By Rob Kiser
SIDNEY — There is one common theme among the two Lehman Catholic athletes who signed on national signing day — a passion for their sport and a work ethic that can’t be stopped.
Which is why girls soccer standout Hannah Fogt and football standout Ethan Neu will be continuing their athletic careers at the next level.
Spring Hill College
From the time he saw Fogt on the soccer field, Lehman girls soccer coach Jeremy Lorenzo knew he had something special in Fogt, a 6-foot defender/midfielder.
“She was a freshman on our regional final team,” Lorenzo said. “She didn’t start, but she played a lot. She has been an impact player from the start.”
To say Lehman’s defense was special this past year, would be an understatement.
The Lady Cavaliers only allowed three goals all season and recorded 16 shutouts.
“We may have been the best defense in the state,” Lorenzo said. “And Hannah (Fogt) was a big part of that. She is tall and and has the ability to clear the ball. She is an All-Ohio player and just exceptional at what she does.”
Among Fogt’s prep accomplishments — as well as being a standout on the basketball court as well — include:
Three time All-WOSL first team selection and WOSL scholar athlete; All-Miami Valley North, All-District and All-Ohio this past year; as well as being named team MVP.
During her four years years, Lehman as won four sectional titles, two district titles and three WOSL league titles.
And Fogt gives Lorenzo a lot of credit for her success — and opportunity to play at Spring Hill, which is located in Mobile, Ala.
“He is the one that allowed me to play midfield,” the daughter of Andy and Shelley Fogt,said. “And they are looking at me as a midfielder. I have to thank him for that.”
Lorenzo said Fogt handled her college choice the same way she approaches the soccer pitch — not leaving any thing to chance.
“She did her research,” Lorenzo said. “She took a lot of visits and looked into everything before she made her decision.”
Fogt said the decision was an easy one.
“They contacted me and wanted me to take a visit,” Fogt said. “When I visited there, I fell in love with the place. It just felt like home. I know it is far away, but it felt like home to me.”
For Fogt, any soccer pitch must feel like home — she has had a passion for soccer that started early.
“I was probably three when I started playing in the rec league with my dad,” Fogt said. “I have always loved the sport. Even when I was young, my dad would turn Team USA on the television and I just loved to watch it.”
And she is excited about her next stop.
“They were a little down last year,” she said. “But, they have a strong freshman class coming in. Definitely (she feels like she can make an impact). I can’t wait.”
And Lorenzo is excited for her.
“She was an All-Ohio player,” he said. “She wanted to play in college and she is getting the chance. It is always great for the younger players in our program who want to play in college to see that. Hannah (Fogt) just has such a great work ethic. She is always working on her game. She puts so much time into it and she is very deserving.”
Neu’s story is one that can be an inspiration to all young players — and means a lot to Lehman football coach and athletic director Richard Roll.
Neu was not a star in the making when he entered the Cavaliers program as a freshman — but he refused to be denied.
“Absolutely,” Roll said about Neu getting the opportunity to play at the college level next year. “He wasn’t a star. He didn’t have a lot of experience at the game — he just loved the game of football.”
And Roll watched his progress over the last four years.
“I think he is a great example for young players,” Roll said. “He just kept working hard and working hard. Last summer he worked really hard on his route running and he was able to to have a good senior year for us.”
The smile on the face of the son of Justin and Emily Neu as he signed told the story.
“I just love the game of football,” he said. “I am excited (about getting to play in college). It is something I always wanted to do. I do think I have a lot (to get better at). And I can do that between now and the start of the season next year. I am excited.”
Roll sees a lot of untapped potential in Neu as well.
“It is great to see a kid like Ethan (Neu) playing at the college level,” Roll said. “We haven’t had a lot of guys go on and play at the college level. I think he still can improve a lot. I think his best football is in front of him.”
And Fogt and Neu are two more examples of hard work rewarded.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.