McGinley was poised to help keep WHS on top
Senior Dylan McGinley is among those student-athletes at Whitehall who won’t get to experience competing one last time for the maroon and gold this spring.
What makes that especially difficult is that he and fellow senior Alex Haydar were going to be front and center in their quest to defend their league and district titles on the volleyball court.
As the lone seniors on a team that had title aspirations once again, the news about the cancellation of spring sports was a tough blow.
“It was very disappointing,” said McGinley.
He believed that they could have duplicated what they accomplished last season, and also felt strongly that they could have eclipsed their performance in last year’s state tournament. They got knocked out in the quarterfinals by Northeastern High School.
That prospect will remain an unanswered question, but what remains certain is the loss he feels not being able to defend their titles during his final season as a Zephyr.
“It hurts not to be able to play my senior year with my teammates,” said McGinley.
Heading into the season, head coach George Cowitch envisioned McGinley as a strong MVP candidate. He cited his progression from middle hitter to outside hitter, and felt McGinley was poised to be a game-changer this season.
Last year Joe Herman earned that distinction, and Cowitch felt McGinley had the ability to join his former teammate as the league’s top player.
McGinley said that earning that honor would be something he would have liked to work toward this year. He was an Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Honorable Mention as an outside hitter last season.
With the volleyball season now lost, and his senior year still awash in uncertainty, McGinley has been able to find support through his family, especially older brother Logan who now plays volleyball at Alvernia University. He said that he’s played a big role in his life, showing him right from wrong, and that’s been further reinforced during this current upheaval.
“We talked about not having a senior season and how bad that hurt,” said McGinley. He said that you can’t stress about things you can’t control.”
McGinley said that he misses going to practice. Yes, he did say practice. It was a place where he and his teammates would have a good time, but also understood the boundaries.
“We were serious when it was time to be serious, but we had a lot of fun,” said McGinley. “That’s what I really miss.”
McGinley also played basketball, and that’s the sport he’ll pursue when he heads to Albright College in the fall. He said that he weighed both options, noting that volleyball has emerged as a great passion in his life, but those basketball seeds took root early, and that’s the path he’ll take the next four years.
Alvernia, located in Reading, competes in the Middle Atlantic Conference. McGinley will become part of a Lions squad that finished 16-12 last season. He said that Alvernia stood out among the schools he considered.
“I felt it was my best fit,” said McGinley. “I felt like it was the right place for me.”
He will study criminal justice at Alvernia, a decision that was influenced by an uncle who’s in law enforcement. He got to hear what his experiences were like, and that helped whet his appetite to pursue something in that field.
McGinley is used to being busy, and since he can no longer be involved in sports, he’s had to find other avenues to fill that void. Like many people, he’s turned to streaming services, and right now he’s been watching All American.
While that fills up some of his free time, not having a schedule has been a hard adjustment. Gone are the days filled with school, practice, and games. And underscoring all that this spring is the inability to be part of a team that he felt could successfully defend their titles.
“I definitely felt that was within reach, McGinley said.