Setback didn’t throttle Tattnall standout’s year

If there’s one thing that speaks to Jack Haughawout’s character, it’s this, say those who know him:

There’s no quit in him, on or off a playing field.

Next week, the STAR student’s walk across the stage during Tattnall Square Academy’s graduation won’t just symbolize his academic excellence, but a senior year of rebuilding.

Haughawout, who’s in the top 10 percent of his class with a 3.9 GPA, has earned a merit scholarship to the University of Georgia, where he plans to study civil engineering.

Besides his academic excellence, Haughawout is involved in a number of extracurricular activities. He coaches an elementary school soccer team, mentors younger students and played on the school’s football and soccer teams.

In the fall, Haughawout broke his ankle during a championship football game, which jeopardized his ability to prepare for and play in the upcoming soccer season.

“I had to have surgery on my leg, and (the doctors) said I probably wouldn’t be able to play my senior year,” he recalled.

But because of his hard work during rehabilitation, he was able to play a majority of the season, said Jody Burnett, Tattnall’s athletic trainer and strength and conditioning coach.

“It was almost eight weeks when he was in a cast and couldn’t put any weight on it,” Burnett said. And though the experience was a challenge for Haughawout “mentally as well as physically,” Burnett said, during Haughawort’s first practice after recovery, he “wore out the other guy” in drills.

Soccer is more than a game to Haughawout because of his family ties. While Haughawout was born in the States, a majority of his family lives in Cali, Colombia, where soccer is a passion.

“That’s how we all connect,” he said. “We’ll go out and play soccer games. We’ll go play in the streets of Colombia.”

Haughawout has a lot of “heart and mental fortitude,” Burnett said, and not just in sports. It’s evident in his academics and in his family life.

“If every kid at every school was like him, it would be a blessing,” Burnett said.

To contact writer David Schick, call 744-4382.