When Cassidy Mantz entered Crothersville High School she wanted to do something beyond the regular school day.
She chose athletics and said she has enjoyed her time with the basketball, softball and track and field teams each for four years, and on the volleyball team for two years.
Mantz is keeping extremely busy this spring, as she is a member of both track and field and the softball teams.
She goes to track practice right after school where she works on the long jump, the low hurdles and does some running, and then she goes to softball practice.
Her main events in track will be the long jump, the 4×100 relay and the 300 hurdles.
Mantz said in the long jump it is important to mark off your steps so you can get a good jump off the board.
“You need momentum to get up to the board,” she said. “You don’t want to be too far from the front of the board. You can use that space to get a better jump.”
Her longest jump has been 13 feet, and she is looking to warm weather so she can get a lot of practice and improve to 15.
The senior’s career-best in the 300 hurdles is 59 seconds, and she is hoping to get below that this season.
Mantz said the school record in the relay is 53 seconds, and the best time her group has been able to run this spring has been 56.
“In the relay I like to run second or third,” she said. “I really love the turns. I like to run in lane one. We need good handoffs and everybody needs to run as fast as they can to get the school record. Handoffs are very important.”
Mantz began the softball season playing in the outfield but in recent games has played third base.
“I like the outfield better, but I used to play second base, so now I’m comfortable playing in the infield,” Mantz said. “I like third base because there is a lot more going on.”
She said she wears a mask to protect herself from a line drive right at her.
“I used to be scared of the ball,” Mantz said. “We struggled to find a third baseman, and the coaches asked me if I was interested in playing third and I said, ‘Yes, if you’ll get me a facemask,’ so I like it. I like being in the infield.”
Mantz bats left-handed and said she likes to bunt and has worked on slap-hitting in practice.
“I like low pitches — I’ve worked on slap-bunting,” Mantz said. “I haven’t tried in a game yet. I try to hit it down the third-base line.
“Usually I expect a strike on the first pitch. The second pitch is most likely going to be a ball, and the third pitch is when I feel more comfortable hitting the ball.”
In the winter, Mantz took a lot of pride in playing strong defense in basketball.
“I was more of a defensive player,” Mantz said. “If we were in a 1-2-2 (press) I was either at the top or at midcourt. I enjoyed defense. I tried to cause turnovers or get steals.”
“I was a guard, and I was responsible for taking the ball down the floor, calling out the plays and getting everybody set up,” she said of her time in the gym. “I didn’t drive much in a game. I did shoot some jump shots and occasionally 3-pointers.”
Her high-scoring game was 12 points against Irvington Academy in the Henryville Tipoff Tournament.
Name: Cassidy Mantz
Parents: George Mantz and Regina Huey
Siblings: Toni and Olivia
Sports: Basketball, four years; track and field, four years; softball, four years; volleyball, two years
Athletics honors: Track: mental attitude award, basketball: coaches award
Organizations: Vice president senior class, Sunshine Society, student council
Plans after high school: Attend IUPUC for business management
Favorite food: Salad
Favorite movie: “Full House”
Favorite movie: “Identity Thief”
Favorite team: Indiana Hoosiers
Q: What’s it like attending SHS?
A: “I like it here. Everybody is really close, and we’re all good friends. You can be close to the teachers. I’ll definitely remember my friends. I really like sports. Without my sports I wouldn’t have all the friends I have now. They’re made me closer. I’ll remember all my friends and the teachers and coaches.”
Q: Do you have a preference to home or away games?
A: “I like playing on our home field. We’re all used to it. I like playing at Lanesville. Lanesville has a really nice field. Everybody has to pull together and have a positive attitude to win some games. I like our track. We practice on it all the time so I’m more comfortable having a home meet.”
Q: What was your basketball schedule like?
A: “I loved the home games much better than I did the away games. I love the sport for one thing. I loved my teammates. We were really close so that made it a lot more fun. I was really hoping for that sectional win. I loved the coaches. They really helped push me through the four years. I couldn’t thank them enough.”