Freshman phenom changed future greatly

Senior and teammate Connor Weis and senior Jon Herdler listen to head coach Todd Hope go over defense of strategy during practice. (Photo by Sidney Gran)

Pete Forsee
Sports Writer

He was a very talented soccer player, one that started on the Varsity team his freshmen season for the Statesmen.

After suffering a hamstring injury early that season, senior Jon Herdler quickly dropped the sport.
“I was just tired of the same routine, plus football looked pretty dope,” Herdler said.

Herdler immediately saw playing time his sophomore season as a football player. Naturally, he became a kicker and was placed on the Varsity squad, the 2009 Class 5 State Champions. Herdler would play both in his junior and senior seasons, having a great impact on the Statesmen’s recent playoff success.

However, his most success has come in neither soccer nor football. Herdler is now into his third year on the Varsity lacrosse team, and was voted the team’s defensive captain. Herdler has been a huge defensive presence picking up 59 ground balls in 2011, second on the team behind senior defenseman Connor Weis. Only standing at 5’11” and 160 lbs., Herdler relies heavily on his natural speed and athleticism, making it easier to defend taller and larger attackers.

Herdler has decided to pursue lacrosse further and continue playing collegiately. The final schools he’s considering are Trine University in Indiana and Augustana College in Illinois, both competing at the Division III level.

“Jon’s a good looking player and an outstanding guy. He’s going to have a great college career. I can’t see anyone else leading this defense,” said Weis.

The Woodchucks (club sports not permitted to ‘Statesmen’ title) were eliminated after the first round of last year’s playoffs, losing to the eventual State Championship runner-up Rockwood Summit High School.
“It was disappointing. We thought we could’ve gone deeper into the playoffs, but it didn’t pan out. This year’s going to be different; we have a great senior class that’s hungry. We’ll be competing for State this year,” said Herdler.

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