Hartwig signs to play basketball at Midway

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 3, 2003

PEDRO -- There's no place like home, and Midway College is now home for Rachel Hartwig.

The Rock Hill Redwomen basketball standout secured her immediate future when she signed a letter-of-intent Friday to play for the Midway College Eagles.

"It was more like home and family. The people down there made it easy for me," Hartwig said.

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The 5-foot-9 senior center averaged 10 points per game while pulling down 7.7 rebounds and getting 2.1 steals. However, she's expected to play forward at Midway.

"I've play forward, so it's no big deal," Hartwig said. "It's going to be really exciting. They do a lot of things we do. I don't think it will be that hard of an adjustment."

Midway head coach Tim Southers thinks Hartwig is more suited for the forward position and doesn't foresee any problems making the switch.

"She fits in well with what we do and our style. We like to play a pressing style and get up and down," Southers said. "We lose two (forwards). We think she can be right in the mix. It's up to her work ethic."

Southers said he first learned of Hartwig through Randy Dial, father of current player and former Russell star Natalie Dial.

"We got a chance to see her play and watch her on film. We were impressed with her defensive intensity," Southers said. "She can play something besides the post. She's quick and athletic and runs the floor well. We think her best basketball is ahead of her."

Hartwig has played with Natalie Dial in the past and is looking forward to getting to play with a new group of teammate.

"I've played AAU with Natalie some, so I don't see a problem. Basketball is basketball. You can play with anybody," Hartwig said.

Adjusting to the physical part of the game is something Hartwig plans to begin taking care of right away.

"I'm going to start lifting (weights). They lift (at Midway). Strength is the biggest difference," Hartwig said.

Rock Hill head coach Bob Wilds was excited for his former player, but he said her shoes will be hard to fill. Hartwig was a key figure as the Redwomen won back-to-back Ohio Valley Conference championships.

"We'll miss Rachel and the entire senior class. They meant a lot to Rock Hill and they leave quite a legacy," Wilds said.

Hartwig was an All-OVC first team selection and a Division II all-district selection by the Associated Press and District 13 Coaches Association.

"Rachel had great athleticism. She ran the floor well and made it possible for us to extend the floor and caused a lot of match up problems," Wilds said.

Rachel plans to major in engineering with plans to become an architect. She is the daughter of Paul and Sharon Hartwig.