Delaney Chase knows a little something about overcoming adversity.
(Eisenhower senior Delaney Chase. Photo by Barb Wheeler.)
The 3-sport athlete (soccer, basketball, softball) and senior at Eisenhower High School tore her ACL as an sophomore, which was a scary thing for someone so active.
“After having surgery to repair my ACL I was very worried about what it would do to my final years of sports,” Chase said. “The basketball team had just finished a great season and I was hoping to take that energy onto the softball field. I missed out on my sophomore year of softball and my junior year of soccer but cheered on my teammates from the sidelines.
“It was very difficult to watch my teammates grow close on the field and not be a part of it, but I learned a lot watching the sports that before I had only played. I was able to get a better view of the coach’s perspective and I think it helped me become a better player and teammate.”
It’s also a reason why she’s uniquely equipped to be a leader on her teams as senior during the uncertainty of COVID-19.
It’s a reality all student-athletes have to face right now. And while she admits the leadership role might not have come naturally to her, it’s a position she’s thriving in.
“Being a senior leader is a lot more pressure than being an underclassman,” Chase said. “Everyone looks up to you to be a good role model on the court and off. I think in the past I have struggled to speak up around my teammates but being a captain has required me to do that. It is also a very selfless job because you must always do what is best for the team not just yourself.
“COVID-19 has made this year different than anything we have experienced in the past. Being a senior is especially difficult because I will never get another opportunity to play sports for my school. It has required me to be ready for almost anything as you never know what will happen.”
Though you wouldn’t know it thanks to her athletic prowess, off the court or the field, she’s your typical high school senior in many ways.
Besides sports, she loves to read and spend time with her family and friends..
“My friends and I love to hang out on the weekends and watch horror movies late at night,” she said .”I think my friends would describe me as caring and super childish. They always say I act a lot like a kid but I am also pretty shy.”
Chase is also happy that she decided to dedicate herself to athletics in high school.
“Being a 3-sport athlete has been difficult at times, but I am very glad I decided to do it,” she said. “It requires a lot of hard work and dedication and makes you well-rounded, which are good qualities to have throughout life.”
Like most, she’s excited to get going with the basketball season, with restrictions lifted on Monday, meaning the Lady Knights are returning to practice.
Eisenhower girls basketball coach Mike Logue has had Chase fill a multitude of roles throughout her career, something that should come as now surprise.
“I think I have definitely improved as a basketball player throughout my high school career,” Chase said. “As my abilities got better so did my knowledge of the sport and connection to my teammates on and off the court. These are very important for a team to be successful. I also feel my confidence while playing has greatly improved over the years.”
She also cites a former teammate with being one of her biggest influences.
“My biggest influences throughout my high school career have shaped me into the person I am today and I am so grateful,” she said. “When I was a sophomore our basketball team was very close and we all really enjoyed spending time together. This is a result of a great senior captain, Lydia Ginniani. When I think about the senior I would like to be, she always comes to mind. She was not only a good basketball player, but also knew how to be a good leader and friend.”
Apart from her athletic accomplishments, she is also an excellent student.
When she goes to college next year, she already knows what she wants her major to be.
“I plan to pursue journalism in college,” she said. “I was drawn to it because I have always liked writing. When I first joined the journalism program at Eisenhower my sophomore year I was chosen as a junior editor for our school newspaper. I later became a co-editor and enjoy working to make our paper the best it can be.
“At the moment I have not decided where I want to go to college but have chosen a few schools that I like with good Journalism programs that are close to home.”