| Houston Soccer Player of the Year Joins Celts |
University of St. Thomas student-athletes are held to the highest standards on the field and in the classroom. In the fall, the St. Thomas men’s soccer team will welcome an elite student-athlete who is on the top of his game athletically and academically.
Jason Taffet, who graduated from Strake Jesuit College Preparatory School with a 4.0 grade point average, will play goalkeeper for the Celts in the fall. Taffet’s performance on the field has garnered significant praise and recognition including the coveted title of All-Greater Houston Boys Soccer Player of the Year. Taffet was a two-time All-State goalie for the Crusaders, and had a career record of 44-5-8 and completed his Jesuit career as goalie with no losses in district play and 25 shutouts.
At UST, Taffet plans to major in biology and pursue the pre-med academic track. Taffet’s outstanding high school grades qualified him to receive the $14,000 UST Presidential Excellence Scholarship, which is the highest level of merit-based institutional aid awarded. He also received athletic scholarships.
“UST had everything I wanted,” Taffet said. “All the people I’ve known who went to St. Thomas loved it. I want to be a doctor and UST has really strong biology and pre-med program and the Medical Center is nearby.”
UST has an 81 percent interview rate for medical school students and a 71 percent acceptance rate over the last five years.
“Jason’s commitment to both athletics and academics exemplifies the true definition of a student athlete,” said Arthur Ortiz, Director of Freshman Admissions. “He is an excellent example of the caliber of student athletes that St. Thomas attracts and he will be an outstanding addition to both the soccer team and student body.”
Taffet is no stranger to his new coach and teammates. The Celts use the soccer field at Strake for home games and to teach summer camps.
“UST has a great soccer team. I already know the coach and many of the players. It’s close to home, so my family can still watch me play,” Taffet said.
In only its fourth season of competition, the 2010 UST Celts Men's Soccer Team qualified for the NAIA National Championships. It was a season full of firsts including their first 10-win season with a record of 10-6-2 going into the Nationals. It was also the first time that the Celts advanced to the finals of the A.I.I. Conference Tournament.
Jason, whose family is Catholic, said the spiritual foundations of the University will help him grow in his faith.
“I feel I truly benefitted from my Catholic education at Strake and it’s a bonus that I get to continue that at the college level.”
For more information about the men’s soccer team and athletic programs at the University of St. Thomas, visit www.ustcelts.com.