CNYCentral Athlete: Stefanos Stamoulacatos

Stefanos Stamoulacatos was a shining star all year on the soccer field for West Genesee.

Now he'll be a star for Team-USA.

The senior forward was chosen to play for the Under-19 team that will compete for a World Championship in Germany starting next week. Certainly that is the opportunity of a lifetime, as he'll be competing against the top teams on the planet, but it's just one of many opportunities that Stamoulacatos has created for himself.

Just watching him play the game, you know he's a cut above the rest. It hasn't gone unnoticed, he was rated the 63rd best high school soccer prospect in the entire nation! That honor came from ESPNU's top 150 players list and certainly that high ranking along with his skill set make him one of the gems of the Syracuse University 2012 recruiting class.

That's the other exciting element of Stefanos' career, he'll be playing in college just a stone's throw away from home. All the fans that watched him score 14 goals and dish out 8 assists during the 2011 campaign can head over to Hookway Field on SU's South Campus where hopefully Stamoulacatos can help bring the Orange to new heights.

Stefanos says that while all that he has achieved through hard work and dedication is a dream come true, in the long run he hopes it inspires a new generation of soccer players in Central New York to pick up the sport. We interviewed Stefanos at the CNY Family Sports Center in Baldwinsville, where simultaneous games with young players were being held. All of the younger children gathered around in awe, watching Stefanos maneuver the ball around the field and boot it into the net.

It's a pretty safe bet, he's already inspired many Central New Yorkers to reach his level.