La Salle Catches Hacky Sack Fever


Josephine Robinson

Hacky sack circles on campus have become commonplace throughout the school year.

Brooks Coleman and Andrew Keller

Hacky sack, a game that seemed to have hit its peak back in the 1990s, has experienced a quick rise in popularity among students at La Salle this fall. During breaks and after school, it’s hard to miss students circling up and enjoying a game of hacky sack. 

“It completely exploded post-COVID,” science teacher Mr. Eric Roth said. “It’s a little bit more of a freight [train] than I thought it was going to [be].”

Roth first helped introduce hacky sack to La Salle about five years ago, per his best estimation. However, when he started playing with seniors Nate Taylor, Emma Buchanan, and Owen Nichols, “those guys really took off with it,” Mr. Roth said. 

As soccer players, they were quick to pick up hacky sack. “Through juggling a soccer ball, I could get the fundamentals down pretty quickly,” Buchanan said. “Gradually, I just started practicing tricks.” Buchanan named the chicken wing and around-the-world as her favorite tricks, while Nichols and Taylor both dubbed the pendulum their favorite. 

The trio puts their hacky sack skills on display on the Instagram account @houseofhacky, often in front of stunning scenery. “A big part of hacky sack is playing with a view,” Buchanan said. “It’s not just about hacky, it’s always about nature and watching the sunset and things like that.”


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The account’s posts also feature other hacky sack players at La Salle. “Anyone can send their clips in and we’ll post [them] because that’s fun,” Nichols said. There’s also no skill requirement for a post. “It’s more about how you feel about the clip,” Taylor said. “If you’re happy with it, if it makes you smile, then you can post it.”

House of Hacky has even received a sponsorship from local hacky sack company Foot Clan, which produces their hacky sack of choice. 

There are plenty of people in the school community who could be considered the best hacky sack player at La Salle. “There’s no criteria for being the best,” Taylor said. Among students interviewed, the general consensus was that the members of House of Hacky were the best, but they disagreed. “You can rank a circle, but not an individual because it’s a team sport and you’ve got to have steel everywhere,” Nichols said. 

Hacky sack is mostly played casually at La Salle. “I don’t really think we view it that competitively,” Buchanan said. “It’s just a fun thing to do.”

The sport is also widely praised by students for its inclusivity. “Anyone can come play,” junior Leslie Domingo said. “I played with people that I’ve never talked to before.”

“It really gives opportunity to everyone,” freshman Declan O’Brien said.

While House of Hacky played often last year, hacky sack has exploded into the rest of the student body this fall. “It took off because it’s super small and portable,” Mr. Roth said. Free time is another big reason for hacky sack’s renaissance.  “[With] the amount of breaks we get, you either eat food or play hack,” freshman River Nichols said. “It’s just a really chill sport.”

Mr. Roth is looking to further boost hacky sack’s popularity with the creation of La Salle’s first hacky sack club. “It’s really student-driven,” Mr. Roth said. “Whatever the vision of that club is, I’d be happy to help and nurture.” Students can sign up for the club in the “Groups” section on Schoology using the code SNF6-RKV9-5DFP3.

Although its rise has been meteoric, many seem to think hacky sack will have staying power at La Salle. “I think it’s only going up,” junior Sawyer Portash said. “It’s something that [freshmen] might take on.”

“It has a bright future for a while for sure,” Mr. Roth said. “It has so many great attributes to it.”

But, out of all the things to take the school by storm, why hacky sack?

More than anything, students brought up the sense of community it fosters.“I think the main appeal is being able to do something with your friends and just have a connection [with them],” Taylor said. The common goal of a circle is to get a hack, which is when every member of the circle hits the hacky sack.

“Hacky sack, man, it brings people together,”  Portash said.

As the sport continues to grow in popularity, the people that play it continue to become more and more diverse. “I went from somebody that wasn’t able to hit it at all to someone that can actually do tricks,” Domingo said. In addition, hacky sack has become accessible to the entire student body, as “people that hack aren’t just soccer players anymore,” Buchanan said. 

“It’s fun,” Owen Nichols said. “You see kids having fun doing something, why wouldn’t you want to join?”