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Dion Hafner poses for a photograph at sunset.

Athlete Spotlight - Dion Hafner

What happens when you have an offseason affected by a pandemic?  For Dion Hafner, a senior three-sport athlete at Willow Canyon High School, you organize 5:00 a.m. workouts with your teammates to get ready for the seasons.  Dion competes in football, basketball, and track and field, and is known as a leader in all three.  

“He works hard in football and track,” said coach Justin Stangler.  “He earned a starting position as a cornerback his first year in football and is one of our strongest 400m runners in track and field.  He leads by example in both sports.”

“He’s a great kid,” said Joseph Colletti, Hafner’s basketball coach.  “It’s been a pleasure getting to know him and see him grow the last few years.”

Coming into his senior year, Hafner has some lofty goals for his track and field season.  His junior year was canceled because of COVID-19 and he’s itching for a chance to prove himself.

“One of my goals this year is definitely going to state for track,” said Hafner.  “Last year I wasn’t able to get there because of COVID, but I was pretty close my sophomore year.”

As for football, Hafner only has one goal for this season - to prove everyone wrong.

“My only intention this year in football is to win,”  he said.

One of the main reasons his coaches value his presence on the court and field is his leadership and the example he sets for others.  

“I feel like it is a passion of mine to lead people, and help them out on the field,” said Hafner.

Not only does Hafner lead his teammates, but the community as well.  He volunteers at Christ Church of the Valley in his spare time and coaches junior high kids, letting them know they can make a difference on and off the field.  

He hopes to be able to run track or play football in college as he pursues a degree in Biblical Studies and one day fulfills his dream of being a pastor.  For right now though, he’s focused on what’s in front of him, no matter how the pandemic affects it.  

“I’m just glad we get a season right now,” said Hafner.  “Whether it’s five games, three games, a full season, I just want to play.”


Tags: Willow Canyon News