Warwick's Adam Lloyd playing out his dream on the soccer field

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:56

WARWICK-Many kids dream of making it in the game they like to play. Whether it is being the best in their rec league, the standout in high school, or getting to play in college — it’s hard not to dream of being the next Derek Jeter or Mia Hamm. Adam Lloyd was one of those kids, too. Now, he is playing out his dream on the soccer field of Rutgers University. Lloyd, a 2005 graduate of Warwick Valley High School, had an excellent high school sports career, never missing a game in his four years on the varsity soccer team. He was the team’s Most Valuable Player in both his junior and senior years. He made first team all county both of those years, too. He was also named first team to the all-state team and the all east team. The kid knows how to play soccer. Lloyd said he became serious about soccer when he in third grade, but his mom, Cindy, held him back from travel soccer until he was in fifth grade. “His rec coaches kept saying he should move up to better competition,” said Cindy. “But I was hesitant to do it when he was so young.” Whatever the case, it worked for him. Lloyd, who is the oldest of three boys, was always a natural athlete, according to his mom. He would watch basketball and go out and do what he saw. He’d watch soccer, and go do the moves. But it took a lot of work. “He worked hard at it,” said Cindy. “He would rather go to soccer camp than vacation. He spent three Christmases in Florida playing soccer. That was his Christmas present.” Lloyd is still working hard. Playing for the Scarlet Knights is even more demanding than the level of play he had in high school or on his club team, which was very physical. “It is so fast and physical,” Lloyd said. “The big difference is the speed of play. Now, you have to know what to do with the ball before you get it.” Lloyd continues to rise to the occasion. Many of his Warwick friends and former teammates have traveled down to the Rutgers stadium to watch Lloyd play, including his former Warwick High School coach, John Van Pelt. “That is a thrill when your family and friends come to see you play,” he said. Lloyd said it was Van Pelt, along with his club coach, Graham Browne, who had the most influence on his soccer. “Coach Van Pelt was a big inspiration to me,” said Lloyd. “And Graham Browne brought me from a defensive player to an attacker.” Lloyd played sweeper his freshmen and sophomore years at Warwick, then moved to center midfield his last two years. Here at Rutgers he is still playing midfield and loving every minute of it. “It is really hard work, but you get used to it,” he noted. While Lloyd says his dribbling and attacking are strong points, goal scoring is his biggest strength. He holds the school record for goals in a season with 19 and overall points with 45. His speed has been an asset, too. Lloyd, although known mostly for soccer, was a two-time All-American in track. “Track helped me with my endurance,” he said. Lloyd is not the first Warwick soccer player to go to a Division 1 school — Steve Loverso also went to Rutgers a few years ago, leading the way for Lloyd. Now, Loverso plays professionally in Ireland, according to Lloyd, something he would love to have the opportunity to do. Until then, Lloyd will be battling it out along with his 25 teammates for Rutgers, a very young team with great potential. Last week the Scarlet Knights tied Cincinnati, which is ranked 16th in the nation. They are hoping to play through October and into the playoffs. This is all very exciting for Lloyd — you can hear it in his voice. He is right where he wants to be, doing exactly what he wants to be doing. And he has a whole town rooting for him to live out his dream on the soccer field.