Earlier this month, students in 6th through 12th grade met in McCormick Auditorium for an important annual event — Harrisburg Academy’s Alumni Achievement Awards and Athletics Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. Because I handle all things athletics at the Academy, I am particularly involved in the Hall of Fame portion of this event. This year, we proudly inducted John Persun ’68 and Andrew Kantor ’10.

While the two are 42 years apart in graduation years, they share a very common passion for sports. Both played Varsity Soccer at the Academy all four years, and while John excelled in football, baseball, and lacrosse, Andrew competed at the State level in tennis as a Spartan. John continued playing soccer and lacrosse at Hamilton College, and Andrew played club tennis at Furman University, where he earned the MVP award in 2014.

John Persun is the only 3-Time Sports Club Trophy recipient in school history, the highest recognized award in the Upper School for student-athletes. He has fond memories of his teachers and coaches, and was a disciplined student in the classroom. When asked how playing high school sports helped to shape his life, he responded, “As a student athlete at Harrisburg Academy, studies came first and sports, a close second. The confidence gained from playing sports at Harrisburg Academy kept me engaged in the classroom and enabled my success in other walks of life.”

Andrew Kantor had a similar response: “The Harrisburg Academy athletics program allowed me to develop collegial skills and form friendships that have had a lasting impact on me. My lifelong passion for sports began at Harrisburg Academy, and I am so grateful for that.”

When our current students met John and Andrew at the induction ceremony, they saw two very respectful, kind, and humble men — hopefully, graduates in whom they see similarities with themselves. We have 72 soccer players, 18 tennis players, two baseball players and seven lacrosse players who were likely inspired to achieve success not only on the athletic fields and courts, but in their personal and professional lives as well.

Learn more about Harrisburg Academy on our school website.