Notebook: Impact Player
Nov. 5, 2010
By Mark Bedics
Marylands Jason Herrick has always made an impact wherever he has been.
So when arrived in College Park it was no surprise when he quickly became a starter for one of the top programs in the nation. In addition, he earned Atlantic Coast Conference All-Freshman Team honors, was fourth on the team in goals scored and helped the team to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. However, just when everything was looking its brightest, during the summer of 2007, he tore his meniscus and had to have major knee surgery.
I took it really hard at first,” Herrick said. It was a pretty serious injury and I had never been out for anything near that long. I knew eventually I would be able to come back, but it was just going to take time. It was just a very long process.”
Herrick spent the 2007 season helping out as an assistant coach for the Terrapins, taking the time to impact the team in a different way. When he returned in time for the 2008 season there was no holding him back.
There really was no hesitancy for me at all,” Herrick said. You would think there would have been some type of adjustment period but there really wasnt. I was just so glad to be back out on the field.
Herricks return in 2008 was a triumphant one. Not only did he pick up where he left off in the starting lineup, but he helped lead the team to a national title as a sophomore. Last year, he was selected a team co-captain and led the team in goals scored with nine.
Hes the epitome of a Maryland forward,” Maryland head coach Sasho Cirovski said. He works on both sides of the ball. Hes hardworking, courageous, skillful and very inspirational not in a loud fist-pumping, rah-rah kind of way, but by example. He has a very good soccer mind and is very well endeared by the entire team.”
This season, the Terrapins got off to a rocky start being upset by Michigan State in its season opener, 4-3 in overtime. However, with the help of Herricks leadership in his second year as captain, the team has gotten back on track towards its goals. The Terrapins currently sit at 13-2-1 on the season and are 6-1-1 in conference play. In addition, Maryland is riding a nine-game winning streak with Herrick as the teams leader in points (21) and goals (8).
Every year we come in we have the same goals,” Herrick said. We want to win the ACC regular season, the ACC tournament and a national championship. We learned a lot from the Michigan State game, and I really like the way we are playing now.”
After his career at Maryland is over, Herrick is looking at his options for playing professionally. If it doesnt work out, he has always maintained his focus on academics shown by his 3.36 GPA as an Accounting major and will work in the business world.
Jason is the epitome of a student-athlete,” Cirovski said. He cares deeply about his education and is a person very committed to all the virtues of being a student-athlete. Ive never once had to talk to him about his academics. Hes always been a very focused and goal-oriented person.”
His impact has hardly been limited to the classroom and playing field, as he has also found time to do plenty of community service. He works with the Terrapin Enrichment Reading Program (T.E.R.P.), and has also volunteered with many other groups including Relay for Life and Justins Quest (www.justinsquest.com), which raises awareness and funds for brain tumor research.
One of the guys on the team knew Justin and once I heard the story I knew I had to be part of it,” Herrick said. I really like to help out people whenever I can and hopefully make some sort of impact.”
There is no doubt that impact will be a big one.