The Maryland high school player profiles series is presented by the U.S. Army.
Rising seniors Heidi and Delaney Clesner of Northwood High School were nominated for the Maryland high school player profiles series by girls’ varsity lacrosse coach Jennifer Buckley.
“Heidi and Delaney Clesner played major roles this season,” Buckley said. “Heidi’s draw controls and Delaney’s speed to the goal had Northwood scoring in the first 10 seconds of a handful of games.”
For the first time in program history, Northwood had a perfect regular season (8-0). Much of that success was due to the Clesner twins.
Delaney led the team with 22 goals and Heidi won 72 percent of faceoff draws while tallying 20 goals and a team-leading 30 assists. Both had less playing time than they would have had in a normal season; Northwood had a 28-player roster in a COVID-shortened season.
Heidi and Delaney took some time to answer a few questions about receiving this honor.
PressBox: What does it mean to you to have your coach recognize you for this?
Heidi Clesner: It was really great. I just feel really proud to be part of this team and even though Delaney and I are the ones getting mentioned, it feels great to accomplish what we did this year.
Delaney Clesner: It meant a lot to us as this year more than ever, we were able to watch the team more with Coach Buckley and we definitely bonded more as the season went along.
PB: What were expectations like leading up to the start of this season with there being no 2020 season?
HC: The entire team was just really excited that we got the opportunity to play, especially since we didn’t get a season last year due to COVID.
DC: There was uncertainty because we did lose some players, and we didn’t have the same amount of people try out for the team, so we didn’t know what team we were going to get. The team was bigger than normal [because JV and varsity teams were combined into one], but it worked out really well.
PB: Was there a greater adjustment period with a bigger roster, or were you able to easily gel together as a team even with more players?
HC: Having one larger team instead of two smaller teams, there was no division. We were all working toward the same goal on the same roster, practicing together, cheering each other on. It made gelling together easy and it happened quickly.
DC: This season, we gelled together well, especially because everyone got playing time, so we got better as a team.
PB: How did you first get into playing lacrosse and what made you fall in love with the sport?
HC: Our first year of playing was our freshman year. I was just throwing a lacrosse ball in the gym with my friends and they encouraged me to try out.
DC: Coach Buckley was the person who pushed us to play club lacrosse freshman year. We picked it up then and the great environment we were in just kept pushing us to play more.
PB: What are the favorite moments you’ve both had in your respective lacrosse careers?
HC: The game against Blake, which was the make-or-break game [for] our undefeated season this season. That was our best game as a team and our most competitive game, and we pulled through.
DC: Doing what we did this season in our second real season of playing lacrosse, it meant a lot to us and to our team. We were incredibly excited about it.
PB: What are your athletic and academic goals for the remainder of your high school careers and after graduation?
HC: We can definitely see ourselves playing in college, but it will have to be a school that we’re interested in. I think anyone, if they put their minds to it, can play college lacrosse.
DC: We’re really looking forward to our senior season. We’re hoping to continue our stellar record. I know next year won’t be the same, probably more competitive, but we’re really looking forward to it.
To nominate an athlete or team for a future U.S. Army Player/Team Profile, visit PressBoxOnline.com/Impact.
Photo Credit: Maddie Brennan