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Published 3 months ago

By Antonije Kovačević

STEFAN (16) IS A PROUD BOY OF SERBIAN CHICAGO: He gets up at 5 in the morning, is the best student in school, and dreams of playing for the Serbian national team!

There are many talented young athletes of Serbian origin in America, both those who came here to study and those who were born here, but the case of Stefan Dabić (16) is specific in many ways. This Chicago-born youngster has been training soccer since he was six years old, and experts consider him one of the most talented young players on the continent.

Although there is a reputation for football players, both older and younger, that they do not like school and books, Stefan is of a different breed. He is the best student of his generation at the prestigious Jones College Prep high school, one of the best in the state of Illinois, and simultaneously with his football career, he is preparing for his academic career, which should begin with enrollment in one of the best American universities.

-Even though I have loved soccer since I was a child and train every day in the hope of becoming a professional soccer player someday, I do not neglect school for a single moment. I`m aware that a sports career is full of uncertainty, an injury can always happen to you and it can stop your big dreams. That’s why I want to finish university, which will give me some security in life. It is not just about existence, I rather think that education is very important in the life of every young person and that this chance should not be missed. I owe that to my mother and father, who sacrificed a lot for me, and I want to repay them by standing on my own two feet and fighting for my future. Whether as an athlete or something else, we’ll see, says Stefan Dabić for the Serbian Times.

SOCCER IS LOVE, BUT SCHOOL IS ALSO IMPORTANT: Stefan Dabić (16) knows his priorities in life

Stefan doesn’t wait for miracles to happen to him, he is dedicated to his dreams, as evidenced by the fact that his working day starts at the crack of dawn. He gets up every morning at 5:30, does his exercises, learns lessons for school, then goes to classes. After lunch, rests a bit, then goes to training again! Sometimes even two during the day. Weekends are reserved for matches and trips, away games, tournaments…

-I study while traveling to school, to training, I use every minute to do something. I recently started dating a girl from my school, so now I barely have time to sleep (laughs). But I’m not complaining… Everything is possible and I achieve everything when I organize myself well, and I’ve been used to that since I was six years old when I started actively training.

Such a life and so much renunciation bring results. In addition to being the team leader and the youngest captain of school history, and the winner of the Chicago Football Association award as the best junior and one of the 10 best athletes of the “windy city”, Stefan is one of the key players of the youth team of the Chicago Magic Football Club, with which he has already won numerous trophies.

BROTHER`S LOVE: Stefan and Nikola are bound by blood and love for the game

They are the best team in the State of Illinois, and they are regular finalists in the national championship. However, Stefan’s heart is drawn to where his genes, his blood come from…

-I was at the Crvena Zvezda camp in Belgrade this year, which is probably the most beautiful thing that happened to me in my life. I am a big fan of the red and whites and I dream of playing in the Zvezda jersey in the Champions League. My second big dream is to be a part of the Serbian national team at the World Cup. And the third is to play in the Premier League, in my favorite club, Tottenham, says Stefan, whose qualities were praised by the managers of the Red Star Youth School.

Stefan also has a younger brother, Nikola (14), who also trains football and is a very talented attacker.

-This year he enrolled in the same high school as me, so that we could travel together every day, and it`s easier to organize ourselves when we go to training sessions. The two of us have been inseparable since childhood, we are bound by blood, but also by soccer, Stefan is proud while talking about his younger brother.

HELP IS JUST ONE CLICK AWAY: Stefan opened his YouTube channel to get a scholarship at the university

By the end of next year, Stefan should enroll in a university, and his choice is guided not only by sports principles but also by educational principles – he wants to enroll in a university where he will have the opportunity to gain the most knowledge.

In order to succeed in this, I have to earn an invitation and a scholarship, considering that my parents are not rich, so they can pay the full tuition. That’s why I started my YouTube channel (see above in the article) and I would like to invite all good people, Serbs, Balkans, and Americans around the world to like and subscribe to my page because my chances of getting a scholarship for a good university, with a good sports program, depend to a large extent on that, says Stefan Dabić at the end of our interview.

And, we join this call and urge you to help a young and talented Serbian athlete from the US achieve his dreams with one click (which, you would admit, is not so difficult).

So that one day we will all be happy when he scores a goal in the jersey of the Serbian national team at the World Cup or the European Championship!

STEFAN’S ACHIEVEMENTS AND AWARDS

  • Defensive Player of the Year Two Years in a Row (MVP), 2022, 2023
  • All-City and All-Sectional honors in 2023
  • Jones College Prep’s youngest captain in history
  • The Chicago Football Association named him one of the top 10 high school athletes
  • Led the Chicago Magic to the 2022 USA National Championship (only conceded 1 goal in 9 games)
  • Invited to participate in FC Barcelona Academy in Arizona in 2023
  • Honorary student in 1st and 2nd grade of high school (All A’s – Straight A’s)
  • Two-time Illinois State Judo Champion (as a 8, 9 years old)

RADONČIĆ: STEFAN IS A PLAYER THE COACH CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON

Bato Radončić, Stefan’s coach in the Chicago Magic club, is one of the most respected soccer experts in the USA. He grew up as a player in Montenegro, and later he won the USL championship title in 2002 with the Milwaukee Rampage. After a successful playing career, he achieved an enviable career as a coach of younger categories, first with the Chicago Wind team, and then with the Chicago Magic, with whom he won as many as 20 Illinois state championships, 5 regional championships, and the USA National Championship.

Talking about Stefan he points out that, due to his excellent technical abilities, he can play in several positions in the team and that he has great potential.

-He has an excellent vision of the game and is dominant in the air. He is very disciplined on and off the field. He is a player that the coach can always count on to give his best and his heart on the field. The Chicago Magic program is one of the top programs in the country and is known for many players going on to colleges across America. Our main task is to form and prepare players as best as possible to perform for the best universities in America. At the same time, we take care that the children in our club are good students so that they would be able to receive both educational and sports fees. The Chicago Magic currently has over 100 players playing in colleges across America.

Written by: Antonije Kovačević Photo: Private archive

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