Most people go throughout life searching for one thing that they truly love, whether it’s photography, running, or playing cards. Howell High School senior Hannah Reich found her passion of soccer at a young age. It rightfully consumes every aspect of her life, and even her Wiener dog is named after her favorite soccer player: the infamous Brazilian Pelé.
Reich started playing soccer when she was just five-years-old for a recreational team in Hartland, due to the encouragement from her older brothers.
“It started because my brother played soccer, and when I was younger I wanted to be like him,” says Reich.
Since then, her whole life thus far has been devoted to the sport, playing outside defense and outside forward. Continuing the saga, she competed in the local club, Howell Revolution, throughout elementary school in a year older division.
When recruited by Northern Ohio University, which is in the third division out of the top 50 schools, Reich readily accepted the invitation.
“Not knowing anybody going in is going to be a little scary, but I’m excited! I can’t wait to leave and be independent,” says Reich.
Along the journey, Reich will acquire a degree in athletic training and study to work in physical therapy. After multiple soccer related injuries and several physical therapy sessions, Reich knew exactly how she wanted her future to unfold. She is currently involved with her second year in the HHS Health Occupations class and does clinical rotations with her athletic trainer.
“I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t play soccer. When I have a month off, because we play eleven months out of the year, and I don’t know what to do with my life,” says Reich.
Juggling her job at Tim Horton’s, school, family, and friends, has taught Reich a lot about diligence, from being someone her team can rely on, to keeping a disciplined routine.
“It’s taught me to be organized because it’s always like going to soccer to doing homework. I have a set schedule,” says Reich.
One of Reich’s favorite hobbies outside of soccer is snowboarding, which she picked up on when she was eight-years-old. Snowboarding has always been one of her favorite escapes where she can shred through the white snow globes and clear her mind.
“Snowboarding is something that I use to get away. I don’t have to be competitive with it, and just do it to have fun,” says Reich.
One of a few of Reich’s accomplishments was being a freshman on the HHS varsity soccer team, and then becoming the team captain. Unfortunately, she isn’t going to play high school soccer this season, because she is going to play on a showcase team through her club, the Michigan Jags, where they will play other local college teams.
“After college I hope to continue to play. Like I said I can’t imagine not playing,” says Reich.
Reich’s favorite soccer team is Arsenal, which competes in the English Premiere League. Another one of her favorites is the number eleven, which has been her number since she was in Revolution and now in the Jags. It’s one of the traditions she hopes she will be able to carry on into college.
After college, Reich has big dreams living her life to the fullest, and experiencing as much of the world as she possibly can.
“I really want to travel . . . or hopefully study abroad in Europe or something,” says Reich.
Soccer isn’t just a hobby to Reich; it is a lifestyle in which she hopes to pass down to her future kids. It is something she will be continuing to do until she can’t play anymore.
“I could see that being me – one of the old women playing soccer,” says Reich with a laugh.