It was a busy Friday indeed for Danny Hale.
The Sandusky High School senior has become accustomed to having a busy schedule. But Friday was a little different.
Hale competed in No. 1 singles Friday morning at the Division 4 state tennis finals in Kalamazoo and then traveled back to Sandusky to help the football team defeat Memphis 54-12. For his performance, Hale is the Times Herald Athlete of the Week.
“You have to focus on one sport at a time,” Hale said. “Tennis and football are two totally different sports. You get your mind focused for tennis and get prepared for that game and once that is over you turn to football.”
Hale lost his first round match at the Division 4 state tennis finals and then made the four hour drive back to Sandusky. He arrived in time to catch a 52-yard touchdown pass and help Sandusky improve to 8-0 on the regular season and clinch an outright Greater Thumb Area Conference East Division championship.
Sandusky hopes to cap a perfect regular season at home on Friday against Capac.
“It wasn’t my best tennis match of the season but I definitely worked my hardest at it,” Hale said of being eliminated from the state tournament. I had a couple of good shots against the kid.
“I finished at 12:30 p.m. and then traveled four hours back to Sandusky. I was definitely tired from the long drive. But it was just an amazing moment as an athlete to accomplish something like that.”
Hale has impressed in both sports as Sandusky’s best singles player and also as a tight end and defensive back.
“Danny is a good athlete and he’s a great young man,” Sandusky coach Craig Jacobson said. “He has great parents and a great family. He works extremely hard. Has a great work ethic. He goes to tennis practice and football on the same days sometimes. He is putting in a lot of time and a lot of work.
“He started doing this last year. There was a little bit of a learning curve. He has picked up on stuff quickly. You miss practice sometimes here or there and it’s a little bit of a learning curve. He does a good job blocking for us. He is also a really good cover guy and tackles. He is just a real hard working kid that he wants to be a part of this team with his teammates and friends and wants to be out there competing with them. That’s what he probably enjoys the most. He is out there with his teammates and classmates competing with them every down.”
With his help, Sandusky is one game away from a perfect regular season and possibly a long postseason run.
“Coach Jacobson has really helped me develop my skills as an offensive blocker and also my receiving game,” Hale said. “It’s exciting but hard to think about what we are accomplishing in mid season when you are preparing for one game at a time.
“But I’m excited to be a part of this.”
Contact Joseph Hayes at (810) 989-6268 or at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @jhayes1136.