Hanna Fitch is a fighter.
She fights for her small town and she fights for her smaller girls basketball team.
I get the feeling that if a state championship-contending girls basketball team's coach rolled into Sheffield and told Hanna they wanted her moxie on their squad, she'd said no in a heartbeat.
Sheffield senior Hanna Fitch
Sheffield senior Hanna Fitch
"She likes the town a lot," said her father, Jim. "It means a lot to her."
Jim says when you see a little attitude come out of Hanna - good, bad or otherwise, it's because she cares.
"I know she definitely gets harder on herself than she does on coaches and teammates," he said.
Hanna plays the game, and lives her life, with something to prove.
"I know that a lot of schools probably don't look at us as threats when it comes to the sports we play, but that just pushes us as athletes to prove them wrong," she said.
She has a picture on her fridge that's been there since junior high, according to her father. It's of an Eisenhower opponent driving past her on the basketball court. It motivates her.
Sheffield girls basketball coach Jeff Labesky has brought a "competitive attitude" back to the Sheffield girls basketball team, resulting in a 6-7 record after a 3-19 record last year.
Hanna doesn't lead her team in scoring - not even close; but when it comes to competitive attitudes, Fitch is a great place to start.
A little "Q & A" with Hanna Fitch:
Q: Who are your parents and siblings, and what sports do you play?
A: My parents are Amy Morgan and Jim Fitch. I have three sisters, Alyssa, Chelsea, and Jaden Fitch, and a little brother, Mitchell Morgan. This year I have participated in fall cheerleading, girls basketball, and I am a statistician for girls/boys track and field in the spring.
Q: You aren't the leading scorer on the basketball team, but I'm sure you've played long enough to figure out how you can contribute in a positive way. What types of things give you the most pride while playing (scoring a key bucket, making free throws, a rebound, or something you say to a teammate during the game)?
A: While I'm not the absolute best on the offensive side, I do think that defense is my stronger suit. I really like the feeling of getting a rebound or a turnover and being able to assist someone I know is actually going to get the ball into the hoop. Of course, when I do make a basket it's a great feeling because it doesn't happen all too often for me.
Q: You have gone to hardly playing your junior year to starting as a senior. How did you get to this point?
A: It's my senior year, so I really wanted to try my best to start on varsity, and finish off out my high school basketball the best I could, so I just practiced really hard, focused on what I needed to improve on, and did whatever my coach told me to do. It also helps that there are only five varsity(-only) players.
Q: What are all the activities you are involved in outside of sports and why do you participate in each of them?
A: In school the other extra-curricular activities I'm involved in outside of sports are: Student Council, SADD, and Art Club. I just like being in clubs because you get to fund-raise and help out. For Student Council last year we went downtown Sheffield and cleaned up around the playground, and post office among other places, and it was actually really fun to be doing something good for our community, without expecting something in return.
Q: Why basketball, and what is it you like most about each of the sports you compete in? Are you a competitive person in and out of sports?
A: I originally got into basketball because of my family, mostly my dad. My older sisters played for a little bit when they were in high school and I always loved going with my dad to their games to watch them play. Every sport I participate in, a majority of my friends do as well, so being able to play alongside them is always fun. I can actually get pretty competitive when it come to playing sports, but outside of sports I don't think I am. My friends might disagree, though.
Q: What will you miss most about the Sheffield girls basketball team?
A: I think I'll miss my team the most. We are such a small team, and I feel like that makes us closer because we know each other really well and we get along really well, too. I've been playing with Ashley Davidson and Hannah Vile since the 7th grade, and Abby Labesky for a few years now, so we have progressed in basketball together throughout high school. And we are really good friends, so it's definitely going to be weird and a little sad never playing with them again after this season.
Q: What do you want to do after high school? College?
A: After graduation, I will probably go to college at Lock Haven University either for Psychology and Theater or Business and Theater, I haven't quite decided yet.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: In ten years, I just want to be happy and successful. I want to be able to support myself and live a comfortable life, hopefully somewhere a lot warmer.
Q: Who or what inspires you?
A: I would say my sisters and brother inspire me the most. I feel like we live in a such a small town that people think there are limited choices for what we can do with our lives, and I want to be able to show my little sister and brother that, that isn't true, and that they can do or be anything that they want. My two older sisters have both graduated college and are happy and doing what they've always wanted to do, and that just pushes me towards my goals even more.
Q: Tell me something not many know about you that you'd be willing to share.
A: I guess I could say that I like singing. I have never really performed in front of anyone before, unless you count the National Anthem at sporting events, but it's fun to sing in the car when you have to drive a long ways. Especially when you get stopped beside someone at a red light.
Q: Tell me one question I forgot to ask, and then answer it.
A: What do you like most about being from Sheffield?
Specifically in the sports aspect of Sheffield, I love that we aren't a "winning" school. I mean winning at everything we do would be amazing and it could have its perks. But I personally think that it's so much better of a feeling when you have to work towards something. I know that a lot of schools probably don't look at us as threats when it comes to the sports we play, but that just pushes us as athletes to prove them wrong. I think that if we were some superior school we wouldn't really have as much drive and dedication to the sports that we play if we didn't have something to prove. If you don't know what it feels like to lose, then winning doesn't really feel as great as it actually can. And at Sheffield, especially with the girls basketball team, every time we win, we know it's because we worked our butts off to prove that we really are good enough.