Front row: Alaina Nasello, Robin Nasello, CJ Nasello, Greg Nasello Back Row: Nick Funk (Alton coach) and Tim Rooney (LCCC coach)ALTON – Soccer runs deep in the roots of CJ Nasello.

His father, Greg, once coached the Alton boys soccer team. He's played it throughout his high school days, as well as played kicker on the Redbird football team.

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Nasello is now heading to the next level of the game, signing a letter of intent to play for Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey beginning next fall in a ceremony held at Alton High School Thursday afternoon.

Nasello comes to the Trailblazers having scored five goals and having an assist last season, which saw the Redbirds finish 14-6-2, falling to Collinsville in the IHSA Class 3A Granite City Regional.

“It's awesome,” Nasello said. “Lewis and Clark always has a good team and ever since coach (Tim) Rooney's been there; he's approaching 400 wins (for his career) and I'm glad to be a part of that. My dad was an assistant coach for Lewis and Clark in the '90s; it's been a family tradition.

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“Just being a part of a great program like Lewis and Clark and using that as a steppingstone to further my career and in both academics and soccer is going to be great.”

Rooney has been a vital part of the St. Louis soccer community for many years; he has coached youth teams and with LCCC for many years and, in the 1980s, was the assistant coach of the original version of the St. Louis Steamers indoor soccer team. “Just to be under the mind of him is incredible,” Nasello said. “A lot of experience and a lot of good experience.”

“It's a great accomplishment for CJ,” said Redbird coach Nick Funk. “It really looks good on the high school program as a whole. CJ told me before the start of the season he'd be the first one to sign somewhere, and sure enough, here he is.

“It's kind of cool that someone I've coached here for a long time, even outside of coaching, that he's my first signee. That means a whole lot to me and I couldn't be more proud of him. Just watching him grow up these last four years and become the man that I know he's going to be.”

Nasello wants to go into law after his college days. “That's my main focus right now, going into law,” Nasello said. “I might get a business administration degree and then go into law school.”

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