Sea­hawks rely on lo­cal tal­ent for turn­around sea­son

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Year two as head coach of the Ce­cil Col­lege men’s soc­cer team al­ready ap­pears more promis­ing for Frank Hart­man.

When Hart­man was named coach a year ago, he took over a pro­gram that had just eight play­ers only weeks be­fore the start of the sea­son. This year, Hart­man said he has

NORTH EAST

23 play­ers on his team, in­clud­ing his first re­cruit­ing class – one that fea­tures four in­ter­na­tional play­ers.

But more im­por­tantly, Hart­man con­vinced Ce­cil County’s top high school soc­cer play­ers from a sea­son ago to stay lo­cal and play for the Sea­hawks.

“We have six All- County kids that came this year. That helps,” he said. “We have 19 fresh­men and 15 of them are County kids, spread out from the Coun- ty schools. That’s most im­por­tant to the pro­gram, to get the best play­ers to stay home within the County. That builds the pipe­line and then you fill in with kids that you can grab and that fill your void tal­en­t­wise.”

Hart­man noted Kane Wat­son (Ris­ing Sun), Brad Alexan­der ( Ris­ing Sun) and Chris Haw­ley ( Per­ryville) as lo­cal in­com­ing tal­ent he ex­pects to play key roles as fresh­men.

“Kane Wat­son is a strong mid­fielder,” Hart­man said. “We have an­other fresh­man that I think is go­ing to have a big year, that’s Chris Haw­ley. He’s a 6- 2 for­ward and he has a lot of po­ten­tial to score a lot of goals in the sys­tem that we play.”

Alexan­der was an Al­lCounty for­ward at Ris­ing Sun last fall, but will serve as Ce­cil’s start­ing goalie this sea­son.

“Brad stepped it up big time, he’s play­ing as our goalie be­cause he’s so univer­sal. He can play on the field or in goal,” Hart­man said. “That was a po­si­tion we lack­ing com­ing into the pre­sea­son and he just said ‘ I’ll play goal, Coach.’ He jumped in there and he’s been great.”

The Sea­hawks are com­ing off of con­sec­u­tive win­less sea­sons, but Hart­man thinks the team has dras­ti­cally im­proved – par­tic­u­larly at de­fense and mid­field.

“We’re re­ally deep and tal­ented this year,” he said. “I’m very proud of our coach­ing staff for bring­ing in the kids that we did. We’re headed in the right di­rec­tion now. I think it’ll be a big change for Ce­cil, just win­ning some games be­cause we haven’t in the last cou­ple of years. That cul­ture has def­i­nitely changed this year.”

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @ Sean_ Ce­cil­Whig

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