Will ‘The Thrill’ Haus is certainly a unique athlete. So much so that his place in Lebanon County sports history is secure.
In January, when he signs his national letter-of-intent to attend Duke, not only will Haus commit to one of the finest universities in the country, he’ll also become the first Division One athlete from Lebanon County’s newest scholastic sport – lacrosse.
Not that historical significance is all that important to an 18-year-old Palmyra senior. “Sometimes it hits me and I think it’s pretty cool,” said Haus, “but it’s not something I think of often.”
Haus’ story bears telling.
Two years ago, Haus and his family moved to the Palmyra area. Haus’ father John relocated his family when he took the head coaching position of a resurrected Lebanon Valley College lacrosse program.
Unlike most Lebanon County scholastic athletes, Haus grew up around lacrosse. John Haus’ influence on his son is profound and undeniable.
“I’ve been around lacrosse for a while,” said Haus. “My dad’s been coaching ever since I was born. I’ve been playing since the first grade, but I’ve been around it my whole life.
“He’s definitely taught me to be a better player,” Haus continued. “Just talking to him, being around every game. I wouldn’t say he critiques me a lot, but he does give me pointers every once in a while.”
Locally, larcosse’s development is progressing, but still in its infancy. Only two Lebanon County schools – Palmyra and Cedar Crest – offer the sport in its overall athletic program.
“Lacrosse is definitely a growing sport,” said Haus. “If you go back five or ten years, it was mainly played only in New York. Now people are playing it everywhere. The talent here isn’t like it is in the hot beds, but it’s definitely getting there.
“It’s a non-stop game,” Haus added. “Up and down the field. There’s always motion. I love flying up and down the field.”
The Duke men’s lacrosse team is the reigning and defending NCAA Division One national champions. Haus has verbally accepted the Blue Devils’ offer of a full athletic grant-in-aid, after being recruited as an attackman.
“I feel like my speed helps,” said Haus, who toils at the midfield position for the Cougars. “Lacrosse is a game of speed. I feel like that’s the strongest part of my game.
“But obviously, I’m going to have to get stronger to compete at the next level,” added Haus. “And improve on my shooting, knowing where the ball is going to go. Just being more accurate with my shot.”
In making his college decision, Haus visited four schools – Duke, Maryland, Penn State and Harvard. And he had a ‘Devil’ of a time making up his mind.
“To be honest, it was a really hard choice,” said Haus, who is undecided on the pursuit of a major. “It came down to Duke and Maryland. My brother goes to Maryland, but I felt Duke was a better fit for me. I felt like academically, Duke was more of a fit for me.”
Haus is also an accomplished football player. As a wide receiver this fall, Haus provided the Palmyra football team with a constant deep threat and returned four kickoffs for touchdowns.