Dynamic duos exist throughout history and lore. Batman and Robin. Sherlock and Watson. Peanut butter and jelly.
What about Bena and Hasz? For Creighton Prep football, it’s definitely true.
Ryan Bena and Jack Hasz are certainly dynamic. The pair has grown into two of Nebraska’s most sought after recruits. As a duo, they get up to their share of hijinx.
They’ve become friends, not just as football players, but as people. “We’re buddies,” Bena said.
They came to Prep under different circumstances. Bena is a legacy. His older brother, Brandon, graduated from Creighton Prep in 2016. Hasz’s family ties are elsewhere.
“My brother and sister both went to (Omaha) Skutt (Catholic), “ Hasz said. “I’m the first in my family to go to Prep.”
Though not quite a quintessential odd couple, their bond is evident. It’s led to some fun on the field. Their line calls sometimes confuse teammates. It’s almost as if they’ve created their own language, speaking to each other in codes and inside jokes.
“They’re like, Bena and Hasz, what are you guys talking about?” Hasz said. “Don’t worry about it, man. We’re going.”
Their head coach can explain it all. “They look like grown men, but they’re teenage boys,” Tim Johnk said. “They have fun together.”
— Jack Hasz (@jhasz_53) June 24, 2018
At least some of that fun has equated success. Behind Bena at left guard and Hasz at center, Prep’s offense has flourished. The Junior Jays rushed for more than 250 yards per game in 2017 en route to a berth in the state semifinal. It was a welcome return to a rich tradition — an expectation that lives on the campus of Creighton Preparatory High School.
The school has more state playoff berths than any other school in the state and is tied for the most championships. And their current players are aware. “When you put on the Prep across your jersey you know it’s special,” Bena said.
Johnk appreciates them, that is clear. He glowingly describes them as hard workers, leaders, good students, and humble competitors. “It makes my job a lot easier, there’s no doubt about that,” Johnk said.
Beyond that, they’re obviously talented and recruiters have taken notice. Neither has made a commitment just yet, but Bena has an idea of where he might end up.
“Right now, I’m leaning toward the University of South Dakota,” Bena said. South Dakota State, Iowa State, and Wyoming (where his father played in the late 80s) have also shown interest.
The path forward is less certain for the center, Hasz. He says he has offers from a couple of Division II schools, including Augustana, Southwest Minnesota, and Bemidji State, but wants to keep his options open.
“The sole purpose of playing football is your performance on Thursday and Friday nights,” Hasz said. “So that’s something I’ve stressed.
There’s more to be done for the dynamic duo. They’re chasing Prep’s first state championship in 14 years. It’s an almost unheard of drought for the program. Both are acutely aware of what the season means for their football future and their football present. And they just want to keep having fun together.
“It’s great to have someone like Jack next to me,” Bena said.
Johnk wishes he could bottle them up and perhaps sprinkle a little of Bena and Hasz on his future teams. “Your hope is that the younger guys see the work that they’ve done to make themselves good players, “ he said.
As we know, all dynamic duos eventually split up. Their time together must end, as all things do. That time has not yet come for this pair. So, like Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Bena and Hasz have saddled up for one last ride together, summed up simply and eloquently by Bena.
“We’re going, so look out.”