Senior Adam Henschel didn’t do a lot of things for the football or lacrosse teams at Mashpee High School that got him a lot of glory. Sometimes, playing linebacker, he’d get his name in the newspaper for the Falcons, but for the most part Adam did the stuff that the team needed that didn’t gain him glory. In lacrosse he played defense.
The affable Adam, who ranked fourth in the Class of 2019 academically, had a great career for both teams, regardless of his lack of headlines. The senior, who had his final year in lax cut short by a wrist injury, is the son of Tracy and Chris Henschel. His most-prized possession is a photograph of a pelican that his grandfather gave him when he was young. In school, history and environmental science were his favorite subjects.
Adam’s favorite movie is “Star Wars” and “One Tree Hill” is his favorite TV show. He’s a fan of 2Pac’s music as well. Steak and asparagus is his favorite meal, along with a glass of sweet tea.
How did you get involved with lacrosse? How much do you enjoy it?
I first started playing lacrosse in 8th grade when a few of my friends on the football team talked me into giving it a try. At first it was just a third sport behind football and basketball, but I quickly fell in love with it. It was different than any other sport I had tried, and I enjoyed the mixture of fast-paced play in transition and the chess match that’s played in the half field.
You had to miss most of this season with a wrist injury. How did you get hurt, and how difficult was it to have to be on the sidelines?
One day during practice I fell while playing defense during a drill. When I got up I noticed that the head of my stick had fallen off, and I jogged off to the sideline to get it fixed. I took off my glove to try and put the head back on and I noticed my thumb was popped out of place and that I had a more severe issue than just my stick. I went to the hospital and the doctors popped my thumb back into place and put me in a cast, so that I could keep playing, but a few hours into my first practice back I popped it back out and tore the ligaments. It’s been incredibly hard being on the sidelines for my senior year. However I’ve tried to make the most of it and used the opportunity to help coach and teach our young team some of the fundamentals of defensive lacrosse.
You have played on the defensive side of the ball in lacrosse. What is it about D that you, enjoy?
One of the best parts of defense is communicating with your teammates and establishing a solid and cohesive unit. When everyone is on the same page and sliding properly, it’s incredibly satisfying. I also enjoy the physicality that comes with the position.
You also played football at Mashpee. What were the best parts of being a part of that program and how much did you enjoy it?
The best part of being a part of the Mashpee football team was definitely winning the state championships. Football was always my favorite sport and probably my better of the two, but I truly loved everything about it. The fast pace, the physicality, and the coaching staff truly made me buy into the program and fall in love with the process. In the end, we all learned that hard work pays off.
You played both offense and defense in football. Did you prefer one over the other? Why?
There were things I enjoyed about both sides of the ball and I don’t think I have a favorite. Playing linebacker was just as much a mental challenge as it was physical when it came to reading the defenses, and I enjoyed the task. On offense, I had fun blowing up the holes for the running back and lived for each and every one of the few carries the fullback gets. However, lining up on special teams was always my favorite.
If you could replay one game that you have played in, which one would it be? Why?
The state tournament lacrosse game in 2016 is one that I wish I could have back. Mashpee boys’ lacrosse had made the playoffs for the first time in school history, and we lost a close game to the Vineyard. I was only a freshman, in my second year playing, and I didn’t have nearly the experience I do now. If I could replay that game, I’m sure that the defense would play better and the result might be different.
What do you consider the highlight of your athletic career so far?
The Super Bowls were an amazing accomplishment for the program, and something I’ll always be proud of, but the highlight of my career would definitely be the football game against Carver my sophomore year. Our senior linebacker, Dom Fellini, got hurt toward the end of the first quarter and my number got called. It was a close game at that point, and it was one of the first games of the season, so I didn’t have a lot of varsity experience under my belt. I was so nervous, but I ended up playing really well and even got named defensive player of the game by Max Preps—not to mention the team won big against a decent opponent.
Who is the best teammate that you’ve ever played with? What makes that person stand out?
The best teammates I’ve ever played with were Jake Johnston and Matt Baggs. Jake was always calm and level-headed, no matter the situation, and he instilled confidence in everyone around him. Matt was like a brother to me. I always had his back and I knew he always had mine.
Do you have any sports-related superstitions? If so, what are they?
I was very superstitious during football season. I would shower, eat Subway, and listen to Christmas music before every game. For lacrosse I just wear the same pair of compression pants for every game.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned from playing sports?
The biggest thing I’ve learned from sports is to never take anything for granted. I missed my entire junior year of football with concussions, and nearly the entire senior year of lacrosse with my hand injury. Looking back on it, I wished I enjoyed the little things—practices, bus rides, and training—as opposed the just focusing on the games.
Who has been your inspiration?
My inspiration has been my grandfather. He grew up on welfare, but retired a wealthy man and taught me that if you’re willing to adapt to the circumstances and work hard, you can always find a way to make it.
Is there anyone you would like to thank?
I would like to thank my mother and grandmother for their endless love and support as well as the rest of my family. I’d also like to give a special thank you to my brother Aaron for making sure I never went soft and my Uncle Jeebo for introducing me to sports.
What’s the most interesting place you’ve ever visited? Is there somewhere in the world that you’ve always dreamed of going? Why?
The most interesting place I’ve ever visited was Montreal, Canada. The people there were all very nice and it was a laid-back and simple way of life. I’ve always wanted to visit Italy to try some authentic Italian food and explore the historical sections of Rome.
What’s the biggest difference between you as a senior and as a freshman? If you could go back, what advice would you give to your freshman self?
Over the years I’ve learned to enjoy the things I’m doing and to not take them so seriously. If I could go back to freshman year I’d tell myself to stop taking everything so seriously and to understand that as long as you put in the work the rest will work itself out.
What is something about you that people would be surprised to learn?
On the field I’m fairly coordinated, but off of it I’m incredibly clumsy. I’m constantly spilling drinks, dropping things, and making a mess of things.
If you could switch places with one person for a week, who would it be and what would you want to do?
I’d love to switch places with Warren Buffett to see what it’s like to be a billionaire. My week would consist of relaxing, buying and doing whatever I wanted, and not having a worry in the world.
Describe your idea of the perfect day?
My perfect day would be waking up and getting a big breakfast at Moonakiss Café. From there I’d go to the Cape Cod Church courts and run some pick-up ball with the boys. We’d play for hours, or at least until I won, and then hit the beach with all of our friends. A nice bonfire would cap off the night and we’d spend the rest of the time laughing, sharing stories and just hanging out.
What are your post high school plans?
After high school I will be attending Providence College to study marketing.