Peninsula QB Jack Haworth gets sacked. Palos Verdes vs Peninsula Bay League football game Friday November1, 2019. (Photo by Robert Casillas, Contributing Photographer)

Jack Haworth found the right balance to be a two-sport student-athlete during his four years at Peninsula High.

"During football, the focus of most of my time was on football, but on a Saturday or Sunday, I would try to find time to hit in the cages," Haworth said. "During baseball season, on a Saturday or Sunday, I would go out with the receivers and throw the ball around."

His goal during the offseason of both sports was to reflect on the season behind him, and focus on the season ahead.

"I'd try to keep up with both sports (as much as possible), and use the offseason to get better at both," Haworth said.

As a junior, Haworth spent the majority of his time on the football field as a wide receiver. During the playoffs, however, Haworth had to fill in at quarterback after Ethan Gretzinger got hurt during the quarterfinal round.

"Having played receiver, I already had the opportunity to learn everything about the offense, learn the plays and know where everyone was going," Haworth said. "Being able to come in at quarterback, it was a good transition because I had known a lot (already)."

Haworth was a key piece in Peninsula's drive to its first CIF Southern Section championship berth since 1997, and also got to experience a home game under lights at Peninsula, something that has happened just twice this century.

"Playing under the lights was an incredible, bittersweet moment," Haworth said. "Just to think at one point, we had to shut down the season, and three years later, the community came together to do something historical. The stands were packed, and the community came together around football."

What Peninsula football coach Dave Young saw in Haworth was something he's rarely seen during his coaching tenure.

"(Haworth) is a selfless, empathetic leader who was also an excellent teammate," Young said. "He was the perfect combination of student and athlete, because he held himself to a higher standard than everyone else."

It was off the field that Young saw Haworth shine even more.

"He was involved in all sorts of activities, from being a teen group leader at church to a leader on campus, to a part-time carpenter," Young said. "He has so many interests beyond football that talking to him was always educating because he was so knowledgeable about things and always had an interesting outlook."

Peninsula baseball coach Derek Nicholson saw Haworth being a standout when he stepped onto the Rolling Hills Estates campus four years ago.

“As a coach, you immediately want to begin to develop players with such incredible strength and athleticism like Jack possessed,” Nicholson said. “It was easy with Jack because of his dedication and respect for the game he played and the coaches that worked with him.”

While Nicholson noted Haworth isn’t walking away from Peninsula as an All-CIF honoree, he feels the legacy Haworth left will be for his work ethic.

“His legacy is timeless because he will leave it as a respectful, hardworking and excellent teammate,” Nicholson said. “The Peninsula Athlete of the Year award exemplifies who Jack Haworth is.”

While Haworth carried a 4.2 GPA, he was also involved in on-campus clubs such as National Honor Society, Link Crew, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and the Principal's Advisory Council.

On Wednesday June 3, Haworth found out via Zoom that he was named Peninsula's Male Athlete of the Year. While he said he was both excited and humbled, he also knew it was best to make the most of how things have happened, instead of being bummed.

"It is a bummer to have everything taken away, but we're all in this together," Haworth said. "Our graduating class has 500 students, and every time I get upset about it, I know there's a lot of people going through this."

Haworth has decided to attend Gonzaga University in the fall, and it was the atmosphere when he visited the Spokane, Wash., campus that sold him.

"Everything stood out. There was a very home-y feel, and it was warm and welcoming," Haworth said. "At Peninsula, I felt like there was a big sense of community. Everyone was so nice and warm, and I got the same feeling in Spokane. To have the opportunity to continue with a similar feeling in college was a main factor in choosing Gonzaga."

His focus while at Gonzaga is to earn a degree in Business Administration, with a minor in entrepreneurship innovation.

"I've always focused on the business aspect of how things are run," Haworth said. "I want to study business and entrepreneurship, and construction, and how things work. I'd like to run a construction company that buys, sells and flips houses someday."

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