Liam Hare is a local Philadelphia area product who was a standout all four years at Spring-Ford High and found himself as a Captain and an anchor to the St.Joe’s Hawks Lacrosse defense. So, let’s go One on One with Liam Hare.
KMN- Liam, as a local product, was St. Joseph’s on your radar to further you Lacrosse fancy?
LH- To be perfectly honest, I was unfamiliar with SJU as a university and lacrosse program until my brother Zach (Class of 2019) began his recruiting process and spoke very highly about Saint Joes. I was mildly recruited to SJU through my brother but ended up signing my National Letter of Intent to another university.
However, after some pretty drastic coaching changes at the university I originally planned to attend, Coach Wray reached out to me late in my senior year of high school and told me that if I wanted to be at SJU, he would gladly have me. After considering my options and seeing the school a few times with my brother, I decided that SJU would be the perfect fit for me because it was close to home, it was an on the rise program where I felt I could make a real impact, and most importantly I would have the opportunity to play with my brother Zach again.
KMN- Long stick… usually not high on the popularity stand… why long stick?
LH-I personally love the long stick position. In high school, I played primarily close defense, but I would almost always be on the wings of face-offs. Before high school, I played midfield and attack and after making the switch to defense I think a lot of those stick skills and comfortability of handling the ball transferred over. I think LSM is the perfect position for me with regard to that. It provides me with the opportunity to play in a way that caters to my particular skill set by playing defense first and foremost, but also by having plenty of opportunities to join in transition and become a threat to score coming over the midline.
KMN- For those who don’t know, walk us through the recruiting process. How many schools do you sit with and, why St. Joe’s?
LH-The recruiting process has changed significantly since I was going through it myself, and in my opinion, it is 100% for the better. I began receiving interest from schools my freshmen year of high school, and it all felt very overwhelming to be 15 or 16 years old trying to make a decision that would affect your future so heavily. Especially watching close friends of mine commit to schools, I felt like I had to commit ASAP or I may miss my window. My sophomore and junior year were pretty quiet as far as recruiting goes, and at one point I was not even sure if I would be provided an opportunity to play Division I lacrosse. Late in my junior year, I received interest from another Division I school, and a few weeks later I committed to them.
In May of my senior year, the entire coaching staff that I committed to was fired, and I decided to get a release from my NLI and pursue other options. When news of this coaching change broke, I was contacted by Coach Wray through my brother Zach, and one other D1 coach. Because it was so late in my senior year, there was a time table placed on my decision, and I am incredibly happy to have made what I think is the best choice I’ve ever made in my life, and I committed to SJU.
KMN- I have known Coach Wray quite a few years… when he played box, he was intent and physical… what is his demeanor as a Coach?
LH-Coach Wray is the greatest lacrosse mind I have ever been fortunate enough to play under. He still has the same intensity and passion for the game now as when he played. Our practices are very upbeat, high tempo, and physical. He takes pride in knowing that our program works hard and competes every day whether it be during a practice or a game. However, outside of lacrosse, he is a fun-loving and personable guy who just loves the sport of lacrosse.
KMN-Since you have been a Hawk, there have been a few Coaching moves… has that been an easy transition for the squad?
LH-Coaching changes are always an adjustment for everyone on the team. But our coaching staff, Coach Wray in particular, has always found people who will fit in seamlessly with the ideology of our program. Some have been past players, and some have been entirely new to SJU, but all come to us with a wealth of knowledge, a strong love for the game and the process of bettering yourself, and a shared intensity and passion similar to Coach Wray’s. That usually makes the transition pretty easy for the guys on the team.
More One on One with Liam Hare
KMN- I really hoped to avoid Covid talk but..how or I’d have, is the daily personal workouts changed? Is it strictly “wall ball?”
LH-This past fall was definitely a lot different than my previous years here. We were at the mercy of the City of Philadelphia, and so the first few weeks of practice only allowed for us to practice in 10 person groups, and masks were required during practice. As the fall progressed, the restrictions were lessened little by little until the point where we were able to practice as an entire team. Workouts and conditioning sessions were the same, and we could only do them in small pods. Thankfully, we’re able to practice together as an entire team now, and practices are more or less the norm of a typical preseason.
KMN- Being in college, a constant turnover of players, is there one player you have really bonded with?
LH-I think it’s always easiest to bond with the guys in your recruiting class, simply because they’re who you live with freshmen year and spend the most time with. But our team is a very close-knit group, and so we’re all good friends who in a normal year would spend a ton of time together outside of lacrosse.
KMN- Noted as a “graduate student” for those who have no idea, what is that status?
LH-Being a graduate student just means that I’m utilizing my final year of lacrosse eligibility granted to me by the NCAA in response to last years covid pandemic. I graduated in the spring of 2020 with a Bachelors Degree, and I am now pursuing my Master’s Degree in Health Administration.
KMN- Are you actively lending time to Coaching or mentoring?
LH-We’re all assigned mentees as upperclassmen as a part of our mentoring program. That basically just means we each get a younger guy, typically freshmen, who we act as mentors for, and they can reach out to you for help or advice with anything and everything that comes with being a college athlete.
KMN- When all is said and done, what memory, more than any, will you leave Hawk Hill with? Doesn’t have to be Lacrosse.
LH-There’s so many memories and experiences that I’ve had in my time here on Hawk Hill. Hopefully, my favorite and most lasting memory will be winning an NEC championship this upcoming season, but until then I’d have to say just being around my teammates after big wins. The guys in our locker room have become like family to me, and there is no better feeling than celebrating a big win with some good music in the locker room. We’ve also played some pretty awesome games like our OT win over Hobart, or our upset win over Penn in 2018 that I’ll never forget.
KMN- Finally, DI you see yourself attempting to play PLL or any Box League?
LH-Obviously both of those leagues are made up of the best players in the world. Lacrosse has been a large part of my life for as long as I can remember, and so if the opportunity ever presents itself to play professionally then I would love to do that.
Is Liam good? Check Out His Numbers
2016 PAC-10 Player of the Year… 2015 PAC-10 Defensive Player of the Year… Three-time All-PAC-10 First Team selection… 2016 All-Area Player of the Year… Three-time All-Area First Team selection… Two-time All-State First Team selection… Led Spring-Ford to a four-year record of 72-15, including a 21-3 record as a senior… Four-year varsity letterwinner and senior team captain… Played for Mesa Fresh Lacrosse Club… Brother, Zach, played for the Saint Joseph’s men’s lacrosse team from 2016-17 and 2019… Brother, Ian, played lacrosse at Towson University from 2014-15.
One on One with Liam Hare. For more lacrosse action click here.