Hartwig named school’s top male athlete

Photo by Ken Boone

Heritage’s Tanner Hartwig recently won the school’s Male Athlete of the Year award. He was a standout member of both the football and volleyball teams.

Tanner Hartwig played both football and volleyball during each of his first three years at Heritage. But due to COVID-19 restrictions, he wasn’t sure if he’d get a senior year in either sport. Fortunately for Hartwig and his fellow Patriot seniors, he did. And it worked out well for him.

At the conclusion of the school year, Hartwig won Heritage’s Male Athlete of the Year award.

While the pandemic did create a lot of uncertainty for school sports, Hartwig prepared as though there would be a season. When the sports actually got going, Hartwig was thankful that all of that work didn’t go to waste.

“I was extremely grateful to have a senior season,” he said. “Because, over quarantine, I worked out every day and ran every day to prepare for it, even though I didn’t know if we would have a season or not.”

Hartwig also noted that the way everything did happen taught him some important life lessons. 

“It has taught me to be grateful for everything I have,” said Hartwig. “And to never give up, even when there’s little hope.”

Hartwig made the most of his senior season in both sports. On the gridiron, he caught 27 passes for 237 yards, leading the Patriots in both categories. Hartwig also caught a touchdown pass.

He was a critical part of Heritage’s special teams unit, handling kicking and punting duties. As a placekicker, Hartwig was 19 for 22 on extra point attempts and converted both of his field goal attempts. Hartwig was also called on to punt 12 times and averaged 40.2 yards. Four of his punts finished inside the 20 yard line.

Because of his accomplishments in football, Hartwig was named all-Bay Valley Athletic League (BVAL) first team as both a receiver and kicker at the end of the season. He didn’t stop there, though, also earning all-BVAL first team honors in volleyball.

And Hartwig’s play helped both teams enjoy successful seasons. In football, the Patriots went 4-2 overall, with a 3-2 record in BVAL play. Included in that success was a 35-28 win over Freedom — Heritage’s first win over the Falcons in ten years. In that game, Hartwig caught four passes for 44 yards and converted three of four extra points. Hartwig labeled that win as the highlight of his senior season in football.

According to Hartwig, the highlight of his senior volleyball season had a similar theme: defeating a district rival. The Patriots closed out the volleyball season with a pair of 3-0 wins over Liberty. Those wins gave Heritage a solo second place finish in the BVAL standings, trailing only league champion Deer Valley.

Hartwig is done with high school sports, but he’s not done with sports altogether. In the fall, he will attend Diablo Valley College and play football there.

Though his award is an individual one, Hartwig knows that it’s not one that’s accomplished alone. He expressed gratitude to his family for helping him play to his best abilities.

“I’d like to thank my parents for always supporting me and always pushing me to be the best athlete I can,” Hartwig said. “I’d also like to thank my grandparents for always supporting me, and my sisters for always being there for me.”