Earlier this fall, Greens Farms Academy boys soccer standout Will Whelan found himself sidelined with a foot injury. He missed two weeks on the pitch as he healed physically, but it was the mental recovery that surprised him.
“I realized how much I missed the game when it was taken away,” Whelan said. “It really felt like I was missing something.”
With his final GFA soccer season behind him, Whelan doesn’t have to worry about missing any future seasons. The fleet-footed and technically sound midfielder has verbally committed to play soccer for the Division 3 Hobart Statemen of the Liberty League next fall.
“I took an unofficial visit this summer and toured the school,” Whelan said. “It’s on a lake up in the woods in New York and it’s really my kind of vibe. I could see myself being there. It was my kind of place.”
Whelan met Hobart Head Coach Shawn Griffin and some of his players while attending a three-day soccer clinic the summer before his junior year.
“I loved the coach,” Whelan said. “He’s a really nice guy and I met a few of his players at the camp and they seemed like a really good group of guys to be around.”
Whelan was a multi-sport athlete growing up, but gravitated toward soccer as his main sport.
“I’m not very big so basketball got taken out of the picture pretty early,” he said. “My mom never let me play football and I know in soccer I’m fast and I like the open field. I just kind of fell for soccer and the team aspect of the sport.”
Though Whelan was a three-year starter on the GFA varsity team, he said that first playing on JV his freshman year really gave him the opportunity to work on his game and to be ready for the jump to varsity. It also gave Varsity Coach Chris Mira a chance to see what a valuable contribution Whelan could make to the soccer program.
Mira said, "His ever-increasing development as a player from year to year coincided with his physical maturation. Even though his senior season was not traditional, a positional change allowed Will to broaden and challenge himself in new ways, which produced his best overall performance during his time in our program."
Mira added that he looks forward to seeing what Whelan will do in college. "Will's determination and hard work have placed him on the doorstep of another four-year career at the next level, and we could not be happier for him," he said.
Whelan is also looking forward to the next step academically — he plans join a Hobart engineering program that also has close ties to an engineering program at Dartmouth.