Cubmitted (Lacrosse): Owen Gaffney ‘21, Harvard University

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Posted with permission from Owen Gaffney.

The Cub community is renowned for its athletics. For students like Senior Owen Gaffney, balancing sports and academics has always been an aspect of his life in high school. Gaffney, who had recently committed to Harvard University, shared why Loyola turned him into a successful and well-rounded, student-athlete. 

When choosing colleges, the academic reputation at Harvard drew Owen’s eye. He always knew that he wanted to attend a school that valued academics along with high-level athletics, and Harvard was the best option for that mentality. For Gaffney, one of the hardest parts of applying to college was finding the right fit academically, socially, and geographically.

“I learned to play lacrosse in fifth grade,” said Owen. In his Freshman year, Gaffney played both basketball and lacrosse. He continued to play Lacrosse on the varsity level for all four years at Loyola. As a Midfielder, he had a great mindset on the field and was very impactful for the team. For his ninth and tenth grade year, the lacrosse team played at an extremely high level, and they won their third straight LA and state championships. In Gaffney’s sophomore year, their team had a great season and won their fourth straight LA title. Gaffney was also named the LA Player of the Year. Unfortunately, Lacrosse lost in the state title game against a talented St. Margaret’s team.

“Junior year,  the team took a couple of weeks to adjust early in the season, but the familial atmosphere was unmatched and helped them regain ground,” said Gaffney. Before the season got canceled, they won the first game of the season in overtime. Unfortunately, this year, the season is pending, but many of the players are excited for a potential season to start. 

“Loyola Lacrosse is special because the relationships that are fostered extend

beyond the field,” he said. Gaffney keeps in touch with his former teammates who graduated, and they check in on how the season is going for the Cubs. “Once you are a part of the Lacrosse program at Loyola, you become part of a greater family, and it shows when everyone returns for the alumni game in the spring,” said Gaffney.

The relationships Gaffney made with his classmates and coaches created a strong bond of family for him. “Coach Borell has done a great job of emphasizing high-level performance in school and athletics,” he stated. “As much as performance on the field is important, performance in the classroom is the top priority. Coach Borell is consistently checking in on us and making sure we are maintaining a high GPA.”

Head Coach Jimmy Borell shared many of Gaffney’s important traits as an athlete: strong, quick, tough, hardworking, and smart.

Coach Borell shared, “Owen does a little bit of everything. Great on offense, great on D, GBs, wings of a face-off. He does it all. What was special about having Owen on the team was that he brings that attitude to everything and it makes him and everyone around him elevate their game.”

Gaffney’s coaches were always available for questions and advice, which was of great help to him. 

“My teachers, counselors, classmates, teammates, and coaches have all helped

guide me through high school and will continue to help me down the road. Learning from all of them has been amazing,” he stated. 

Gaffney also ranked 9th in his recruiting class for College. He decided to play lacrosse in college because he knew he would meet new people and he would enjoy playing. One reason why Owen enjoys lacrosse is because of the physicality and the speed of the game. Gaffney is thrilled to start college and play lacrosse, in the class of 2025 at Harvard University.

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