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Among Hanna Hartzell’s duties as a team manager for the undefeated Marana Tigers football team are: Clean the uniforms, get water for the players, supervise pre-game meals, supervise post-game meals, serve as a timer during practice, set up equipment needed for drills, and a bunch of other stuff that is even less-fun sounding. 

Gee, where do we sign up?

“Actually, I really enjoy it. There’s always something to do and it’s cool being a part of such an awesome team.” 

During the winter season, Hartzell is a guard on the Tiger varsity basketball team. But when she first transferred to Marana from Cienega, she was looking for a way to meet people and didn’t want to wait for hoop season. 

“I love sports and I was looking for a way to be involved and maybe make some friends,” she said. “I know that may sound lame, but that’s the way I am.”

She’s really looking forward to basketball season. Last year, as the pandemic droned on, basketball was a difficult proposition. Practices were strange and sterile activities. Everybody had to have her own basketball and there were no team activities or drills. Teams that had a high number of seniors and/or players who had been together for two or three seasons fared much better than those that were trying to mold a team out of disparate parts. 

“We really struggled,” Hartzell said. “I think we only won three games.” (Marana went 3-8 in the pandemic-shortened season.) “We should be better this coming season.”

But right now, it’s football season and she’s all in. She attacks her responsibilities with an unabashed

enthusiasm. 

“Why do something if you’re not going to do it all the way?” she said. “You should do your best. Besides, I love what I’m doing.”

Even the stinky

uniforms?

“I love most of what I’m doing,” she said.

Her love of football is not limited to the prep scene. She has been seen, in public, wearing a Green Bay Packers jersey. It’s like she lost a bet or something. 

Why the Packers, she is asked?

“Well, my parents are both Chicago Bears fans…”

Ah, rebellious youth! 

“No, it’s not that. My parents have always been Bears fans, but the Bears haven’t been good in, like, forever. When I started watching football, the Packers were really good. Plus, Aaron Rodgers is really cute.”

She’s got a full schedule, balancing her managing duties with a full load of AP classes. In what little spare time she has, she tries to get in some shooting on the basketball court and also does some volunteering. After graduation next spring, she plans on attending Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach, Florida, where she will study mechanical and/or aeronautical

engineering. 

So what happens if the football team makes a deep run in the state playoffs and eats up the first month of basketball? What will you do?

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