No kicking back

The Baltimore Sun

Sean Bunoski is an outstanding soccer player who scored seven game-winning goals as a junior last year during the Falcons' 14-3 season. A transfer from Archbishop Spalding, he fit right in at Severna Park, where he carries a 3.9 grade-point average and scored 1680 on his SAT. Bunoski also is a member of the National Honor Society, vice president of the Student Government Association and a member of several clubs. He referees and coaches youth soccer, as well.

How is the team playing so far as one of the projected county and regional contenders?

I think we are playing very well. Not only are we playing well, but we are meshing well as a team. I would definitely say spirits are high and we are looking forward to the county season. And once the in-county games start up, it should be a very, very good season.

Your team defeated neighborhood rival Severn, 3-2, in double overtime in the first game of the Don Gregg Fall Classic, but lost to Loyola, 2-1, on penalty kicks after two overtimes in the final. How disappointing was that?

It was 1-1, and then we lost on penalty kicks, which is technically a tie on our overall record. I played a lot of central-midfield, trying to win a lot of balls. I marked my cousin, which was kind of neat. In the Severn game, we played in front of five- to six-hundred people, the largest crowd I've seen at a Severna Park soccer game.

What are your plans for college?

I have no idea at this point exactly where I want to go. Right now I have a lot on my plate, not just soccer-wise, but school-wise, study-wise, SGA ... I have a lot of opportunities. I have been looking at Delaware, Salisbury and Tulane.

You visited Tulane in New Orleans last spring and had a rather interesting meeting with marathon runner Bill Rodgers. You ended up running in a marathon, correct?

I relish challenges. My family and I stayed at a hotel that was the headquarters for the Crescent City Classic, a 10K race for runners from all over the world. I did not know who he was, but Bill Rodgers was signing autographs and I began to talk to him. I explained to him that I had never run, and he sat me down for 20 minutes and explained everything from what to eat, how to deal with the elements and various other insights. He told me that soccer players make great distance runners. I finished in the top 200 out of about 5,000 or so runners. What was more amazing was Mr. Rodgers finished just before me, and as I crossed the finish line, he extended his hand and called my name. That taught me something about the fraternity of athletes and that all the sad stories about spoiled athletes are balanced by the greater number of truly helpful individuals who understand and share their gift like all my coaches.

In general, what do you do in the SGA?

We arrange all the dances, all the spirit weeks. We help organize fundraisers, and this year we introduced a new honor code after [the cheating scandal] that happened at the high school last year. So far it has worked out real well.

What's your schedule like?

I wake up at 5 o'clock in the morning to go to my work-study program [Department of Defense at the National Security Agency] and am there until fourth period; then I go to school. I have soccer practice after that. Then, usually after that I go to help coach my sister's soccer team. And I come home and do my homework and start all over again. I don't have much free time, but I make the most of my time.

What do you do at NSA?

I can't explain what I do - not allowed to.

What's on your iPod?

I'm actually very unique. I have a lot of hip-hop, but I'm also into the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones. I like to mix it up. Before a game you have to put the rap on to get pumped up, and when you want to mellow out, you have to listen to the Beatles.

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