Adryan Sealey was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y. It was there where he learned how to play soccer.
“I learned at a place called Caton Park near Flatbush,” Sealey said. “I played a lot there.”
But when Sealey was ready to enroll in high school, his family decided to move to Jersey City.
“I was afraid at first, because I didn’t know anyone here,” Sealey said. “When I first came to Jersey City, it was difficult because I didn’t know anyone.”
Things got worse for Sealey when he enrolled at Snyder High School.
“When I signed up for school, I realized that they didn’t even have a soccer team,” Sealey said.
At that time, Snyder had discontinued varsity soccer. Will Munoz was brought in to coach a team, but it was strictly junior varsity.
“I thought about transferring to Ferris,” Sealey said. “That’s what was going through my mind.”
But Munoz convinced Sealey to stay.
“Back then, he was just a little guy,” Munoz said. “But I saw that he had some skill.”
“I was 5-foot-2 and I weighed about 100 pounds,” Sealey said. “I got pushed around quite a bit. I was lucky to be surrounded by seniors, so as a freshman playing high school soccer, I didn’t complain that much. Once I was playing soccer, I was comfortable. After that season ended, I knew I had to get bigger and stronger.”
Sealey went to the weight room religiously to improve his strength. Nature also helped him get a little taller and heavier.
“He put in the work on his own,” Munoz said. “Whenever I’m in the weight room, he calls me and asks if he can come to work out. He’s always asking about what he can do to get better.”
The Tigers posted a 3-10 record during Sealey’s sophomore year, the first year of varsity soccer. Last year, the Tigers were 5-12-2 and Sealey scored 14 goals.
“He’s been the centerpiece of our program,” Munoz said of Sealey, also mentioning Arnoldo Lopez and Melvin Temu as four-year members of the Snyder soccer program.
But much of the reason for the Tigers’ recent success has to be attributed to Sealey.
The senior has 17 goals and six assists for the Tigers, who have posted a 7-9 record this year, almost surpassing the win total of the last two years combined. Last week, Sealey had three goals against Marist, two more against Marist in consecutive games three days apart and three more against METS Charter. That’s eight in one week. Pretty impressive.
“If someone would have said that someone from Snyder would score 17 goals, you would say it was a joke,” Munoz said. “It’s very rare for someone to accomplish that. He can make something out of nothing. If he doesn’t get the perfect ball, he can still take you off the dribble from anywhere. He can shoot with either leg. He’s deceptively strong. People try to go and put a body on him and he still gets his shot off. He’s usually double and triple teamed and still scores.”
Munoz was asked if there was a reason for Sealey’s success.
“He’s way more focused this year,” Munoz said. “And he’s made everyone to all buy in. He trusts his teammates. In practice, he gets everyone together. He’s our vocal leader and our emotional leader.”
Sealey said that he plays soccer all the time, traveling to his Brooklyn roots to play, as well as locally.
“I practice day and night,” Sealey said. “Every day, I play soccer. When I was a freshman in high school, my shot was good, but not as powerful as it is now. My soccer IQ has gotten better. I have a lot of confidence now.”
Sealey said that it was great to see the Snyder program develop into a contending one.
“It means a lot to me,” Sealey said. “From my freshman year to now, it’s been amazing. I believe I can do anything and there’s a lot more to come. It’s just motivation for me to do better and I can do better.”
Munoz believes that Sealey can play in college. He’s already drawn attention from St. Peter’s University, Rutgers-Newark, Bloomfield and Felician.
“He’s a good student in the classroom, so he’ll get into college,” Munoz said. “It’s now his choice to make for college.”
“It would mean a lot for me to play in college,” Sealey said.
He’s well on his way…
There are only two weeks left for local football teams to accumulate power points to qualify for the NJSIAA state playoffs.
Here’s where the local teams stand:
In North Jersey Section 1, Group V: Union City is the top-ranked team with 94 points, followed by North Bergen with 91 points. If those two teams win out, they should receive home games in the state playoffs.
In North 2, Group I: Hoboken has dropped three straight games, but the Redwings stand in sixth place in the section. Secaucus is 11th and will need some help.
In North 2, Group III: Snyder is in a bit of trouble even with a 4-2 record. The Tigers stand 10th and will need help to get in.
In North 2, Group V: Bayonne is fourth and surprising Dickinson is sixth. What a major accomplishment it would be if the Rams make the state playoffs after the program was eliminated a few years ago.
In Central 2, Group II: Lincoln appears out after qualifying for the postseason in each of the last six seasons. The 2-4 Lions stand 11th in the section.
In Non-Public Group 2: Hudson Catholic is third and appears headed to a playoff home game.
In Non-Public Group 4: St. Peter’s Prep is third and should also get a home playoff game.
We will see what transpires over the next two weeks…
Congrats to the 1988-89 St. Anthony boys’ basketball team for their induction into the NJSIAA Hall of Fame, only the second team to be inducted in unison. It’s a great honor for legendary coach Bob Hurley and the Friars, especially since the school closed in June…
The Hudson County soccer tournaments will come to a final round this weekend when Kearny faces St. Peter’s Prep in the boys’ final and Kearny takes on Bayonne in the girls’ finale. Both games will be played Saturday at Harrison High School with the girls’ game at 11 a.m. and the boys’ tilt beginning at 1 p.m…
Hudson Reporter High School Football Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (4-2). 2. North Bergen (5-1). 3. Union City (3-3). 4. Bayonne (4-2). 5. Hudson Catholic (4-2)…
Hudson Reporter Boys’ High School Soccer Top Five: 1. St. Peter’s Prep (13-3-1). 2. Union City (8-5). 3. Bayonne (11-6). 4. Secaucus (11-4). 5. North Bergen (9-7-1). – Jim Hague.
Jim Hague can be reached at OGSMAR@aol.com.