Female Athlete of the Week: Meghan Hirneisen prove she's a force for Greencastle
Last year, with arguably the best team in the area, Greencastle-Antrim's girls basketball team was stacked with noteworthy talent. But after losing two huge contributors, the Blue Devils needed someone to step up.
And this year, it's Meghan Hirneisen's time to shine.
In Greencastle's opening weekend, Hirneisen showed off her talents acquired in the offseason, proving the senior forward has more tricks up her sleeve than being able to snag a rebound.
Hirneisen is the Public Opinion Female Athlete of the Week.
In Greencastle's championship run at the Franklin County Tip-Off tournament last weekend, Hirneisen had 23 total points, and collected career-high 15 points in the Blue Devils' 57-34 win over James Buchanan in the tournament championship game Saturday. But scoring was never a priority for Hirneisen before this season.
"She's always been kind of put in the background because we have so many options," Blue Devil coach Mike Rhine said. "On many, many teams she would be the No. 1 option -- she would be the star. In the past she has always kind of relegated herself to a complimentary role, but last year there is no way we were winning that district championship without her, absolutely no way."
During Greencastle's district championship season, Hirneisen averaged 3.9 points per game and was named P.O. Honorable mention. This year, she is shooting for first team.
On a roster that is stacked with underclassmen, Hirnesen said she hopes to make some of the younger girls feel more comfortable at the varsity level, because she remembers how scary it was to come in as a freshman.
She admits that the younger players even call her 'Mom.'
"Hannah (Crist) and Jenay (Faulkner) are not really vocal leaders, and they're not interested in taking that kind of leadership, but Meghan is fine with it," Rhine said about his three captains. "She really thrives in that. She likes to teach in our summer leagues and she'll teach the younger kids."
Rhine described her as a born leader with the ability to analyze the teams needs, which, for Hirneisen, means stepping behind the 3-point line.
"I think this year I have the confidence in knowing that I can go out there and play at a level that I couldn't in the past years," Hirnesen said.
Over the summer, she worked with her dad, Jeremy, three to four times a week to work on driving, shooting and her 3-point shot.
"I knew there was going to be a hole and I really wanted to be someone who was going to contribute," she said. "I knew that Hannah and Jenay were going to be defended, but when we have three or four, its going to be hard to stop us."
"The thing with Meghan, if she said, 'This is what I'm going to do,' then I wouldn't doubt her," Rhine said. "That's the kind of kid she is."
Meghan Hirneisen, Greencastle-Antrim
Sport: Girls basketball
Parents: Jeremy and Suzan Hirneisen
Other Interests: Hirneisen is a part of Young Life, the National Honor Society, Student Council, and was a captain on the Greencastle girls soccer team.
Surprising fact: Hirneisen really enjoys history, and wants to study at Geneva College to become a history teacher.
Favorite movie: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Statistics: She scored 23 points between two games in the Franklin County Tip-Off tournament, including career-high 15 points in the championship game, and had six rebounds.