Phillylacrosse.com, Posted 2/1/11
Former Conestoga lacrosse player Mark Herzlich, the Boston College football standout that overcame a rare form of bone cancer, was named the Most Courageous Athlete by the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association at its 107th annual dinner Monday in Cherry Hill, N.J.
The 23-year-old linebacker became a national hero by not only beating Ewing’s sarcoma, but also raising more than $200,000 for cancer research.
Herzlich was a standout attackman at Conestoga (Class of 2006) and had offers to play at Division I colleges. But he chose football in college and emerged as a standout and led BC in tackles and was named Atlantic Coast Conference Defensive Player of the Year in 2008.
The 6-foot-4, 244-pound Herzlich nearly skipped his senior season and entered the NFL draft. However, he was diagnosed in May of 2009 with Ewing’s sarcoma.
Herzlich endured seven months of chemotherapy and radiation at Pennsylvania Hospital while continuing his classes at BC. He had a titanium rod inserted into his left femur to support the bone.
Doctors questioned if the leg would withstand the pounding of football, but Herzlich returned to the field in 2010, soon reclaimed his starting position and finished third on the team in tackles.
Herzlich is now working out, preparing for the NFL combine and predraft workouts.