Feature photo courtesy of the Sitkowski family
Artur Sitkowski, star quarterback of Old Bridge High School in Old Bridge, New Jersey, has a lot of pride for his town, school, and team, but nothing compares to the pride he has for his family.
Bogusia and Rafal Sitkowski, Artur’s mother and father, immigrated to the United States from Poland at the ages of 18 and 19, respectively. The United States represented opportunity for them. They knew little English, but they worked hard in order to earn a living that would someday support their family.
“My parents are truly living the American dream,” Artur said. “They came here with nothing and worked hard to earn everything. Now they have a beautiful family with me and my brother, and I know that I will go far in life if I work as hard as they worked.”
The Sitkowskis are a very close-knit family according to Artur. He values the time they spend together on daily basis and enjoys family vacations to Florida. For Rafal and Bogusia, nothing beats being able to watch their son take the field for Old Bridge.
“I love the whole game day experience,” Rafal said. “I love hearing the cheers of the fans when Artur scores or does something good for the team. There is just something very special as a father being able to see your son do what he loves at such a high level.”
Artur is thankful for the love and support his family shows him, and he attributes who he is today to everything his parents have provided for him.
“My family is everything to me, and I am who I am because of them,” he said. “They will be there for the rest of my life, and having their support means everything to me. We may not be the richest family in the world, but we are definitely the happiest and I take a lot of pride in that.”
Sitkowski enjoys fishing with his family, but now he is being fished.
Over a dozen Division I football programs are hoping to reel in the 6-foot-4, 220-pound pocket passer, namely Miami (FL), Ohio St., Michigan, and Maryland.
Do not let the “pocket passer” moniker fool you – Sitkowski is much more than that according to his head coach Anthony Lanzafama.
“He projects as a pocket passer, but that label does not define him,” coach Lanzafama said. “He is fast, quick, athletic, and has great foot work. He will be able to run any system he is asked to run at the next level.”
Sitkowski believes a spread offense is most tailored to his skillset, but he has had plenty of success in the triple option. He had 18 total touchdowns in 2015 (16 passing, two rushing), and he has already recorded 14 touchdowns in 2016 (six passing, eight rushing). He is ranked 107th overall on ESPN’s “Junior 300” list thanks to his talent and versatility.
Continued personal success would drive Sitkowski up the recruiting rankings, but his primary focus is on the success of Old Bridge football.
“My main goal is to bring this team a Central Jersey Group V State Championship. We came so close last season losing in the final to South Brunswick, but we beat them in our season opener this year so we definitely have what it takes. All I care about is winning the school’s first ever State Championship – the recruiting rankings are secondary.”
Sitkowski plans on making his final decision by June 1st, because he wants to go into his senior season without the pressure of having a decision to make. He wants to be focused on winning what he hopes will be Old Bridge’s second State Championship.
Academics, offensive system, and overall fit are just three of the criteria Sitkowski will weigh before making his decision. No matter which school he chooses, he knows his family will be with him every step of the way.
“Football is not forever, but family is. Finally accepting a college offer will mean the world to me. I may shed a tear on that day because I will know that all of my hard work and all of my parents’ hard work will pay off in that moment.”
Edited by Max Marcilla