By Owen Gotimer
Sterling (March 7, 2016) — Dominion High School senior Chris Hanna has made a commitment to continue his football career at Shenandoah University beginning in the 2016-2017 academic year.
“Being committed to college is an absolute relief,” the 6-foot-1, 260-pound Hanna said. “Society puts an extreme pressure on high school kids to apply and get into college, and the fact that I can get a quality education while playing a sport that I love is a great opportunity, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.”
“I chose Shenandoah because they made me feel very comfortable as an athlete. They ran the spread in which the guards pulled a lot and that’s what I’m used to,” Hanna said. “They were close to home, and I love the city of Winchester.”
Located just 50 miles west of Sterling, Shenandoah is home to the Division III Hornets including Heritage graduate Malik Johnson (2014) and Broad Run graduate Will Yancey (2015). In 2015, fourth-year head coach Scott Yoder helped the Hornets to a 4-6 finish. In 2016, Yoder will add Hanna and Potomac Falls senior Michael Davidson to his roster.
“Shenandoah is a great program with great coaches,” said Hanna who will join the Hornets’ offensive line. “I believe I can really develop my skills under their lead.”
Developing his football skills since he was seven-years-old, Hanna noted that he plays football because it is what keeps him moving forward.
“I play football because it’s really all I know. In high school, I got up at 7 a.m. all offseason because I truly love the game,” Hanna said. “Football also gives me the opportunity to get away from whatever is bugging me in life and just hit somebody.”
For Hanna, 7 a.m. lifts, conditioning and practices at Dominion are something he will always cherish. While he missed out on the opportunity to play in a playoff game during his senior year at Dominion – as the Titans finished 6-4 – Hanna did enjoy the experience of playing for head coach Karl Buckwalter and playing alongside seven fellow Dominion college commits: James Madison-commit Adeeb Atariwa, UVA Wise-commit James Burless, UVA Wise-commit Jordan Hinson, Gannon-commit Derrick Kouame, Fairmont State-commit Brandon Ruffin, McDaniel-commit Luke Thompson and Bryant-commit Taliek Washington.
“Playing for Dominion was an experience I will never forget,” Hanna said. “Coach Buckwalter has become a true mentor to me, and there’s no way I would be where I am without him.”