— Story by Taylor Kennedy
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Musselman’s Blake Hartman is ready to get things going with his team next season. Hartman missed the Applemen’s state quarterfinal game against Parkersburg South due to injury. He was injured in the previous round against Parkersburg.
“I wasn’t able to play in that game against Parkersburg South, which sucked. I got hurt in the Parkersburg game in round one. That hurts a lot. I feel like we could have had another shot at Martinsburg in the semifinals. It is what it is. You learn from it, and you use it as fuel for next season,” says Hartman.
Since being injured, Hartman has been putting in the extra work to get even better than he was last season. At the end of last season, he weighed 190 pounds. Since then, he has put on 30 pounds of pure muscle. Hartman can thank his personal gym at his house for helping him put muscle weight on.
“I probably have the best weight room at my house out of anyone. I’ve got benches, squat equipment, and dumbbells. I do not think I have missed a beat. I feel like I have gotten a lot stronger. I am up to 220 pounds. My numbers are going up. Strength wise that is where I needed to be,” says Hartman.
On the other hand, Hartman thinks the conditioning aspect of his game needed improvement.
“Conditioning wise it is hard. It is hard to get motivated to run. That is the hard part as well, and that is staying motivated. When you are working out by yourself, it is a lot harder than working out with your team,” says Hartman.
With the pandemic still going on in our society, athletes will focus on how to get better each and every day. Along with getting better, athletes sometimes self-examine themselves, and see what else needs improving outside of being an athlete. Hartman thinks that he has gotten closer with his family since quarantine began.
“Time with family has been the biggest thing. Being an athlete in high school, you are not around your family as often as you want to be. You are always at school, football, lifting, and watching film. You are constantly doing stuff. Being around my family, I feel like I have created a better relationship with them. That has been my favorite part about it [quarantine],” says Hartman.
Hartman has also been getting a lot of attention at the next level. Division 1 head football coaches have been keeping their eye on the upcoming senior. Hartman announced three days ago, via Twitter, his top six schools.
— blake (@BlakeHartman6) July 7, 2020
“It is more of my relationships with the coaches. Right now, those coaches have been keeping in touch with me. I have close bonds with the coaches that have been recruiting me on each staff. That is the key part in where I want to be. I am not worried about playing at the next level. Most of the schools that are recruiting me, I know I will earn a great education there. I do not want to be one of those guys that just offer me. I want to know that I am one of those guys that actually wants me. I felt that the most with the schools that offered me,” says Hartman about choosing his top six schools.
Hartman will still be on those program’s radars going into next season. His mentality is to try and be a better player than he was the previous season.
“I am trying to attack every year like I have something to prove. Going into my freshman season, that is how I treated it, and I had a great year. Every single year I have to keep that mindset. Just keep increasing, and keep going up,” says Hartman.
His goal for next season is the same for any athlete, winning the state championship.
“Obviously you want to win the state championship. That should be the goal for every player in the state. If it is not then there is something wrong. Even if you are not one of the best teams in the state, there is no reason you do not want to win the state championship.”
That goal of reaching the state championship begins on September 4th as Musselman faces Martinsburg.