ROYERSFORD — As both a lacrosse defenseman and a linebacker at Spring-Ford, Jack Haney has learned a thing or two about how to make a stop throughout his high school career.
Following his senior year, Haney will make another stop in a new location after recently signing his letter-of-intent to play Division I lacrosse at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut for the Bobcats.
"Right away, I really liked the campus and the surrounding environment at Quinnipiac,' he said. "It felt like I was right where I belonged.'
Haney, the son of Helene Calci and Joseph, was recruited by Marquette University, Monmouth, Hartford and the Naval Academy before he committed to Quinnipiac where he will pursue a degree in nursing.
Prior to his junior lacrosse season, Haney tore his right ACL and meniscus as the team ran one last drill before ending practice. The injury caused him to miss his entire junior lacrosse season as well as his senior football season.
"Jack's injury was very unfortunate, not just for him, but for us as a team,' said Spring-Ford boys lacrosse head coach Kevin Donnelly. "He was really beginning to come into his role as a leader.'
With the significance of his injury, he can't help but to feel humbled by the university's decision to heavily recruit him even with his injury.
"I plan to train hard and come back better, faster and stronger than ever,' he said. "(Quinnipiac) has given me such a great opportunity, I can't let it go to waste.'
During his sophomore season, Haney was a part of the Rams' PAC-10 lacrosse championship team. That season, he posted four assists and over 90 ground balls. The sophomore played a major role as Spring-Ford outscored their opponents 238-146 and finished with an overall record of 17-4.
"As a player, Jack was one of those guys who was outspoken, and had the respect of his teammates,' Donnelly said. "We definitely weren't the same team without him.'
According to MaxPreps.com, during his junior football season, Haney recorded 16 tackles, a fumble recovery for a touchdown and a six-yard touchdown reception in Spring-Ford's run to the District 1-AAAA finals. During his sophomore season, the linebacker made 10 tackles in five games.
At this point, his goal is to earn his way back onto the field by doing whatever it takes.
"It's been hard,' he said. "Every game, every practice, I wanted to be out on the field with my teammates, and I knew there was nothing I could do.'
In December of his senior year, Haney re-injured his same knee, which would require surgery and force him to watch his senior football and lacrosse seasons from the sideline.
Although it's been a difficult road, his injury has kept him motivated both as a student and as an athlete.
"For me it was an eye-opening experience. I realized I can't mess around this time,' said Haney. "If I want my knee to heal right, I'll need to ice it and do physical therapy every day. I know that I need to stay committed.'
In 2013, Quinnipiac posted a 3-11 record, finishing the season on a five-game losing-streak. Haney's defensive skills and work ethic could be just what the Bobcats were missing this past season.
"I have no doubt that Jack has all the tools to be successful at Quinnipiac,' Donnelly said. "He's very athletic, big, strong and fast. He's one of those players who can let his athleticism take over at any time.'
Through all the hardship that comes with an injury, Haney has constantly made sure to keep his head up and stay motivated. More than anything, his family has played a crucial role in his desire to get back on the field and continue playing lacrosse again.
"My parents and my sister have been behind me through all of this,' he said. "They've been there every step of the way and I can't thank them enough.'
Aside from his family in the stands, Haney has always had a group of supporters and coaches who helped shape him into the athlete he is today.
"Nick Falcone is the one who introduced me to lacrosse and football,' said Haney. "I'd also like to thank Kevin Donnelly and Kevin Czapor for their time coaching me at Spring-Ford. I owe a lot to Brian Neary — he was the one who got me the initial looks from Quinnipiac.'
Although he won't be able to take the lacrosse field again until mid-August, Haney knows he'll need to work hard and take advantage of the opportunity he's been given as he moves forward to his collegiate career.
Follow Mercury staff intern Thomas Nash on Twitter at @Thomas_Nash10.