Giuseppe Di Cera always has been a giving individual. A senior at Ladue High, Di Cera is a member of the school’s UNICEF club.
He’s also been happy to help out for the first time on the soccer field along with his Ladue classmates.
“I’ve always wanted to give back to my school community and chase history for the soccer program,” Di Cera said. “I think my ambition led me to play this year.”
Di Cera, a University of Chicago recruit, previously only played club soccer before deciding to play his senior season for the Rams.
A midfielder, he has team highs of 14 goals and 10 assists for Ladue (14-12-1), which is scheduled to play Webster Groves (18-6) in a Class 3 boys soccer sectional at 6 p.m. Wednesday at Vianney.
“Giuseppe is a natural leader,” Rams coach Dave Aronberg said. “He's been a great leader on the team, especially showing other guys how to approach training sessions. He came to some summer stuff last year and we were hopeful he might join us a year ago, but he didn't have his college decided yet. This year we were hopeful again and got word from him in July that he was coming out.”
Di Cera scored at least a goal in each of his first seven goals as the Rams got off to a 7-0 start.
On Thursday, he provided an assist on the lone goal of Ladue’s 1-0 victory against Clayton, helping lift Ladue to its seventh district title in eight seasons.
“I’ve never experienced greater camaraderie,” Di Cera said. “Playing for a community that is so passionate for the team has been amazing. I don’t think we’ve reached our peak. The team has talent from the back to the front and is ambitious to keep fighting this postseason.”
The winner of the Ladue-Webster Groves sectional advances to play either Hillsboro (18-5-1) or North County (15-7) in a quarterfinal scheduled for Saturday.
In the sectional round, Ladue will be trying to avenge a 3-0 loss suffered Oct. 29 against Webster Groves.
Having Di Cera in the program for the first time certainly hasn’t hurt the Rams in their run to the Class 3 postseason.
“I think it's been an easy transition playing on the high school team,” Aronberg said. “He was already good friends with everyone and the chemistry came pretty quickly. I think he's really enjoyed playing in high school for his school and community. It's hard to replicate the feeling of winning a district in front of your classmates. His leadership is his biggest strength. He's a great two-way player.”
Off the field, Di Cera hopes his experiences with Ladue’s UNICEF club help him in the future.
It’s another arena where he’s bonded with teammates from soccer.
“Most of the guys on the team are in the club, so it’s really cool to see the passion that we all share for fund-raising for children around the world,” Di Cera said. “My role in UNICEF has helped shape my passion for people that I hope to carry into a career in public service."