John Whelan graduated in 2019 from Manhasset HS, the defender and long-pole midfielder also played football and basketball in high school. Now, Whelan attends the University of Virginia, where he plays on the men’s club lacrosse team.
A: I got into the game when I was super young. In Manhasset, everyone sort of grows up with a stick in their hand and I just followed suit.
Q: What about Virginia and its club lacrosse team helped you decide it was the right school for you?
A: I decided to go to UVA because of the great balance between academics and social life. Charlottesville is also a beautiful area with lots of fun things to do.
Q: Have you always played defense/LSM? What about this position has made you stick to it?
A: I always played defense growing up in every spot. I pretend it’s because I’m tough but really I just don’t have the offensive gene. I learned a lot from my older brother who also plays defense and I think that allowed me to get better. My favorite part about defense is the schemes and being able to think slide packages out.
Q: When you’re not on the lacrosse field, what else are you likely to spend your time doing?
A: When I’m not playing lacrosse, I’m normally hanging out with my friends or playing video games.
Q: In what ways did the coronavirus quarantine impact your sophomore 2020 spring season?
A: The best apart apart the team is all of the guys. It’s a really fun and welcoming group of people that allows us to play the game but also always have fun.
Q: What are you looking forward to most about next season?
A: I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get a complete season. We were ranked #5 in the country for NCLL right before the season ended, so I’m hoping we can pick back up where we left off.
Q: Are there any particular coaches or teammates that have taught you valuable lessons about the sport of lacrosse or life that you frequently keep in mind?
A: I’ve been fortunate to have a lot of great coaches and mentors in my life. The whole FLG coaching staff has always supported me, but the most important lesson I learned was from my JV Lacrosse coach. Coach Ack always told me to keep the edge in life and keep preserving no matter the obstacles.
Q: What’s your favorite quote or piece of advice you’ve ever heard or received?
A: My favorite quote is “don’t worry, be happy.”
Q: Lastly, what’s your favorite sports memory?
A: My favorite sports moment is winning the Nassau County championship in my senior year.