Alumni: Salamanca’s John making a mark as Hobart captain

A year ago, Tanner John was hobbled by injury and effectively fell out of the Hobart men’s lacrosse team’s rotation. Now, he’s one of four team captains.

Two weeks ago, coach Greg Raymond called a special meeting with his seniors to take stock of the team. Having already appointed Frank Brown and Grant Soucy captains at the beginning of the season, he chose to also give that honor to two more seniors, John, a former multi-sport Salamanca High School star, and Max Romm.

Brown, a Silver Creek graduate and Red House native who attended Salamanca schools through the 10th grade, and Soucy didn’t lose their captaincies. Raymond merely thought they needed help, as both were missing practice time due to nagging injuries.

“We needed some more defined leadership on the field of play in a practice structure day-to-day,” Raymond told the Salamanca Press, “just so that a couple guys would feel like they had the opportunity or the ability to speak and to lead and they weren’t stepping on people’s toes. Our guys are a very close group and they don’t want to do anything to provide any chinks in the order of balance here. So I felt like pushing two more people into that role was the easiest way to catapult or provide a catalyst for more vocal and lead by example-type stuff.”

John’s Hobart career had been consistently sidetracked by injuries of his own. He missed his entire freshman year (2014) and scored three goals in nine games as a sophomore (2015). Then, another setback with just four point-free appearances in 2016. Injuries played a part again, but he also had a bigger off-field development: John became a father to a daughter, Kinsley John, who will turn 2 next month. Kinsley and her mother, John’s girlfriend, were back home last season.

“Being away from them was tough,” John said. “Everything just kind of fell where I didn’t want it to. I was in a bit of a valley, I climbed my way back onto the second line or third line, right there, scratching the surface and I come back out and I twisted my ankle or something. It was always something that was pulling me back down.”

John has contributed in all 11 games this season, marking 12 points on nine goals (sixth on the team) and three assists. Raymond thinks it’s a result of both his durability and peace of mind.

“He’s done a better job in taking care of his body, he’s done a better job of getting treatment, hydrating, sleeping, whatever he’s doing, he’s been on the field,” Raymond said. “Second, I know Kinsley’s in town now. He was going back and forth to home and to colle