Notre Dame senior Will Haney is the feature athlete in this week’s “Getting to know,” installment. Haney is a three-sport athlete — baseball, football and basketball.
Titan’s coach Matt Mader chose Haney because of his commitment on and off the playing surface.
“I think he is the perfect example of a student-athlete,” Mader said. ” … (He) has dedicated four years to each sport he has played and he has been able to perform at a high level in each. In the meantime, he has also maintained a very high academic standard in the classroom as he is a member of the National Honor society while currently carrying a 3.8 GPA.”
Haney’s character traits also made the decision easy for Mader.
“Will is a fine young man with leadership and people skills,” Mader said. “He has a positive attitude and he is a great influence and role model to the youth at our school and community.”
Haney was asked eight questions and his answers are featured below.
Do you watch sports? If so, who is your favorite athlete?
I watch sports constantly, and with whomever will watch with me. I honestly believe that watching with other people is why I love to watch so much. I cannot really think of a time when I have watched a game alone, and taking in any event with friends and family makes that event much more enjoyable. My favorite athlete would have to be Ryan Shazier, linebacker for the Ohio State Buckeyes. He is somewhat undersized for a Division I middle linebacker, but he plays with an intensity that makes him a tackling machine and great leader for that defense.
Many athletes have a pregame ritual, what is your pregame routine?
My pre-game consists of listening to music, and doing whatever it takes to stay calm. Throughout these four years of high school, I’ve discovered that remaining calm until game-time enables me to play at a higher level and with more energy.
Who is a “hero” in your life and why?
Although I have a lot of people whom I admire and who have positively influenced me, I’d have to say my “hero” is my brother, Taylor. Taylor, who graduated from The Ohio State University last year, had secured a management position with Amazon before he even graduated. This was a great accomplishment for him, but what makes him my hero is that, throughout the process, he had a smile on his face and companionship for anyone who was in need. There is not an ounce of arrogance in him, and he is the most fair and comforting individual I’ve ever met. He has the ability to make life sweeter through conversation alone.
If you could meet any person, living or dead, who would you like to meet? Why?
I would love to meet the late Nelson Mandela, the South African Activist and Freedom Fighter. Although I could not tell you much about this man, other than things movies portray about him, I often wonder how much adversity, resistance, and punishment he received through his movement. Even if it was just for a day, I feel he could enlighten me with ideals that would change me for a lifetime. Hopefully, our visit would also bring me greater strength in standing up for what I believe in and in things that would better suit our society as a whole.
If you could donate $50,000 to any charity who would you donate it to and why?
If I was fortunate enough to be so successful, I would donate the money to the “Make a Wish” foundation. I know how essential sports have been in bringing happiness to my life. Therefore, giving the money to a cause that brings ill-stricken children the opportunity to live their wildest sports or lifetime fantasy just seems right.
What is the best compliment you have ever received?
The greatest compliment I ever received came from my Grandma Oberling. We were having family dinner one Sunday afternoon, and while everyone was saying their goodbyes, my grandmother pulled me aside and said, “Willie, if the world had more people like you, it would be a much more joyous place to live”. I regard my Grandma to be one of the sweetest and most giving people I know, so this compliment brought me great pride and happiness.
What are your goals for college?
I would like to attend The Ohio State University and receive at least a Bachelor’s Degree in either Business or Operations Management.
What is your ultimate career goal?
Ultimately, I would like to find a career in which I am happy and able to spend ample amount of time with my family. Once this goal is met, I would enjoy coaching in any sport instilling in my players the same love and passion for sports that my coaches have given me.
Editor’s note — If any area athlete would like to be considered for the “Getting to know” series, please have your high school coach email Chris Slone at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chris Slone can be reached at 353-3101, ext 298, or on Twitter @crslone.