Anthony Rork says communication and having good practice habits are important in all sports, especially in soccer and basketball — the sports he plays at Seymour.
“You’ve got to be a good teammate to have a good team. There’s no one-man show,” he said.
In basketball Rork said, “We should play well. We’ve just got to buy into it. We’ve got to buy into what the coach is saying. We’ve got to hang our hats on defense and we’ve just got to fight for everything.”
Rork plays on the perimeter during the winter season.
Story continues below gallery
“I like playing on the wing because you always have that chance to drive inside and then get a kick to a teammate.”
Owls coach Kyle Clough has different roles for his Owls basketball team.
“You’ve got to be focused in slow play and stuff in our offense,” Rork said.
As a shooter, Rork prefers to shoot from the corners.
“I like to play in the corner-to-wing area,” Rork said. “I’m a shooter, so I like zones. You’ve just got to get the right pass in, and you’ll get an easy shot every time unless you’re playing like Syracuse.”
Throughout the season the Owls see different defensive schemes on the hardwood.
“Most teams, especially at the high school level that play a zone, it is because they can’t keep up man-to-man, or they want to pack it in because the other team can’t shoot,” Rork said.
Rork said the Owls will change defenses throughout a game to make it harder for the opponents to score.
“We play a 1-3-1 type thing, and we ran a man this year,” he said. “You’ve got to take what the other team gives you.”
The senior wants the team to play hard throughout games like their team motto says: “Grind to shine.”
“We’re going to fight,” Rork said. “We’re never going to stop. We’re just always going to come back and keep fighting. That is probably going to be our biggest strength.”
But this isn’t anything new for the Owls basketball team.
“We didn’t quit last year, and we weren’t nearly as good as we are this year,” Rork said. “We’re fighting for everything, so I think it’s going to be a good
year. We’ve got to have more mental toughness.
We have people being better teammates this year, and it’s making it a whole different environment.”
He also said communication in soccer is a key.
“You have to communicate because you don’t have time out,” Rork said. “Everything you do in practice reflects on what you do in the game, so you have to talk about it. If you have to change something in a game it has to be communicated because nobody is going to know what to do. So somebody has to step up.”
This past fall Rork played striker for the Owls and scored 14 goals while tallying seven assists.
“I was that guy this year,” Rork said. “They trusted me, and we just all flew together as a team. Whether it is one guy behind you or to take a shot, every little detail counts.”
“I had to pressure the ball and find a way to put it into the back of the net,” he said.
On offense, Rork strategizes how to mark up on
“What I would do for marking up is I would mark the farthest guy up field, the last defender, so when my team passed me the ball he had to be with me and I could beat him one-on-one,” Rork said.
Soccer proved a very physical sport this past season for Rork.
“Justin (Bottorff) and I got hit all year, dirty shots, cheap shots, any way they could get to us to try and stop us,” Rork said.
Rork began playing soccer in eighth grade.
“Playing varsity my freshman year was kind of a big deal,” Rork said. “I’ve grown a lot, and it’s been good just learning and loving the game. I plan on going to college and play soccer some where.”
The senior played club soccer one year in Seymour and one year in Columbus during offseason trainings.
“I played with a Columbus team with Justin Bottorff, and we went undefeated,” Rork said. “(Playing club) was good because it was actually before high school soccer. I was actually just getting into it, and it was cool just to start playing. I didn’t expect to start playing at the high school level right away, but I just kind of fell into it.”
Rork said scoring the first goal is nice, but the second goal is equally as important to either go up 2-0 or let the other team tie the match.
“Scoring the first goal is important, but I think scoring the second goal is the most important, because whether you’re down a goal or up a goal, you’re still fighting and you fight until the whistle blows at the end.
“You get down one, you fight back and you tie it 1-1, that second goal can give you the confidence boost to come back and win. Or, if you’re up one and you score again it gives you that confidence boost and you feel like you’re going to score again. If you go down two it’s rough. It’s like a whole different ball game.”
While there is a lot of pressure to get the ball into the back of the net, Rork thrives under it.
“It’s kind of mental toughness, too,” Rork said. “You’ve got to know, ‘Hey, I’ve got to do this now,’ or you’ve got to take risks. In soccer, it’s good because you can take risks, especially when you play on top. You have 10 guys behind you. I took a lot of risks.”
Part of Rork’s mental toughness involves keeping a level head.
“You’ve got to keep your head some days,” Rork said. “Last year I got punched in the face in the Bedford game and I just kept my cool. I tried not to make anything worse. Sometimes stuff like that happens, and you’ve just got to control what you can control. You can’t control the weather, you can’t control your opponent, but you can control what you can do.”
Parents: Robin and Krista Huckleberry
Siblings: Ariel, Alex, Andrew and Angelus
Sports: Soccer 3 years, basketball 3 years
Athletic highlights: Soccer: all-conference, all-district
Soccer schedule: “The weekend matches were really, really hot. I like playing in hot weather, but not that hot. A lot of soccer players like colder weather, but I like to sweat.”
Home matches: “The home games were great. It was good to see the faculty and the athletes of other teams, or students, come out. It was great to see so many people that don’t even understand the game come out and try support us.”
Favorite away fields: “Westfield had a really good field. Jeffersonville has a good field, and the Columbus field is really wide and long.”
Home basketball games: “They’re crazy. I would like to see this place packed up for games. It would be a great environment. This is probably the greatest gym in the country to play in.”
Favorite away gym: Franklin and Whiteland
Summer program: “Our saying is ‘grind to shine,’ so if you can grind and you can fight playing 20 games in a month, then you can fight and grind playing 20 games in three or four months. Every time we step on the floor we’ve just got to keep getting better.”
Attending SHS: “It’s been good. We have a good faculty. I like a lot of the teachers, and our custodians are great. They do a fantastic job. It’s been great and it’s going to be hard to leave, but it’s been worth it.”
Plans after high school: Attend college, play soccer
Favorite food: Mexican food
Favorite TV show: “Psych”
Favorite movie: “Gladiator”
Favorite athlete: Kevin Durant
Favorite team: Oklahoma City Thunder
Favorite quote: “Grind to shine”