affiliation with the MLS (Major League Soccer). The basic idea is that you are scouted and recruited to the Academy, then you get to practice with the team and if you’re good enough you make the team. Since the Academy is led by MLS everything is free, this includes hotel travel, gear and other benefits.

“I’m gone from 4:30 to 10:00 PM every night four days a week, sometimes five ” said Ricks.

With homework it became harder to manage being on the team. When asked when he does homework “sometimes in the car… most of the time I try to get it done during the day if I have a few minutes at home before I go to soccer,” he said.

After college, Ricks hopes to get drafted by any one of the MLS soccer teams in the US. Being a part of the Academy is a great way to get your name out there since it is run by MLS, so you are already a known by the teams.

John was surprised about the grades he was able to achieve his Junior year.

“They said Junior year was the hardest” Ricks said.

John also claims he was able to do the best Junior year despite having to take the SAT/ACT,complete lots of homework and be part of the Academy all at once.  

John’s dad was apart of Cornell’s soccer in team in college so John grew up knowing the sport very well. Ever since middle school John has wanted to play college and professional soccer.

“When I was young I really didn’t think I would play college soccer, as I got older and older it became my dream” said John.

Since John is filled up with both soccer and homework, he has no time to play on the Monte Vista soccer team.
“John has a tremendous work-ethic,” says Head coach Paul Holocher of the  San Jose Earthquakes Academy. “That is just one of the qualities  that make him such a terrific soccer player and person. Each day he gives it 100% and that just positively pours over into the rest of the team.”