Player Spotlight: Ben Heeney
"Our main goal at Hutchinson is to win state," said Ben Heeney. "We've won it six times in a row and want to keep it going. Personal goals for me will to become more of a team leader, led the team in tackles, and do everything I can to get us another ring."
Heeney, 6-0.5, 203, has started at the Kansas powerhouse school since his sophomore season. Hutchinson head coach Randy Dreiling also uses Heeney at fullback on offense.
"Last year I had 80-plus tackles and three interceptions," Heeney said of his junior season. "I'm fast, hit hard, and play a very physical strong safety."
In 2009, Heeney was named 1st team All- Conference (Arkansas Valley- Chisholm Trail Division 1) at defensive back. Two of his best games came against Bishop Carroll when Heeney made 15 tackles and in the state final blowout of Gardner-Edgerton when he made nine tackles and caused a forced fumbled in the 52-14 victory.
The Salt Hawks will begin practice for the 2010 season starting on August 15th. Heeney had a busy summer rehabbing from a March knee surgery and visiting college campuses.
"Colorado State is my only offer right now," Heeney said. "I went there on an unofficial visit. I've also been to junior days at Kansas State, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Recently, I went to a one-day camp at TCU and plan on being at the K-State camp on the 31st."
As of now Heeney has no timetable to commit to a university. He wants to play it by ear and see what happens with offers. His father, Joe Heeney, was a third baseman at Kansas and played in the Yankee organization. Heeney, himself, grew up a Jayhawk fan, but neither that or distance will play a significant role in his college decision.
"It depends on the school," said Heeney. "Some like me at safety such as Colorado State, but others see me more as an outside linebacker. I want to go somewhere that I can have a chance to play and contribute early and a place with a potential to play in and win bowl games."
Heeney runs a 4.55. Before his knee surgery he had a best of 4.53 in the 40. He says the knee is close to 100-percent. He may be cautious with it however and opt not to play basketball or baseball like he has in the past at Hutchinson.
In the classroom, Heeney reports a 3.8 GPA with honors courses upping it to a 4.5. He is also active in his student council.
The Salt Hawks, with only two starters returning on offense and four on defense, will play their first game September 3rd against Rockhurst High School out of Missouri.
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