Growing up, every kid wants to follow in their older sibling’s footsteps, but the fourth Delaney son took the road less travelled. The Delaney family is well known for their athletics and dominance in Hollis Brookline football. Now, for the first time in 10 seasons, there won’t be a Delaney playing on the HB Cavaliers football team.
Jack Delaney is the youngest of four siblings, three of whom are brothers. All three of his older brothers played football throughout their entire high school career. During his junior year, Delaney made a life-changing decision to abandon football and pursue his passion for guitar.
After only one semester of guitar class, he picked up the skill naturally.
“I had always wanted to be able to play; I had always been a big guitar hero guy. Then I took a class and I thought I was pretty decent, so I kept going,” said Jack Delaney 21’.
Football had been a huge factor in Delaney’s life for as long as he can remember.
“Most of my friends come from football, a lot of my morals, like hard work, and all of the coaches have influenced me; it wasn’t easy to walk away,” said Delaney, who has played football since the first grade.
He still has a passion for the game and wishes he could do two things at once.
“I go to all the games and it always saddens me to see all my brothers out there playing without me,” said Delaney
Due to the lifelong bonds Delaney has created throughout the numerous years he’s played football, the impact he has left on his teammates is immense.
“I played with him ever since I moved here, so it’s hard that he’s not there, but I think he’ll come back next year. [It’s] very very tough not having Jack [on the team],” said Marc-Andre Thermitus 21’.
Since leaving football, Delaney’s been able to focus on improving his guitar skills.
“I’ve had plenty of time after school to practice, and I’ve started to take lessons with a good guitar teacher which has really helped me.”
Instead of attending three-hour practices, he spends his time immersed in jam sessions.
The Delaneys are a football-oriented family, so having their youngest son stray from the path came as a surprise.
“My parents were shocked, but they started supporting my decision right away.”
His brothers were also accepting and supportive of Delaney’s decision. Hollis Brookline’s coaching staff was disappointed, but still appreciate all that the Delaney family has contributed to the program. However, the impact of Delaney’s absence still lingers.
“I think Jack would make our receiver and corner positions much better than they are. We have a good team but I think Jack being the player he is could make it much better,” said Thermitus.
“Football has had the biggest impact on my boys’ lives than anything, I don’t remember a time when football wasn’t a part of my life,” said Jack’s mother, Laurie Delaney, who has been through 14 high school football seasons.
Two of her sons are now pursuing football in college. Nonetheless, there is some relief.
“I don’t have to worry about any more hospital trips,” said Laurie, who has dealt with many broken arms and collarbones.
Leaving football was the hardest decision Delaney had ever made, but it was necessary to further progress his incredible talent. Delaney is also considering participating in Hollis-Brookline High School’s upcoming guitar night on December thirteenth.
This story was originally published on The CavChron Line on November 4, 2019.