Owls’ soccer captain controls midfield

For The Tribune

Grace Hartman has been playing soccer and swimming in Seymour for as long as she can remember.

She began playing soccer when her father (Bob) started coaching her brother (Daniel) in the Seymour Park and Rec Leagues.

The senior said while she enjoys both sports, soccer is her favorite.

“I started out as an up top forward, then when we switched formations, I was moved back to midfield,” Hartman said. “I play the ‘8’ spot, which is the attacking midfield, so I’ve got both defensive and offensive responsibilities.

“I helped control the middle and I help on attacks. I really have to get down the field and get back so I can be offensive and defensive at the same time.”

Positioning is important to having success on both ends of the field, according to Hartman.

“We (midfielders) have to stay so that we’re both not on the same side of the field,” Hartman said.

“It all depends on where the ball is in contrary to the goal. Sometimes I’ll be on the right, but if the ‘6’ is back on defense I’ll switch so it varies.”

Hartman acted as a captain on the team this season.

“I tried to keep them from not getting so down on ourselves because when something goes wrong and you don’t react the right way that’s when the game turns dangerous,” Hartman said.

“I tried really hard to keep the team’s morals up, but I also try to keep people in their positions and tell them what they might need to improve on.”

Hartman said communication is vital in soccer.

“We have had entire practices dedicated to communication because if you don’t communicate it’s like a relationship — if there’s no communication it’s not going to work,” she said.

“You have to stay connected on the field and you really have to connect with your teammates in order to move the ball and have it stay in your possession.”

Hartman said this winter she looks forward to swimming the freestyle sprints, the backstroke and a relay or two.

“Swimming really isn’t a team sport like soccer is, but it is a team sport in the broader spectrum,” Hartman said. “ When you get on that relay you really start to feel the teamwork and you really rely on each other and that’s a good feeling.

“I like the 50 free because it’s fast, competitive. What looks like a small time drop could actually make you or break you in the final event. I’m not as good at swimming as I am at soccer, but I still enjoy it and its still part of my life. I’ve always aimed to get my 50 under 30 seconds.

Hartman said that swimming is a very challenging sport physically.

“Swimming is such a physically taxing sport,” she said.

“You use and abuse your body to the point where you feel like it’s going to break, but you know you’re getting better. The taper is probably some of the girls’ favorite part of the season. It helps you regain some of that strength that you’ve lost and it helps your body build up the strength (for the sectional).”

Hartman file

Name: Grace Hartman

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Robert and Alice Hartman

Siblings: Jordan, Lillie, Daniel, Elizabeth

Sports: Soccer, four years; swimming, four years

Athletic honors: Swimming – mental attitude award 2 years; soccer – Academic All-State

Organizations: National Honor Society, band, Latin Club, Biology Club, Mr. SHS committee.

Plans after high school: Attend either Berea College, Indiana University or University of Indianapolis.

Favorite food: Potatoes

Favorite TV shows: “Dancing with the Stars,” “Friends”

Favorite athlete: Katie Ledecky

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