George Caruso didn't want to be a halfback. "My halfback teammates worked too hard with too much running. Not my cup of tea," he said.

Don't let him fool you, Caruso worked very hard at the sport that he loves. And, as a defender, he earned all-star recognition and helped the Spartans win a state championship in 1973.

"The 1973 SHS boys' soccer team has to be one of my most memorable seasons, with a 20-0-1 record and the opportunity to play as a junior with some of the area's most talented soccer players was surreal," he said. "What a journey! The overall opportunity to play SHS varsity for three years, competing with great players for a spot on the field, or even minutes of playing time each game, prepared me for future challenges in my personal life and work career."

He moved on to the University of Delaware where Caruso was a three-time East Coast Conference selection, earned all-region honors four consecutive years and received All-America recognition as a senior.

He also treasures his time in the rec league and with club soccer.

"The Hamilton Recreation teams helped build sportsmanship, as a defender you developed a respect for the referees, and congratulations from teammates and fellow competitors after hard-fought game meant the world to me," Caruso said.

His reputation was also solidified through his excellent play in club soccer including for prestigious groups such as Post 313 (for which he was voted Top Sportsman by his peers) and the German American Kickers.

His toughness was especially appreciated by SHS Hall of Fame coach Paul Tessein.

"He's been a super performer all year, our No. 1 defender," said Tessein, after Caruso was named the NJ Soccer Coaches All-State fullback in 1974. "George was one of the most consistent performers I've ever seen. Hes just a tough competitor."

"George was the type of teammate everyone would want," said SHS Hall of Famer Art Napolitano. "He came in as an underclassman on a team with big names like Jim McKeown, Terry Smith, Jim Fink, Henry Picatagi, Ed Kerner and many more. George was a quiet guy, but when it came to stopping an opponent's attack he didn't leave any survivors. George was instrumental in our '73 Group IV State championship team."

He married his high school sweetheart, Carol Fityere, and has a terrific family and a rewarding career.