Wesleyan’s Gigliotti signs with UNC Greensboro
Bob Gigliotti has always enjoyed his time playing soccer, and he’s been willing to do whatever it takes to be successful. From putting in the grueling offseason work to accepting a change in positions for the good of the team, he’ll do whatever it takes.
Gigliotti, a senior at Wesleyan Christian Academy, has accomplished a lot in doing so, continuing to hone and develop his game, and now he has accepted a non-scholarship position with UNC Greensboro to continue his soccer career at the NCAA Division I level.
“It’s pretty cool to accomplish something I’ve wanted to do,” says Gigliotti, the son of Kim and Steve of Jamestown. “It’s pretty sweet. My family’s always thought I could do it and wanted me to. It’s kind of a proud moment for them too.”
Gigliotti has always had a passion for playing soccer, starting when he took up the game when he was about 5 or 6 years old. The team camaraderie, the competition and turning hard work into results has pushed him to keep playing.
“I always wanted to compete and have fun, and soccer did that for me,” Gigliotti says. “It was always my passion. Soccer’s been my biggest focus. And I’ve been able to keep it fun, so it’s always kept me coming back and been something I could always go to.”
During his junior year, things really clicked for him both with the Trojans and his club team. He moved from the center-mid position to right-mid and right-back, and the switch just fit the way he plays, allowing him to make runs to the end line well and cross.
His play helped Wesleyan capture NCISAA 3A state championships his junior and seniors years while he earned All-PACIS three times as well as all-region and all-state his senior year in which the Trojans went 25-0 and finished the season ranked No. 3 in the country.
“Bobby has been very sacrificial on the field,” coach Scott Reitnour says. “He’s a fantastic attacking player, and we put him in at an outside-back position and that’s where he spent most of his career. He was willing to make that sacrifice because it’s what our team needed.
“I have a lot of respect and appreciation for him for doing that. He’s an outstanding defender. It catches people off-guard because they don’t expect a player of Bob’s caliber to be coming forward from that position, and I think that’ll help his transition to the collegiate game.”
Gigliotti, who also looked at High Point University and Messiah, joins a Spartans program that won five Division III national championships during the 1980s and is now filled with area talent, which was a big draw for him in making his decision.
He will join local players including Lasse Palomaki (Westchester Country Day), Justin Jones (Southwest Guilford), Austin Miller (High Point Central), Noah DeAngelo (Bishop McGuinness) and Preston Ford (High Point Christian).
“A lot of players from our club team have gone there, and so it’s kind of homegrown,” says Gigliotti, who wants to study criminal justice and eventually become a police officer. “Plus, the coach is a really nice guy. And when I do play my friends will be able to come watch.”