Seahawks rely on local talent for turnaround season
— 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
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