NAME: Shakir Soto

Many great players came through the G.A.R. football program over the decades. Shakir Soto might have been the best one on the defensive side of the ball. Soto made 109 tackles his senior season and 114 his junior season. During that junior year, he helped the Grenadiers to a division and district title. For his career, Soto compiled 320 tackles, 44 tackles for loss and 30 sacks. He also started on the offensive line for G.A.R.

Soto was an NPF Wyoming Valley Conference Small School first-team defensive lineman in both 2011 and 2012. He was the Wyoming Valley Conference Small School Defensive Player of the Year in 2012. Soto was also an NPF All-District 2 defensive lineman both his junior and senior seasons. He would be named an all-state defensive lineman by the Pennsylvania Football Writers in both 2011 and 2012 and first-team all-state defensive lineman by the Pennsylvania Football News in 2012 and second-team all-state defensive lineman in 2011. Soto was named a first-team defensive lineman by, was a member of the 2012 WNEP Dream Team and played the Chesapeake Bowl. He was rated the No. 24 prospect in Pennsylvania by Rivals and would continue his football career at Division I-FBS University of Pittsburgh. Soto played in 52 games for the Panthers and had 120 tackles and 7.5 sacks for his career. He was in several NFL camps and landed on the Raiders and Seahawks practice squads.

Former G.A.R. coach Paul Wiedlich Jr. on Soto: “Shakir played with a high motor and was a kid that teams had to game plan against week in and week out. He was a tremendous worker and a competitor in the classroom, weight room and gridiron, which allowed him to graduate a semester early from G.A.R. High School and become an early enrollee at Pitt. Shakir had a great career in high school and college and always put the team first. I’m so proud of the young man he has become. He hasn’t forgotten his roots as evident by establishing his “570 On The Go” organization. Check out Facebook and 570 On The Go for more information on the impact Shakir has within the Wyoming Valley. ”