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Athlete Worth Watching: Jarrett Heckert of Annapolis Area Christian School

Jun 13, 2017 02:23PM ● By Cate Reynolds
By Tom Worgo

Annapolis Area Christian School senior and two-sport standout athlete Jarrett Heckert is a devoted student of military history. Heckert gets excited when he talks about his visits to Gettysburg, Bunker Hill, Jamestown, and Yorktown over the years. “I really have always been into those types of places—their museums and battles,” Heckert said.

“It’s a passion of mine.” That love helps explain Heckert’s choice of college.

Heckert, a 6-foot-3, 209-pound linebacker, will attend William & Mary on a football scholarship. The Virginia school, founded in 1693, is steeped in history. “Four of our first 10 presidents—Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe, John Tyler, and George Washington—went there,” said Heckert, who plans to major in political science. “That’s great for me being a history guy.”

Heckert carried a 3.5 grade point average and chose the College of William & Mary over an offer from Georgetown University. The list of colleges pursuing him was long and impressive. Ultimately, though, William & Mary wowed the 18-year-old Heckert with its offer. He signed a National Letter of Intent in February.

“When I was going through the recruiting process, a number of Ivy League schools were recruiting me,” said Heckert, noting Princeton, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Brown, and the University of Pennsylvania. “Northwestern was looking at me. There were a lot of good academic schools.”

No doubt what Heckert accomplished off the field also impressed recruiters. As an active member of Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, he is serious about helping people. Late last year Heckert went on a mission trip to Jamaica in 2015 and helped distribute gifts as part of an Operation Christmas Child program.

He also revived the Fellow Christian Athletes Club at his school and organized a 3-on-3 basketball tournament in April to honor the memory of Joseph Sudo, a 12-year-old neighbor who died of cancer. The proceeds were used to buy Legos for the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center.

“I have coached college football for 18 years,” AACS football coach Michael Lynn said. “With all the high school and college guys I have been around—and some went onto the NFL—he is one of the most unselfish and hardest working young men I have ever been around. He is just one of the best people I have ever been around, period.”

To prepare for college football, the AACS coaching staff moved Heckert this fall from defensive line to linebacker—the position he will be playing at the next level. The move worked out well for the four-year varsity player. He averaged nine tackles a game to earn first-team all-state honors. Heckert finished his career with 33 tackles for a loss and more than 200 overall.

“We played him at inside and outside line,” Lynn said. “He was awesome. He was playing a position he never played before, but he jumped right in and was one of our better defensive players.”

Lynn can also say that about Heckert as an offensive player. He excelled as a tight end and set a school record as a junior with 929 receiving yards. Lynn thinks Heckert will be highly successful playing college football because of his tremendous athletic ability and work ethic.

“I have coached some amazing players, and guys that have played major college football,” the coach said. “They were great athletes, but maybe they didn’t always take the time to put in the work in the weight room. But Jarrett was different. He would have me at school at 6:30 in morning so he could work out and train prior to school.” 

Heckert also shined in basketball, a sport he’s played since he was five.

He played three years on the varsity for AACS, working as a top sub for his sophomore year before earning a starting spot late in his junior season. Heckert was known for his defensive ability, hustle, and determination. He averaged six rebounds per game as a senior.

“His strength was his effort,” AACS basketball coach Doug Scheidt said. “He literally gave 100 percent every single moment. There are not many guys you can say that about. He does something on defense very few guys do and that’s communicate. He was willing to sacrifice his body and be the first guy on the floor for loose balls.

“He was always willing to be physical and to take a hit,” he added. “That was the football player in him.”