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Posted August 27, 2010 | Leave a comment
Brother's example fuels Millbrook senior
By Tommy Keeler Jr. - firstname.lastname@example.org
WINCHESTER -- There's two walls in the Hartman household filled with the achievements of Jordan and Josh Hartman.
Each player has his own set of shelves. On Josh's wall sits a football -- a game ball from Millbrook, which has 1,142 written on it. That is the number of yards the 2005 graduate had in his senior season at Millbrook. It's also a school record and the one thing that has most caught the eye of his younger brother, Jordan.
"He's the top rusher here, until I break it this year," Jordan Hartman said with a laugh. "He's my brother, so I can say that. I have in my head that my goal is to put his record down.
"My goal is to beat his record by a good bit, so there's no dispute as to whose record was better."
Football is important in the Hartman household. Jordan's father, Clayton, was a standout running back at James Wood.
Jordan Hartman always looked up to his brother, and was a ball boy when Josh played at Millbrook.
"I always watched him play," Jordan Hartman said. "I was always with their team. All of them treated me like a little brother because they knew me since I was little."
Now everyone watches Jordan Hartman, and last year they saw him put on quite a show.
Hartman had the game-winning punt return in the opening game against Briar Woods. He rushed for 1,005 yards and six touchdowns. He also had a kick return for a touchdown against Fauquier.
Although he's small at 5-foot-6, 152 pounds, Hartman has a natural instinct to find a hole in the defense.
"I think the first thing that makes him a great running back is his vision," Millbrook coach Reed Prosser said. "He's got impeccable vision. He has tremendous burst through the hole."
Jordan Hartman said that he is compared to his dad a lot. They are the exact same height and weight, and have the same running style.
It's no surprise that Jordan Hartman has had success, since his father has always been his No. 1 coach, always there to give him advice before and after games and practices.
As strong as Hartman is at running back, he's equally effective returning punts and kicks. Hartman enjoys returning kicks, but said it's even harder to find the holes to run through on returns than it is as a running back.
"Once you see the hole, it can close so fast," Hartman said. "Everybody is running full speed down the field. Once you see it, you gotta go. You make one cut and you gotta get up field."
Hartman is also a force on defense for the Pioneers. He plays at safety, which he said reminds him of another position he plays in sports.
"I can compare it more to playing center field in baseball," Hartman said. "You're right in the middle, you can control everything. You're in the middle, so you can just read whatever you got and make a play right or left."
Hartman led the team with three interceptions last year and also had 37 tackles.
One of things Hartman loves the most is scoring a touchdown for his team. He said one of his favorite moments was the first one he had for Millbrook in his sophomore year.
"I can still remember scoring at Brentsville, 27 yards, a little stretch play to the outside," Hartman said, his face beaming as he told the story. "I just turned it on and got in. When I came back to the sideline, emotions just came over me because I had never scored in varsity.
"I loved that moment."
While he enjoys playing with his teammates and winning games, Hartman said one of the best feelings is playing in front of the fans every Friday night.
"You love the feeling, you love the atmosphere," Hartman said. "You love the fans. I just love hearing everybody cheer when you do something good. That just means a lot. That means you made somebody else happy. They're cheering, they're happy. You got to do that for them."
The Pioneers went 5-6 last year, losing in the Region II Division 3 quarterfinals to Goochland. Millbrook had a young team last year, so just making it to the playoffs for the third consecutive year was a success.
However, not being able to score even a point against Goochland left a sour taste in Hartman's mouth.
"Being shut out, that's a terrible feeling," Hartman said. "You work so hard to do what you do, and then you can't even score. That's just the worst feeling for me."
If the Pioneers are going to make it back to the playoffs this season, there's no question Hartman will be one of the main leaders.
"As a leader, he's the spark and emotion of our team," Prosser said. "He's someone that is the heart and soul of our team. We got about four of them, but he's certainly one of the top ones.
"A leader without followers is a man on a lonely walk. He has the ability to get people to follow him."
Whether the Pioneers make it back to the playoffs or not, Hartman is confident he can finish his senior season in style and break his brother's record.
"We joke around a lot," Hartman said with a laugh. "I tell him my wall is going to look better -- it's just brotherly love."
BREAKING DOWN THE PIONEERS
League: Group AA Northwestern District
Offense/Defense: Multiple-I, 50
Key returnees: DB Boomer Kaczmarzewski, RB/DB Jordan Hartman, QB/DB Curtis Daily, TE/LB Carter Barnett, RB/LB Drew Braithwaite, OL/DL Alex Barnes
Key losses: OL Tim Roe, OL Mike Carlson, OL Mike Warr, OL Doug Murrell, RB/DE Rylan Banks, WR/DB Casey Fauver, TE/DE Zach Dantzler
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