Senior Spotlight: Derry’s Justin Huss was planning WPIAL track comeback

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Tuesday, June 9, 2020 | 8:33 PM


Editor’s note: Trib HSSN is spotlighting WPIAL spring athletes whose senior years were cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Derry Area senior Justin Huss missed most of the basketball season after breaking the tibia and fibula in his right leg early in the year.

Huss was a three-sport star athlete for the Trojans who saw his track season end because of the coronavirus.

He was rehabbing the injury, which occurred in December, so he could be ready to defend his WPIAL Class AA 400-meter dash title.

“I was rushing myself to get back,” Huss said. “I would have been ready.”

Huss is now focused on his college career. He’s going to Washington & Jefferson to play football and run track.

What is something you did to relax when you were off school because of covid-19?

My friends and I would go to fishing at the Derry Rod and Gun Club. They stock it with trout, bass and catfish. It’s a lot of fun. I catch and release.

Why did you select Washington & Jefferson?

It’s a great academic school and they are allowing me to do both sports. I connected well with the coaches. I plan on majoring in elementary education and the plan is to be a teacher and coach.

What was your plan before the track season was canceled?

I was rehabbing my injury. I was planning on defending my WPIAL title and do well at states. I was rushing myself back.

What was your reaction when you realized your track season was canceled?

It was disappointing to finish my high school career that way. I just turned my focus on getting healthy for college.

What did the coronavirus teach you?

It taught that there are a lot of challenges and obstacles ahead. You have to face them and move on. There are different types of challenges.

What was special about Derry Area High School?

The closeness of everyone. It brought us together. The community was also special because they supported us in every sport. We had a bond as a student body. We were close and we worked together.

What did Coach (Tim) Sweeney mean to the program?

He brought winning back to Derry. He taught us about life and we are grateful. We wish him well at Baldwin.

What was special about Coach Sweeney?

Just to see him after games we won, that’s my favorite memory about him. Even if we won, he wasn’t satisfied and he forced us to work harder.

What’s your favorite memory from your high school career?

Winning the WPIAL playoff game at home against Beaver Falls. We won in overtime. It was a great game and a great atmosphere. The teams played great. It was also the final game we played on our field.

Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at pschofield@triblive.com or via Twitter .

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