By Chloe Senatore
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 1/31/21
On top of being an all-American athlete, two-year team captain, and signed to play college lacrosse at Division 1 Louisville, Haley Reeck puts community service above all else.
“I just think growing up I always noticed that I had a different perspective than others,” said the Edina (MN) 2021 midfielder. “And so I just thought, you know, no matter what you’re going through or what has happened to you, you want to be treated as equal and you want to feel like everyone’s there to support you.
“So for me it’s always been a big deal to make sure everyone feels supported and that they have someone there to fall back on. So that’s kind of why I do the stuff I do.”
While lacrosse has been a constant in Reeck’s life since she was young, she always had an inherent knack for helping people in need.
“Sports were always something that kept me grounded,” Reeck said.
In addition to starring in lacrosse at Edina near Minneapolis, Reeck also played soccer and was a club standout for the Minnesota Elite club team. But she is most proud of her accomplishments off the field.
This fall during the soccer season, Reeck helped organize her most recent community service project to help local businesses harmed during the protests – some that unfortunately led to destruction of businesses – that followed the death of George Floyd.
“George Floyd was about fifteen minutes from my house so that was obviously a big thing in our community.” Reeck said. “There’s a street, which is not where it happened, but a lot of the riots and all that kind of stuff happened down there, so all those businesses were obviously destroyed and a lot of them didn’t have money to reopen and stuff like that.”
To help those small local businesses joined forces with another school’s soccer team to promote a charity run. Reeck said that she utilized social media to spread the word and get as many people as possible to join.
“Our soccer team joined their soccer team, and we did a walk, run, whatever you wanted to do. We did 8.46 miles for George Floyd and that was really cool,” said Reeck. “So we donated all the money we raised to all of those businesses so we could help them rebuild.”
Rebuilding those businesses was something Reeck didn’t take lightly.
Reeck also helped organize the Edina High School’s Black Student Union donation drive to help the damaged businesses as well. “We took it into our own hands to help raise money,” she said.
Reeck’s community service has not gone unnoticed.
The Minnesota Vikings and Sleep Number recognized her at the end of 2020 as one of five Community Captains. The Vikings Community Captain awards were created to recognize outstanding varsity athletes throughout Minnesota who demonstrate strong leadership on and off the field, excelling in sport, in school and the community. Each winner received a Sleep Number 360® smart bed, a $1,000 scholarship, a $1,000 donation to the charity of his or her choice, custom Vikings merchandise and tickets to a 2021 Vikings game.
Reeck is definitely someone who takes helping people in need very seriously. She promptly took the money and donated it to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society to help people suffering from blood cancer!
Another thing Reeck takes seriously: lacrosse.
After moving to Minnesota from Lancaster, PA, Reeck made an immediate impact by earning a starting spot on Edina’s varsity as an 8th grader. She earned All-State and All-American honors as a sophomore (scoring 53 goals) and led her team to the section finals. And despite missing her junior year due to the COVID-19 pandemic – she has scored 140 goals, only 22 shy of the school record.
Reeck accepted the loss of the 2020 season.
“I think at the end of the day we all just kind of need to put it in perspective of like, we’re not dying, we’re safe, and it could obviously be a lot worse. So I think managing that between like ‘yeah it sucks’ but, it really is what it is,” Reeck said.
As a captain again this year, Reeck has high expectations that her team will – first of all – have a season, and also contend for a state title.
She also plans to do as much community service as she can, of course.
In addition to helping raise money for the damaged small businesses, Reeck is also involved in a number of other programs at her school.
“I’m in a two-one-two mentor club. So basically every year when the new freshmen come we just show them around and then we have a thing called advisory,” she said. “We’ll go in there and teach them lessons about high school and… if you need someone we’re here to talk to you. We kind of just bring them through activities with all the things that life could throw at them.
“I do an ambassador program. So it’s like when people come to the school shadowing, I’ll show them around and tell them a little bit about the school and see where they would fit in and help them get started.”
That’s not all.
“This year I’m doing ‘Unified PE’ so it’s where we work with children with special needs and we’re just there for them as their friend or a mentor,” she said. “Whatever they need or are feeling that day, we’re just there.”
Reeck says that she does these various service programs because it’s one of the most important things in life – to give back.
“Just seeing them smile or just something like that, you know they feel equal to everyone and you know that they feel appreciated,” Reeck said. “And I think that’s a super important thing with everyone in life. When you make someone feel appreciated or worthy it’s just like… my job is done. I feel complete when I make other people feel appreciated.”
Feeling appreciated is something Reeck took into account when choosing her college destination as well.
“I liked a lot of different schools,” Reeck said. “But for me, I know that the huge thing is that I wanted a second family and I wanted teammates and people who would push me to not only be good on the lacrosse field, but be a good person.”
And that school for her was Louisville (see her signing story).
“I just felt like I truly belong there and that I’d have people who had my back,” said Reeck.
And even though her passion for lacrosse is important to her, Reeck knows that she’ll always keep community service and giving back at the forefront of her mind.
“There’s a lot more to life than sports,” Reeck said. “And when those are over, you’re going to want to look back and be like ‘I did this for the community’ or ‘I did this for someone else’ and at the end of the day, what’s going to impact you the most is how you made other people feel, not what you did in a game or something like that.”