Zach Dedrick is the type of player that college coaches dream about. At least that’s how Paul Melitsanopoulos, academy director at Beachside Soccer Club, puts it when asked about the center back and captain of their U-17 Development Academy side.
“He’s not a guy who pops out on the stat sheet, but once he’s in a program, a coach will appreciate the intangibles he brings,” Melitsanopoulos said. “I’m perfectly comfortable vouching my reputation with him.”
They’re words of lofty praise for the 16-year-old from Wilton, Conn., whose college process is hitting second gear as the spring season nears in the DA’s Northeast Division. A junior in high school, Dedrick has nearly a 4.0 GPA and is accordingly looking at schools in the Ivy League and NESCAC, plus others in similarly strong academic conferences.
In getting to this stage, Dedrick’s path has a clear starting point: His older brothers. He’s the youngest of three, with the middle brother, Sean, a outside back and junior at Notre Dame, and the oldest, Kyle, a winger and senior at Notre Dame.