A lot of stars had to get in alignment before Jack Arnink could play soccer at Steinert High School. Fortunately for the Spartans, everything eventually lined up perfectly and Arnink became part of the soccer success story on the East side of the township. The story had such a happy ending as the star helped Steinert capture a state championship. "It was fate that put me at Steinert," Arnink noted. "Lived on the West side of Hamilton Township, (then) moved to Connecticut for seventh and eighth grade. When we moved back to the area for ninth grade, I attended Nottingham Junior H.S. I had broken my collarbone over the summer and couldn’t play soccer my first year back. I had to start from scratch my sophomore year at Steinert and work my way up from JV."

"Just playing for Steinert meant everything to a competitive athlete," Arnink said. "I had opportunities to play elsewhere but there was no way I would take second-best. We were the best in the state in 1971 and I was a contributor to that team. Not many can say that. I played for Steinert. After all this time, that still means a lot to me." Arnink meant a lot to the Spartans, too.

"When I came to Steinert as a sophomore there were two people who dominated the practice field, Ken Andrews and Jack Arnink," said Art Napolitano, a member of the Hall of Fame's inaugural induction class of 2006. "Jack was the hardest working player every day. He would not accept losing -- it was not an option for him and that was contagious to the rest of the team. Jack's aggressive style of play intimidated the forwards on the opposing team and no one wanted to go near him."

A three-sport athlete, Arnink was an all-star in soccer and baseball. His star shined brightest in soccer. "He was not only an enforcer but he was also one of the most skilled players on the field," Napolitano said. "I can remember in the State final his senior year, the opposing team was Kearny H.S., whose top player was Santiago Formosa who went on to play for the NY Cosmos. He was so frustrated that he tore his own shirt off and tried to start a fight with Jack."

As Arnink noted, "we were co-champs two years (1969 and '70) and we took it all our senior year." They played for the Green and White but they were mostly blue – as in blue collar. With a handful of stars and a strong supporting cast, Steinert's boys' soccer team captured a state championship in 1971. Steinert outscored its opponents 61-11 and shut out its last six opponents including three on the state tournament trail. A late-October victory over Princeton High gave the Spartans the league championship. The Spartans defeated Edison (6-0), Toms River North (4-0) and Kearny (3-0) to win the championship. Arnink and the rest of the '71 boys’ soccer team were inducted into the Steinert Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.

A multi-talented student-athlete, Arnink was president of his senior class and sang in the Madrigal Choir as well. Before being slowed by an Achilles tendon injury, Arnink made the all-conference team as a freshman at Alderson Broaddus College and played in Philadelphia for the United German Hungarians for a season.