Grovetown High School soccer player Hanna Bright doesn't strike an intimidating figure on the field.
Actually, many opposing players might overlook the 5-foot tall forward until it's too late.
Bright, a freshman, leads the Warriors in scoring with 14 goals and has racked up six assists as she has helped lead her first-year team to a state playoff contest today against Glynn Academy.
"I'm excited," Bright said. "I believe this team can do it."
Bright tends to shun personnel accolades in favor of praising her team.
During a shutout this month against region rival Harlem, Hanna scored three of the Warriors' four goals, but credited her team for the scores.
"I couldn't do it without my teammates," she said following the game. "It takes all of us to make it happen."
Though diminutive and self-effacing, Bright is tough, coach Greg Young said.
"Little frame, but big personality and good attitude," he said. "She has the attitude that she's not going to take anything from anybody out on the field."
Young said Bright's size most times works to her advantage.
"A lot of times, they look around and don't see her coming up," he said. "Even though she's small, she's very speedy and once she's around them, they're not going to catch her."
Unlike many soccer players her age, Bright doesn't play travel ball. She came to the sport through rec leagues and continued to play at Grovetown Middle School.
Though she prefers soccer, Bright also plays on Grovetown's softball team.
"I've been playing it more and enjoy it more," she said of soccer. "I can understand it better, which makes it more fun."
Bright's level of understanding is perhaps what impressed Young most about her.
"She will make sure that she puts herself in the right position," he said. "When she sees someone with the ball on the other side of the field, she immediately knows just where to position herself and set up for a pass or goal."
Though Bright plays for love of the game, she does hope to one day earn a scholarship, which Young believes will happen.
"I expect her to improve greatly and maybe grow a little bit," he said. "By the time she becomes a senior, she'll definitely be ready to play at the next level, the college level, if she keeps the progression going."
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.