High School Sports Awards: Connecticut’s Testori a premiere soccer talent

High School Sports Awards: Connecticut's Testori a premiere soccer talent

When Daniel Hand High School’s drive for a fifth consecutive Connecticut Class L soccer state title was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Tigers standout Scott Testori spearheaded a hearty effort to recalibrate that resulted in an undefeated season.

Testori’s exploits have landed him among the Connecticut High School Sports Awards honorees. The winners being announced on the show website July 15. If Testori wins, he will become an honoree for the first national USA TODAY High School Sports Awards show, presented by U.S. Polo Assn. The on-demand show will stream on the show website at 8 p.m. Eastern Aug. 5.

We got to play roughly half the season, but we were happy to get those games,” Testori said. “We kept training and maintained focus throughout. Our goal the whole season was to win everything we could. It didn’t matter how we won, but that we did win. The mentality was we would attack everything before us. We adapted really well and I’m proud to be part of that.”

Along with the Connecticut High School Sports Awards honor, Testori, a 6-foot-3 forward, earned United Soccer Coaches National Player of the Year honors and has been selected as Gatorade’s Connecticut Boys Soccer Player of the Year. This season alone he notched 28 goals to pair with eight assists in helping the Tigers to a 12-0 record.

The accolades stem from an attribute instilled by Testori’s father, Jay Testori.

“My work ethic comes from my Dad,” he said. “While playing soccer, high school football and basketball until my senior year, he always pushed me to become the best player I could possibly be. I just want to get better and do what’s good for the team. If I’m improving, the team is improving, too.”

Hand High School Boys Soccer Head Coach Greg Cumpstone said Testori’s determination to maximize his potential was evident at an early age.

“I’ve been coaching Scott since he was 10, so one of the things that jumped out to me when I first worked with him when he was that young, and it certainly continued when he got to high school, is his willingness to sacrifice time and effort to improve,” he said.

Cumpstone said while the first to arrive and last to leave scenario is cliché for some, it is a way of life for Testori.

“He regularly arrives an hour before each training session and that mindset is most certainly contagious,” he said. “That just shows the type of character he has, as well as the appetite to grow and improve. His commitment is second to none.”

Testori, described by Cumpstone as a “complete striker,” said he embraces the work. He said he often studies the manner in which a pair of his favorite players, retired international stars Fernando Torres and Didier Drogba, apply their craft.

“Torres was a complete striker,” said Testori, who recorded 86 goals and 32 assists during his Tigers tenure. “He knew the game super well, read defenders and made good runs. Drogba’s was more of my play style — more of a hold up striker with a solid game throughout. I watch their highlights a lot and take certain skills from them.”

With his prep career now in the books, Testori will now focus on the collegiate level. He has committed to the University of Connecticut.

“When I was in the midst of getting recruited, COVID started happening, so everything kind of shut down,” he said. “But I still talked with UConn, which was my number one school all through recruiting. I committed and ever since I’ve been grinding to get better, doing what I can to be in good shape, because it’s going to be a whole different level from high school and club soccer, too. I’m excited and ready for the challenge.

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