For The Tribune

Olivia Goecker has been active throughout her career at Brownstown Central, competing in basketball, track, volleyball and cross-country.

Goecker said she enjoys the competition and likes how the community supports all Brownstown sports.

She said the Brownstown Central girls basketball team is a close group.

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“Here at Brownstown we’re like a family,” Goecker said. “Ever since our freshman year we (seven seniors) have all been together, all played together, and most of us knew one another before then. It’s perfect.

“We all just kind of blend together easily. Everyone comes in and supports you here, and it really means a lot. I think the freshmen look up to us, and hopefully we set a good example for them to follow us.”

Earlier in the basketball season, Goecker came off the bench; but she has moved into the starting lineup as of late.

She said she takes pride in playing strong defense.

“My main job is probably, defensive-wise, stopping a player and getting our offense together,” Goecker said. “It kind of depends on who is in, but most of the time I’ll play at the top of the key.”

The senior prefers to play man-to-man when the Braves are in their half-court defense.

“I like man because it’s more one-on-one. In a zone you have to call out cutters,” Goecker said. “I just like man defense better.”

When the Braves are on offense, Goecker plays all over the court. She will play at forward, sometimes on a wing and other times in the post.

One of the areas Goecker has focused on this season is her 3-pointers.

Goecker’s high-point games have been 8 against Paoli and Austin.

Attitude is a key to having another winning season, according to Goecker.

“We just need to come in with a hardworking attitude and know we can be good and put our minds to it and keep working hard and improve every day,” she said. “I think we’re pretty interchangeable. We have Brooke (Ebbing) and Jaelyn (Reynolds) that can come out and play the forward, if we need them to, and have multiple guards, like me, who can go down and play the post if we need to. I think that balance helps us.”

In the spring, Goecker is looking for another successful season on the track, where she runs both hurdles events and in the 400 and 1600 relays.

She holds the school record in the 300 hurdles at 47.8.

“The 300 hurdles probably takes the most endurance and is the hardest race because you’re trying to sprint and go over hurdles at the same time,” Goecker said. “I’ve gotten a lot better since my freshman year.”

During the 300 and 100 hurdles, Goecker has different strategies for success.

“The 300s are my favorites,” she said. “In the 100 hurdles you have to have more of a rhythm. You have to have your form down perfect, and I don’t think my form is quite perfect.”

The hurdle races and relays are spaced out where she has enough recovery time to be fresh for each race.

“The 4-by-400 is a lot of energy and you’re yelling at your teammates the whole time, plus it’s at the end of the meet so if it’s close it comes down to that,” Goecker said. “I like that feeling.”

Goecker said she feels that having confidence is important in all sports.

“You have to have confidence in yourself and in your team that you can do it,” she said. “You have to believe in yourself; and if you don’t and have a setback or something, you have to work that much harder just to get past that point and be able to win that game or break that record. I think it’s all mental.”

On the hardwood

Parents: Dave and Mandy Goecker

Siblings: Lance, Nick, Thad

Sports: basketball 4 years, track 4 years, volleyball 2 years, cross country 1 year

Athletic highlights: track — school record in 300 hurdles, conference champion in 300 hurdles, helped Braves win conference and sectional titles, regional qualifier in 300 hurdles.

Organizations: National Honor Society, Student Council, Lettermen’s Club, 4H.

Plans after high school: attend Indiana University, study speech pathology

Attending BCHS: “Being here at Brownstown, we all feel like we’re part of a family, and the teachers are really nice. They are there to help you. It’s nice how the whole community comes together toward all the athletics and towards the musical. The whole community supports the entire school.”

Home basketball games: “One of my favorite things is the band. The atmosphere is the best here at home.”

Favorite away gym: Corydon

Favorite away track: Silver Creek

Favorite foods: watermelon, hamburger

Favorite TV show: The Bachelor/Bachelorette

Favorite team: Indiana University

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Arv Koontz is a sports correspondent for The (Seymour) Tribune.