Aidan Dougherty


Photo courtesy of Wesley Works.

Jacob Welsko, Former Culture Editor

As high school comes to a conclusion, Aidan Dougherty prepares to step into the next part of his academic career at Penn State.

During his four years at Emmaus, Dougherty left his mark on the field and in the classroom. Throughout his time here, he balanced being a student and an athlete on both the track and field team and football team. 

Stinger: What are your plans after high school?

Dougherty: I’m going to go to Penn State […] probably just undecided. 

Stinger: Being a student athlete, how did you manage and balance both athletics and academics?

Dougherty: Honestly, for me, I never had a whole lot of trouble balancing football and track. Sometimes there would be some late nights where you have to stay up and get your work done but [that’s] part of it–you expect that going into it.

Stinger: Who were you mentors both on and off the field?

Dougherty: I would say on the field, definitely my coaches. I’m blessed to have really good coaches on track and football. They pushed you, they helped you–they just wanted to see you succeed. And then off the field, [I’d say] my parents honestly; they’re always there when I need help, when I need comfort, and when I have questions about really anything, honestly. 

Stinger: What are you most excited for going into Penn State/college?

Dougherty: Just growing up [and] the freedom of being older–we’re not kids anymore. 

Stinger: What was your biggest accomplishment in high school?

Dougherty: I would just say the connections I made with other people and the relationships that I built.

Stinger: Was there any one specific teacher who you really enjoyed having?

Dougherty: Well, [Mr.] Parish was my mentor; I had him for a few classes and I loved him a lot. 

Stinger: What do you think you will miss most about high school?

Dougherty: Definitely seeing everybody. Obviously you’re going to make new friends at college but losing all the friendships and connections with people that you’ve made […] here.

Stinger: Do you think the pandemic taught you anything new about yourself? What did you learn about yourself from the pandemic?

Dougherty: Definitely. You never really had to have that much motivation come from yourself, especially with sports and working out, until the pandemic hit. You were always able to have people telling you what to do. But in the pandemic, nobody was telling you what to do. You didn’t have to do anything. You really found your sources of motivation […] that didn’t come from outside sources. 

Stinger: Were you hybrid or remote this year?

Dougherty: I was remote. 

Stinger: How do you think being remote changed your outlook on school and changed your experience with it? 

Dougherty: It definitely made you realize how important being in person is with your classmates and how important those connections with your teachers and peers are. 

Stinger: What was your favorite/most exciting moment being an athlete within the school?

Dougherty: Personally, I would say our undefeated regular season for football. It felt so good to have a good team again and start winning. Obviously we didn’t get far in the playoffs but it still felt good.

Stinger: Will you be pursuing sports in college?

Dougherty: No. No, I’m just going to be focusing on school. 

Stinger: How would you say you’ve changed since freshman year?

Dougherty: I’m definitely not as afraid to be out there, like about myself or help others. I guess I wasn’t timid, but I was afraid to really give my opinion, or really help others that I know really needed mentoring or assistance. Especially in football or track, I would’ve never went up to someone and be[en] like ‘hey maybe you can fix this or that’ but with experience and now that I’m better at what I do, I can really start helping people that are younger than me.

Stinger: Who is your inspiration? How do they inspire you?

Dougherty: Definitely my parents. They do what they need to do. They go to work everyday but they still come home and they’re loving parents and they really have fun with us. 

Stinger: Do you have advice for any upcoming seniors?

Dougherty: Just enjoy it. It’s your last year, it’s almost over, make the best of it. 

Stinger: How do you want your peers to remember you as you leave high school?

Dougherty: Just someone who can be a good friend. Someone who could always be there [and] give you a laugh.