It’s not easy playing in the top spot for an individual sport — but some athletes thrive in that role.
Brookelyn Hattabaugh filled the No. 1 position on the Brownstown Central golf team last fall and will play at No. 1 singles for the tennis team this spring.
The senior said she feels like she has worked hard in both sports to be No. 1.
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“You just have to have a good attitude on things because if you get down on yourself then it shows, at least for me, and I got worse as I went if I got mad,” Hattabaugh said. “I just have to keep my head up and just play to the best of my ability.”
Upon graduation, Hattabaugh plans to play golf at Brescia University.
Hattabaugh said she enjoyed practicing and playing matches at Hickory Hills, and she used her time on the course to her advantage for home golf meets.
One of her favorite facets of the game is hitting off the tee, and she considers her drives one of her strong points.
“I had the longest distance on the team,” Hattabaugh said. “My drives were pretty good.”
“Golf is my favorite sport,” Hattabaugh said. “I just love golf so much. I like everything about it.”
In either tennis or golf, it’s important to Hattabaugh to start strong.
“It’s really important because it sets you up for the rest of the match (in golf),” Hattabaugh said. “You can’t get down on yourself after the first hole because anything goes. (In tennis) it’s a big mental advantage to win the first set. There is a lot of mental (play) in tennis.”
This spring, Hattabaugh will play her third full season for the Braves’ varsity tennis lineup, as she played No. 2 singles last spring and No. 2 doubles her sophomore year.
“I really like singles just because it’s all on me,” Hattabaugh said. “I’m really just looking forward to the team improving.
“Since my freshman year I’ve just seen so much improvement, and honestly I just want to set records for myself and do better so I have a great senior year.”
With her tall frame, Hattabaugh has found serving to be one of her greatest strengths.
“I think serving is my favorite thing, and my best thing,” Hattabaugh said. “I like my flat serve because it’s really hard, and I can get top spin.”
During warm-ups, Hattabaugh analyzes her opponents.
“You just find out what their weaknesses are, and you take advantage of them,” Hattabaugh said. “If they come up to the front of the net you just keep them back. You just have to analyze what they are doing right before and then attack their weaknesses.
“I have a very long reach so I can get to the ball pretty quickly if I need to.”
Hattabaugh said the style of game she plays depends on her opponent.
“I like to play mainly in the back, but if I have the opportunity to go to the front, and take advantage with my height, then I will,” she said. “My height really helps on overhands.”
With a strong group of teammates, Hattabaugh has gotten sharper at practices leading up to the season.
“They are very good,” Hattabaugh said. “We have good underclassmen, and I’m excited to see what the season holds.”
Parents: Brent and Rebecca Hattabaugh
Sports: Golf 3 years, tennis 4 years, boys basketball manager 4 years
Athletics highlights: Golf, most improved 2013, MVP 2014, Mid-Southern all-conference honorable mention 2013, 2014.
Favorite hole at Hickory Hills: “I like No. 4, because its over the water. It’s really short.”
Favorite away courts: Seymour
Plans after high school: Attend Brescia University, play golf
Attending BCHS: “I love the closeness of the students and how we’re all together, and how I know everybody personally, individually and stuff. We have a lot heart. I’ve had a great time here. I’m going to miss it.”
Favorite food: Cheeseburger
Favorite TV shows: “How I Met Your Mother”
Favorite athlete: Cody Zeller
Favorite team: Cincinnati Reds
Favorite quote: “I can do all things in Christ who strengthens me.”