Hebert didn’t even start as a runner. With his speed, he was playing football. He hit the gridiron as a seventh grader, which was his first year eligible to play sports in school. But after excelling in the outdoor track season last year, he had a decision to make.
“Jay had asked me last summer what he should do, meaning should he give up football for track? And I explained to him with the challenge he had and as far as he can go, I thought it would be in his best interest to give up football,” Thorne said. “I promised him that I would work with him throughout the summer and throughout the fall football season.”
Regarding college, Hebert hasn’t decided where he wants to go, but he said he is going to go where the best opportunity lies.
“I’m going to try to go hopefully as far as I can go, whether that is Division I or hopefully as far as I can,” Hebert said. “I definitely want to continue running in college and not stop doing what I love.”
Hebert still has another year of high school left, but so far Harvard, Alabama, Syracuse, Florida and Buffalo State have inquired about him.
Thorne knew Hebert would be great in hurdles the minute he got started.
“He’s a natural,” Thorne said. “Jay moved up to varsity as a seventh grader, and as an eighth grader he was mostly beating everyone in our section in the hurdles. The one event he lost was a qualifier to a teammate because of a hip injury.
“But what makes him successful is he is goal-orientated. He knows what he wants; he sets his mind on achieving a goal. He has a great work ethic, and he listens to me.”