SSN Athlete Feature: Ryan Hartig

Stepping into a Varsity Role


“At the 106-pound weight class, for the Royals, Ryan Hartig!” exclaims the announcer.  The team gathers around, freshman wrestler, Ryan Hartig before his first varsity match.  Words of encouragement and motivation surround Hartig.  He is nervous, stomach filled with butterflies, he closes his eyes. “Hartig on three,” exclaim the Southeastern wrestlers as Hartig walks to the scorer’s table to check in.


Hartig had lost his wrestle off against, now senior, Jake Simone just two weeks prior.  However, Hartig continued to train and improve his wrestling ability.  Little did he know, the team would need him only two weeks later. “Ryan, I need to see you after practice,” said head wrestling coach Nick Brobst.  Freshman wrestler Ryan Hartig had no idea what to expect.


Hartig was told that he would be filling the varsity role at 106 pounds. Having only wrestled for two years at the time, Hartig knew that this was a tall task.  However, he passionately accepted his new role and promised his best effort.


“A lot of things were going through my head before my first varsity match,” Hartig, now a sophomore, said, “First, I was scared about taking on the new responsibility of being on a varsity team.  Second, I knew I could not let my team down.”


Throughout the season, Hartig was the first person to volunteer himself to fill in whenever he was needed.  This showed his desire to challenge himself and test his wrestling ability.


“Ryan Hartig sets himself apart from other JV wrestlers by simply being prepared to wrestle varsity at all times,” said Coach Brobst, “… He treats himself like he is a varsity athlete despite the fact that he’s not in the lineup right now.  He’s always ready to go.”


Varsity wrestler Sam Crousore dislocated his right kneecap in a match against McCutcheon just one week before the North Montgomery Holiday Tournament.  This tournament takes place just two days after Christmas and only varsity is required to attend.  Hartig knew he was needed, so instead of enjoying his break he traveled with the team and wrestled varsity matches in the 106-pound weight class.  Hartig ended up placing sixth individually and helped the Royals place fourth as a team.



“Wrestling at North Montgomery gave me a lot of chances to wrestle some great varsity matches,” Hartig said, “I got to wrestle for two separate days, and I got over seven matches there.  This helped make me a sounder wrestler.”


In addition to his 6 varsity wins and undefeated junior varsity record, Hartig excels in the classroom. Ryan took numerous honors classes last year as a freshman and earned a grade point average of a 4.40.  This achievement led him to be named the 2018-2019 HSE wrestling team GPA award winner.


“To balance my wrestling life with my school life I really have to just balance all my time,” said Hartig, “Since I get home later than a normal kid would, I have to get right on my homework, remember to eat, and really study as hard as I can.  Whether this means coming in early or having study reviews with friends.”


Sophomore Ryan Hartig is now entering his second year of high school wrestling with varsity experience already under his belt.  Hartig proves the importance of junior varsity athletes and how important it is to take advantage of every chance you get.