Pine-Richland’s Hasley shows worth on both sides of the ball

Sunday, November 14, 2021 | 11:01 AM

Jeremiah Hasley ran gassers every day he could during the summer and even worked with a personal trainer to get into the best shape possible, because he wanted to be on the field for every snap of Pine-Richland football this season.

Hasley, a Duke recruit, had already made his mark as a linebacker and even though he started at tight end on offense last year, he had every intention of increasing that role.

The numbers show he’s made a major impact on both sides of the ball.

He had a team-leading 106 tackles after shifting from outside linebacker to middle linebacker this season and was third on the team in receptions with 18 entering Friday’s WPIAL Class 5A quarterfinal matchup with Peters Township.

He was a linchpin in helping defending state champion Pine-Richland earn a share of the Northeast Conference title with Penn Hills and North Hills.

“I knew this year I was going to be relied a lot on defense, but even more so on offense compared to years past, so I knew I had to do some more conditioning and our coaches definitely helped me out with that,” Hasley said.

Hasley averages more than 10 tackles per game and had 13 tackles for loss prior to Friday’s game, which ranked second on the team behind Max Heckert’s 14.

He’s done all that while going through a position switch. He took over the middle linebacker spot in a new-look linebacking corps after the graduation of Luke Miller, who’s now at Kent State, and Zach Waryanka, who’s now at John Carroll. The change has been smooth.

“It’s gone well,” Hasley said. “It’s obviously a little different, but you still have the same mechanics. I learned from a couple players from past years about how to play the inside linebacker position. Adding on a few pounds and getting my strength up really helped me out, especially with shedding off blockers and making sure I stay in my gaps. It’s a little change, but I’m having fun with it so far.”

Defense has always been Hasley’s forte, but he’d also put up 223 receiving yards on offense.

Hasley’s journey to becoming a tight end began with him being the fifth wide receiver as a sophomore. Then, he assumed the starting tight end role last year, but was spelled by Luke Miller.

“Luke was mainly focused on defense, but whenever I needed a break, he would come in for me,” Hasley said. “This year I just focused on getting in on offense as much as I could without needing to get someone else into the game, because I want to play every snap. It’s my last year. A couple of our other seniors and myself are pretty lethal together when we are all out there on the field at the same time.”

Hasley doesn’t play any other sports at Pine-Richland, so he’s in the twilight of his high school career. Wearing Pine-Richland green on Friday nights has been something he hasn’t taken for granted.

“Every time you put on that helmet and that jersey you’re going out there for a certain thing and it isn’t yourself. It’s for the community of Pine-Richland,” Hasley said. “We’ve been through a lot this past year, but every time I run out that tunnel, I feel like everyone in this community is on our side and has our backs. I really cherish that and the bonds I’ve made with my teammates. At the end of the day when the season is over and whatever happens, happens those people will be on your side long after it’s over.”

Jerin Steele is a freelance writer


More High School Football

Coach Ron Prady doesn’t want Latrobe football to be 1-hit wonder
Valley goes through growing pains in Dave Heavner’s 1st season
Returning contributors have Quaker Valley girls in position to make noise
PIAA announces semifinal sites, times for state football playoffs
Westinghouse shuts down Farrell, sets up PIAA semifinal showdown with WPIAL champion