By now, most high school sports fans know who Shelby Mann ’14 is. She is one of the few three-sport athletes at West Side who is considered one of the best players on every team.
In soccer, she is a goal-scoring machine who made 27 goals in the first 13 games this year, including an unforgettable eight-goal performance at Logansport on August 26th. She was the basketball team’s leading scorer as a junior in the 2012 season and also made the All Area Team.
During the track season last year, she was one of the key short-distance runners on the team. With Mann’s high school career coming to an end after this year, she hopes to impress colleges with her amazing stats and work ethic.
There were big shoes to fill at the start of the 2013 soccer season with the team’s primary goal-scorer, Katie Bittner, now playing at Purdue. Coach Aaron Blessing moved Mann to play the forward role rather than the outside midfielder position she was accustomed to. This decision has proved to be the right one.
“She has scored in eight of our first eleven games. It’s not just that she scores a lot in some games, it’s that she scores in almost every game so we can count on her to score for us” Blessing said.
Mann is ranked fifth in the state in goals scored this year with 27. It only took Mann 14 games to reach this many goals. Last year it took graduate Katie Bittner, the team’s leading scorer, 19 games to score 23 goals. However, individual stats don’t mean much to Mann and she rarely even follows her own stats.
“Whether it’s basketball or soccer, my grandma always tells me my stats and she treats it like a job,” said Mann.
“Personally, I care more about our team winning and I want to help that happen in any way possible. My personal stats do not mean anything to me if our team isn’t improving every day.”
Due to her goal-scoring prowess, Mann is depended on by the team to score almost every game. Mann has accepted the role as the team’s primary offensive weapon well and has changed her play style to be more offensive
“I feel like that if I haven’t scored, I haven’t done my job. I’ve accepted my role on the team, and I don’t mind having that applied pressure because I feel like I play even better with it. When I step on the pitch my goal is to help my team win, and I know that scoring can definitely help with that” Mann said.
Although Mann does not wear the captain’s band on the field, her presence during games still has a huge impact on the rest of the team.
“Shelby is a great motivator. She’s fun to be around but knows when to be serious and she knows how to get us fired up.” captain Emily Field ’14 said.
Soccer Player-Alex Morgan