The traits of Wiregrass Ranch senior Hannah Eder
By Kyle LoJacono
Hannah Eder can’t do everything — it just seems that way.
The Wiregrass Ranch senior has not only demonstrated versatility and athleticism during the last four years on the Bulls soccer and track and field squads, but also a selfless nature to do whatever her teams need.
“She’s a natural leader, and she does what you ask her to do,” said Wiregrass Ranch girls track coach Don Howard. “I asked her to high hurdle, and she tried it. She didn’t like it, so I didn’t make her do it again, but she was willing to do it. I put her in the 100, the 200; she’ll do whatever I ask her to do. Athletically as a sprinter and jumper, she’s capable of doing anything that you ask her to do.”
Soccer was the first sport Eder started playing, picking up the game around age 7. She added track at John Long Middle in Wesley Chapel, where she also competed in volleyball and basketball while also becoming a cheerleader.
“I like to stay active, and in middle school I wanted to meet more friends, so I did everything,” Eder said. “I like being outside and running around and competing with people.”
She decided to stick with soccer and track in high school.
Her focus in track has been the long and triple jumps and running with the 4×100-meter relay. Eder had a breakout season last year when she collected championships in the jumps and with the relay team at the Class 3A-District 6 meet, which was where she also demonstrated her unselfish nature.
Howard entered the meet knowing they would be in a battle with Belleview for the district title. He asked his athletes to enter extra events with the hopes of scoring additional points to help win their fourth league crown in as many years.
Eder was one of those who rose to the challenge by placing third in the 100, an event she hadn’t competed in all year. The finish scored six points for the Bulls, who ended up winning districts by 9.5.
“I felt I had to step up to the plate and help my team,” Eder said. “Coach Howard asked me to do it, so I agreed. Track is individual, but it’s also a team sport, so I wanted to help the team and win that title.”
Eder was again challenged this soccer season.
First-year Wiregrass Ranch coach Eddy Costa needed a central defender, so he asked Eder to move from midfield. She did willingly despite not playing the position since seventh grade.
“She did a tremendous job with no training,” Costa said. “She doesn’t play club soccer, so to put her in that position and see her perform so well was fantastic. That’s not an easy thing to do, but with her speed and her intelligence she took right to it and was an impact player for us.”
The Bulls allowed only 13 goals en route to a 20-3 record, a district championship and a trip to the Class 4A regional semifinals. Eder was named The Laker/Lutz News Girls Soccer Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts as a senior.
“It’s a different kind of pressure than offense, but it was a nice change,” Eder said.
Eder said the extra running that comes with playing defense helped prepare her for the track season. Her goals are to extend her personal records in the long (17 feet) and triple (34-11.5) by about a foot, retain her district titles and make the state meet for the first time.
“She’s very determined, very committed,” Howard said. “She’s always the last one out here. She’ll jump until you tell her not to. We have to tell her that she’s wearing herself out and that she needs to go home. She’s athletically just very natural. She’s lean and strong, and that’s a great combination for a jumper. She’s built to do it. In my opinion, and of course anyone can come up and beat her, but she’s the top triple and long jumper, or at least compete for it again, in the county.”
Eder was named Wiregrass Ranch’s co-valedictorian last week with track teammate Nikita Shah.
“Grades are actually even more important to me,” Eder said. “In middle school I was in the gifted program, and that translated to high school and showed me what I can do.”
Eder will attend the University of Florida next year. She has no plans to be a student-athlete for the Gators, but said she will play as many intramural sports as school allows.
—Follow Kyle LoJacono on Twitter: @Kyle_Laker
Leave a Reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.