Senior Athlete Spotlight: Dan Daly Breaks Career Records

Senior Athlete Spotlight: Dan Daly Breaks Career Records

By Lily Waterman, Editor

Despite COVID-19 canceling most sports in 2020, Senior Dan Daly has yet to be slowed. Dan Daly is a four-year Varsity goalie for the Boys Lacrosse team and a three-year varsity linebacker on the football team at Wayne Hills. He later joined the offensive side of the ball as a fullback and tight end his junior and senior year. 

In football, Daly has been selected for honorable mention All-New Jersey defense team by the USA Today Network and has just broken the Career tackles record at Wayne Hills, even with a shortened season.

Against Watchung Hills High School on November 21st, 2020, Daly made 11 tackles and set a new Wayne Hills record with 243 in 31 games. This beats Jason Modak’s record from the class of 2018 with 242 tackles in 36 games.

In lacrosse, Daly is verbally committed to play at The United State Naval Academy, his proudest accomplishment. He was also rated a 4-star recruit by Inside Lacrosse, a lacrosse media entity and ESPN affiliate. He holds the Career Saves record, which he set in 2019 his sophomore year with 312 saves, and first-ever freshman starting Goalie at Hills. That same year in 2019, he had one of the lowest goals-against average, 2.7 goals per game, in the country.

Daly, clearly an insanely respected athlete, is also known for his leadership, maturity, and determination by everyone that knows him.

“My biggest motivation is knowing there is always someone else out there in the world working to be better than you. Someone is always trying to be better than me, and that has pushed me to constantly becoming my best self,” Daly explains.

He incessantly pushes his boundaries and motivates his teammates and friends to do the same. His experience and effect on Hills will be felt for years.

“I have learned respect, discipline, and hard work from my team and coaches at Wayne Hills. The dedication of Coach Demikoff, Coach Jacobson and their staff have made our teams so successful and at such a high standard,” he says.

His coaches and teammates have sung his praise for his strong leadership and courage on and off the field. His relationships have led him through all the ups and downs of high school sports.

Coach Jacobson told Jon Meredith, “Dan wants everybody else to be better, and to me that’s the difference between a good and a great player: a good player is outstanding at their position; a great player makes everybody around them better and makes sure everybody around them is better, and that’s what Dan does.”

“I’ve never seen Dan Daly do anything halfway. Everything that he did, whether it’s as a person or as an athlete was full speed ahead, 100 percent preparation, 100 percent focus and that’s what makes him rare,” says Coach Demikoff. 

“With Coach Demikoff since sophomore year, we have bonded over our love for the defensive side of football. His wisdom and leadership has taught me how to be a good person. With Coach Jacobson, our mutual passion for the goalie position has created our bond as he had played goalie throughout his career and has passed on his knowledge. He has coached me since elementary school on my club lacrosse team, and ever since I have admired his love for the game and ability to craft a winning program here,” Daly notes.

“Despite COVID-19 causing me to lose my junior year Lacrosse season and much of my Senior year of football, it has given me the opportunity to focus on my individual training, allowing me to train 5 times a week for several hours of the day,” he says.

Looking toward the future past this pandemic, Daly is especially looking to his disciplined, regimented lifestyle at the Naval Academy with new teammates and coaches.

Overall, it is clear: Daly’s absence next year will truly be felt, and we wish him well at the Naval Academy! 

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