By Paul McMullen
The Catholic Review recently spoke with Pat Healey, all-star defender for the Baltimore Blast, the Major Arena Soccer League champions.
CR: What, and where, are your Catholic roots?
HEALEY: I grew up in Bel Air, and attended Catholic schools. My family belongs to St. Margaret’s Parish, where I attended the parish school, then Calvert Hall College High School (class of 2004). Both did a great job of instilling good ethics and morals. Having that structure of religion in school helped me grow into the person I am today.
CR: how did Calvert Hall help prepare you for life?
HEALEY: It does a great job of grooming students for the transition from high school to college. The structure prepared me well to enter Towson University. Balancing school, sports and other activities can be difficult for teenagers, and Calvert Hall helped me juggle all the things I was involved in.
The teams I was a part of worked hard for all of our achievements. Winning back-to-back Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championships showed the level of commitment my teammates and I had, to set tough goals and work for each moment.
CR: Were there any Calvert Hall teachers who left a strong impression?
HEALEY: Mr. Augie Miceli was the type of teacher who related well to students and helped out every one. His background in sports made it extremely easy for me to personally relate to him.
CR: Pro sports can be ‘win at all costs.’ How do you maintain spiritual balance?
HEALEY: There are always ups and downs in sports, and I’ve learned even from the negative experiences. Win or lose, what keeps things in perspective is the support of my family.
CR: You are also a coach. How do you keep things in perspective for your players, and keep parents’ expectations in check?
HEALEY: One of the most important aspects for a youth player is to continually develop and strive to get better, work as hard as you can to maximize your potential. For some players, that’s high school, some it’s college, and for that very small percentage, the pros. Regardless of the level you end up playing, getting a college education is important for anyone.
CR: Describe a time when you most relied on your faith.
HEALEY: My grandfather, Francis, a Calvert Hall alum (’36), was one of the biggest influences in my life. He contributed to my love of sports; I saw the passion he had for them. I was in the seventh grade when he died. He is watching and supporting me.
CR: You and your wife, Julie, have a 2-year-old daughter, Taylor Marie. Is she already dribbling a soccer ball?
HEALEY: Taylor likes throwing the ball back and forth a lot more. She also loves playing with her lacrosse stick. My wife was an All-American lacrosse player at Towson University, so I think Taylor will have some good athletic genes to work with.
CR: Favorite saint?
HEALEY: St. John Baptist de La Salle, who founded the Christian Brothers, who founded Calvert Hall. He’s the patron saint of teachers, one of the first to emphasize classroom teaching over individual instruction.
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