Since beginning to learn the game at 4, Hershey, of Lancaster, has had success throughout his playing career. He earned First-Team All-County honors and served as a varsity starter for three years while playing at Manheim Central High School in Lancaster. Through all of this, Hershey’s love for the game clearly stands out, even after 14 years of playing.
“After gradually competing at a higher level, I find that the game opens doors for me,” Hershey said. “It has created most of the friendships I have. It always gives something to look forward to during a tough day.”
What also stands out about Hershey is his work ethic. To prepare for games in high school, Hershey would take part in lifting sessions, shooting drills and a cardio session known as “Insanity.” This insanity workout is a total body workout that is considered to be one of the most challenging, fast-paced training regimens on the market. Though his high school workouts helped him achieve greatness at that specific level of competition, he knows that the collegiate level is more intense and that the love of the game is what separates some players from each other.
“The difference is, in high school, people played soccer because they liked soccer and wanted to play a sport,” Hershey said. “In college, people love soccer and have a passion for the game. Because of that, it becomes more intense in workouts.”
Aside from staying in shape to stay at the top of his game and enjoying every moment playing the game he loves, Hershey also understands that every day is a new day to prove that he belongs at the next level.
“Being new to a collegiate soccer team is tough,” Hershey said. “You have the pressure of proving your worth or showing how you got to the collegiate level, day in and day out. I give all I can to show that I belong at the level that I am trying to compete at.”
Another fan of Hershey’s happens to be his new head coach. Emedin Sabic has been working with young soccer players, both men and women, for ten years at Cal U, serving as an assistant with the women’s soccer program for three years and serving with the men’s program since 2010. Immediately, he has seen a huge impact from the young freshman.
“It was obvious from the first preseason session that he has a lot of potential to become a very good student-athlete at this level,” said Sabic. “So far he has contributed minutes in every game this season and has done an excellent job. He is very coachable, meaning that he can process information very quickly and implement it into a game situation.”
The story of Hershey’s quest to become a key component to the success of the Cal U men’s soccer team also has a lot to do with family. As his brother Jon, 19, spent his first year on Cal U’s campus last year, Hershey felt as if that is where he wanted to be – at a university in which he has a lot of people, including his older brother, cheering him on.
“It’s awesome to see him play at the college level,” Jon said. “He’s my brother and I want him to be successful. Being able to watch him during every home game is an incredible experience.”
Hershey is not your regular freshman at Cal U. Hard work, knowledge and love for family are what drives the first-year Cal U soccer player to continue his higher education and to continue his quest to make an impact on the soccer field day in and day out. The belief he has in himself is obvious when speaking to him, but his hard work is also seen from those who are closest to him.
“This summer he trained so incredibly hard,” Jon said. “I would often have to tell him that he was going to injure himself and should skip a workout, but he would continue to train hard every day. His work ethic is something that I have never seen before.”