NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Following team USA’s victory over Ghana in its first World Cup appearance, one New Jersey town’s World Cup fever is morphing into “Tim Howard hoopla.”

As CBS 2’s Elise Finch reported, Howard is the team’s goalie and he’s also a North Brunswick native.

Students at North Brunswick Township High School were eager to talk about Howard, especially the school’s soccer players.

“We all watched, we were really excited,” said Taryn.

“There were a lot of shots he had to save and he did very well,” said senior and soccer player Jared Rogers.

“Tim Howard is a very hard worker. To be able to make it on the national level, it’s really hard,” said senior and soccer player Fiifi Coffie.

Howard was born and raised in North Brunswick and graduated from the high school in 1997.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling to know that when you’re on the soccer field you represent what Tim Howard played for,” said senior and soccer player Karim Elshoubary.

“We’re like very proud of him, he’s representing our school, representing our country,” said senior and soccer player Brandon Shamy.

Those who remember Howard said the 35-year-old was a good student, an all around good guy and of course a star athlete on both the soccer and basketball teams.

He has easily earned a place in his school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. In fact one of his coaches called him the most gifted athlete to ever walk the halls, Finch reported.

“Timmy’s athletic ability as a high school student was really off the charts. His agility, his hand-eye coordination, his stamina and just his love and passion for the game,” said Howard’s basketball coach Eddie Breheney.

Howard’s athletic accomplishments are even more impressive because he was diagnosed with Tourette syndrome as a child, Finch reported. He’s since become an advocate for people living with neurological disorders, especially children.

“You need to see somebody who has experienced just what you’re experiencing, the pain of what you’re experiencing and has come out the other end whole. And in Tim’s case more than whole, he’s come out as a superstar,” said Faith Rice, with the New Jersey Center for Tourette Syndrome.

Howard will be back in North Brunswick this summer to host a fundraiser for Tourette syndrome awareness. He’ll be back on the soccer field, competing for the World Cup, this weekend.

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