Tonawanda News

February 14, 2013

Herne dominates whatever sport she picks up

By Owen O'Brien
The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Alanna Herne is not a typical high school junior. Nor was she a typical 3-year-old girl. 

While others were going to dance recitals and playing ballerina, Herne was going to Bandits games and reenacting the plays on her living room floor.

If you follow girl's high school sports in Tonawanda, there is little doubt you have come across the last name Herne. 

Besides being a three-sport varsity athlete at Tonawanda — soccer, basketball and softball — she also plays travel hockey and has recently rekindled her childhood love: lacrosse.

Keeping up with Herne is a full-time job for her parents.

"She definitely keeps us busy," said her father, Scott Herne. "She started out with lacrosse when she was 3 years old. We traveled all over Canada, playing lacrosse and then she started playing hockey up in Canada and we played in the states. We went to nationals with hockey."

Her talents in lacrosse went beyond the living room.

At age 9, Herne was recruited to play for the Burlington women's 17U team and they captured a goal medal.

"I'm kind of used to pressure," she said. "Playing hockey and everything else. Even in gym, I am very competitive. If there is pressure, I take it out on myself."

Alanna has had some conflicts with balancing her schedule. Playing two sports in season, along with school and a social life is a daunting task for any high school student.

Although countless hours of practice can have an academic impact, Herne wouldn't have it any other way. These practices allow her to compete with her friends and meet new girls in the process.

On the basketball court, the offense moves as Herne does. She is the point guard, plays nearly every minute of every game and is constantly creating plays for both herself and her team mates.

Tonawanda girl's coach Jay Hall credits her tremendous stamina to all the sports she plays, and calls her the heart and soul of the THS offense. 

"Her and Joanna (McCarthy) are leaders on the court and in the locker room," Hall continued. "Being at the point, it’s a natural given that she should be a leader and she takes that role. She keeps the kids on target and its like having extra coaches out there."

Herne enjoys being the distributor more than the scorer as well.

"I think I would rather make a play (for someone else), and make it look pretty" Herne said. "Set up a nice fancy run, give another person the spotlight."

When asked what she would play if she could only choose one, Herne responded with lacrosse. She has recently been accepted to play for the Buffalo Lacrosse Academy, where she will travel and play in front of upwards of 130 college scouts from all over the country.

She was unable to play lacrosse in high school, since Tonawanda does not have a team of its own. When her father tried to get her onto another High School lacrosse team, he was told it was not possible, making this Herne's first opportunity to show off her skills to scouts.

Alanna will be skating in the State Championships for hockey on March 9 with the chance to travel to San Jose for nationals.

"She has not won (any individual awards) yet, but I'm sure she will be winning something this year," Hall said.

Contact the Tonawanda News sports desk at 693-1000 ext. 4117 and find Tonawanda News sports on Twitter @tonanewssports.