Tom Waterman

A slow start fell upon the HHS Varsity Boys
Soccer Team this fall. With one free kick, however, a spark was ignited. Senior
Ben Hart lined up from 25 yards out, drilled a free kick over the wall and past
the keeper for the first score in a 5-1 rout of a perennially strong squad.

This led the Panther
footballers to their first win of the season. After opening the season with two
ties and a loss, the Varsity Boys fell under the radar a bit. After that first
win at Norton, the Panthers have quietly reeled off seven straight games
without a loss to bring their record to 6-1-3. Notable victories in that
stretch included the Panthers’ domination at Norton, as well as TVL wins
against Bellingham and Ashland. The most impressive win came against state
runner-up Nipmuck, which resulted in a one-nil thriller at Kamitian Field. This
streak has left the Panthers just one point short of making the State
Tournament. With either a tie or a win in any of their remaining matches, they
will clinch a berth in the Tournament. Hart believes that they “have a chance
to do very well in States.”

A defensive stalwart, Hart
starts at center back for the Panthers. The free kick, bent like Beckham,
against Norton was actually his very first Varsity goal despite three years of
varsity experience under his belt. In talking to Hart about the goal, he
acknowledged, “it is always a good feeling to score a goal, especially from
center back, because you don’t get a lot of opportunity to shoot.” He described
the situation as “just being able to place the ball the right way in order to
give it a chance to go in.” He clearly did an outstanding job.

Teammates nominated Hart to
be an Interim Captain, along with Jimmy Krauss, after misconduct forced the
rescission of the previous two captain’s captaincies. Although it is a great
opportunity to lead, he hopes that “Jared and Chaput will get their captaincy
back soon. They deserve to have it back.”

In addition to this
stand-in captaincy, the Athlete of the Month will lead the HHS Varsity Ultimate
Team in the spring. He will organize a winter league for his teammates to
prepare them for the season and feels “ready to have another successful
ultimate season” once soccer has finished for the year.

As a senior, Hart is
actively thinking about his future. He is applying to schools such as Hamilton
and Haverford. At Haverford, he hopes to play college soccer and receive
scholarship money. “[Haverford] is an excellent school and it would be a great
opportunity,” he told me, “I could really see myself there.”


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