Alumni game to honor for­mer RSHS soc­cer player

Cecil Whig - - FRONT PAGE - By JESSICA IANNETTA

jian­netta@ce­cil­whig.com

— On Satur­day, Ris­ing Sun High School soc­cer alumni stretch­ing back a decade will re­turn to the soc­cer field to raise money in mem­ory of one of their own.

The sec­ond annual Ryan Hart­nett Me­mo­rial Soc­cer Alumni Game will take place at Calvert Re­gional Park on Satur­day start­ing at 1 p.m. with the women’s game and con­tin­u­ing at 3:30 p.m. with the men’s game.

The event raises money for the Ryan Hart­nett Soc­cer Alumni Schol­ar­ship Award, which was started last year in honor of Ryan Hart­nett, a 2011 RSHS grad­u­ate and soc­cer stand­out who died in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent in Novem­ber 2012. Hart­nett was 20 years old at the time and a se­nior air­man in the U.S. Air Force.

RIS­ING SUN

The game in honor of Hart­nett started last year when RSHS boy’s soc­cer coach Ken Ul­rich and 2006 RSHS soc­cer alum Mike Sy­dell ap­proached the Hart­nett fam­ily with the idea of start­ing a game and a schol­ar­ship fund in Hart­nett’s honor.

“My fam­ily and I had talked about things to do prior, but we didn’t re­ally know where we wanted to go,” said John Hart­nett, Ryan’s brother and the RSHS as­sis­tant boy’s soc­cer coach. “It was one of these things where it was kind of fresh to us and we didn’t re­ally know what to do so hav­ing some­one else step up and get things started helped.”

Last year, about 40 peo­ple par­tic­i­pated and about $2,200 was raised. But this year, with the ad­di­tion of the women’s game, Hart­nett said they’re ex­pect­ing around 80 par­tic­i­pants. Last year, alumni paid $10 to en­ter the game but the reg­is­tra­tion fee was in­creased to $20 this year be­cause all par­tic­i­pants will now get a shirt.

The game has also re­ceived spon­sor­ships from Res­i­den­tial Mort­gage Ser­vices in Elk­ton and Crothers In­sur­ance in Ris­ing Sun, as well as some other busi­nesses, so Hart­nett hopes to raise $5,000 for the schol­ar­ship fund this year. This year’s game will also in­clude a 50/50 raf­fle and a cross­bar chal­lenge game at half­time.

De­pend­ing on how much is raised, schol­ar­ships will be awarded to ei­ther two or four grad­u­at­ing Ris­ing Sun soc­cer play­ers, both boys and girls, that dis­play the qual­i­ties of lead­er­ship and sports­man­ship on and off the field and plan on at­tend­ing a two- or four-year school. Hart­nett’s par­ents will anony­mously pick the win­ners.

The peo­ple play­ing in the game will span the 1996 grad­u­at­ing class all the way up to the cur­rent se­nior class, said Sy­dell, who’s help­ing or­ga­niz­ing the game again this year. Sy­dell said he’s glad the girls game was started this year and hopes the alumni game be­comes an annual tra­di­tion and that the schol­ar­ship will give peo­ple a cause to rally around.

“The idea is that we wanted to cre­ate a big­ger (soc­cer) cul­ture in Ris­ing Sun and around Ce­cil County,” he said. “It’s a re­ally great thing and ide­ally it’s some­thing that con­tin­ues in the county.”

Any­one wish­ing to do­nate to the schol­ar­ship fund can make checks out to Ris­ing Sun High School with “Ryan Hart­nett Schol­ar­ship” in the memo line or bring cash to the game on Satur­day.

CE­CIL WHIG FILE PHOTO

An alumni soc­cer game on Satur­day will raise money in honor of Ryan Hart­nett, a for­mer RSHS soc­cer player who died in a mo­tor­cy­cle ac­ci­dent in 2012.

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