Some get homesick away at college, some love their new home at college; for Dan Drop, he needed both to keep his football career alive.
“Being a part of the football team helped me learn my campus and also gave me opportunities to meet my new friends and teammates,” Drop remarked.
Drop, who committed to Juniata College for football in his senior year of high school, can now look back making the right decision on where to play college football.
“Football here at Juniata is such a great time. My teammates and coaches have made my college football experience an absolute blast. Unfortunately, we have not had the success we would of liked to have had so far going 2-8 this past season, but I would not change it for anything,” Drop said.
Almost one year ago to the date, Drop’s football career would be tested in his sophomore year in college. He had to make a choice to get over a devastating injury or to hang up the cleats.
“I tore my ACL during my sophomore year last year. I tore it week 7 but did not know I tore it until I got an MRI after week 9—my final week playing for my sophomore year—and had to miss my final game. This was very hard for me to take because of the year I was having; I was 3rd on the team in tackles and leading the team in sacks and tackles for a loss,” Drop remarked.
Learning the lessons of injuries, Drop became one above the rest and never took advantage of his time on the football field.
“I had to take on a different role than I normally would have and grinded my way back from this injury from the great training staff here at Juniata. Also, I was able to work at home as most of my physical therapy was done at home with my old strength coach Jim Ward at Iron Athlete Gym and with the Physical Therapy staff at NovaCare Rehabilitation. This injury made me grateful for every snap I get from here on out because in one play it can all get taken from me like it did last year. I since then have made a full recovery and was able to start the first five games of the season this year,” Drop reflected.
Drop’s love for the game would be tested again, and his path to the field would be challenged once more.
“Unfortunately, I got hurt again during the 5th game and tore my labrum. I got an MRI to confirm this and asked the doctor to try and play with it. He got me a brace to help, but the next game, my shoulder came out again and again during the game. Knowing that this was going to be my last game of the year, I played through the game till the end. And again, my season came to a short end once again. I am planning to get surgery around the end of November, which will allow me to come back and play my senior season in 2020,” Drop remarked.
What do you miss most about North Penn?
“I miss high school football the most. There is nothing quite like it. I had old teammates of mine come back during my high school years and tell me there is nothing like high school football, and they were telling the truth. I miss playing with the guys who I played with since youth ball, my best friends. It is something that will forever live in my memories.”
How did North Penn prepare you for later in life?
“North Penn got me ready by how the teachers went about their classes. Every teacher I had the chance of being taught by got me ready for the workload of college. My school now is actually about half the size of North Penn, only having 1500 students on campus, so I am able to not feel so overwhelmed by the size of my school and classes.”
What are your career plans?
“I am majoring in Special Education here at Juniata, and someday I plan on using that degree to go back and be able to teach and coach in a school. They also have a shadowing program here, where I am helping out our strength and conditioning coach out by coaching the other athletic teams. I hope to one day go back to school and get the credentials to become a strength and conditioning coach myself, and having a background in special education I hope to be able to help athletes of all abilities.”