Score one for Hillcrest alum: Hartman plays in All-Star gameOct 01, 2022 07:40PM ● By Julie Slama
By Julie Slama | [email protected]
Few athletes excel to the level of professional and even less become an All Star. Yet former Hillcrest High student-athlete Jaden Hartman defied those odds and played in his first All-Star game this past August.
“The RSL coaches picked two of us (he was joined by Kylie Wilson) a couple months beforehand for the West All-Stars, but we only had one practice with our team in Minnesota before we played,” Hartman said about playing 11 versus 11 with the unified team that fosters inclusivity and makes soccer accessible to everyone. “I wasn’t used to playing with them so that was hard; I ended up playing a lot more defense. I love scoring, but my role was more defense in this game. The Minnesota head coach was our coach and was pretty good and we had Luis Silva from RSL assisting.”
While Hartman didn’t score in this game (he scored a goal for RSL Unified against Colorado and a hat trick against San Jose earlier this season), and his team didn’t win, he said it was a positive experience during the three days — both on the field as well as off, seeing St. Paul’s sights and attending a hip hop concert there with his All-Star teammates.
“I’ve learned so much from the game and really enjoy it,” he said. “I got to meet one of my idols, Jordan Morris who plays forward for Seattle (Sounders FC). It was cool. He was right there by me. I like the way he plays, and I try to incorporate that into my game.”
Morris signed Hartman’s All-Star jersey, which now he hopes to frame. He also has one signed by his teammates. Hartman brought those home along with his silver medal and new cleats, shirts and a bag that were given to the All-Stars.
Now, he’s hoping to help Hillcrest High prepare for its unified soccer season as well as prepare for a home game against a team from Colorado. RSL Unified team will kick off on Oct. 9 following the RSL game.