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Flag football POY: Shaye Herman excelled in flag and track

Posted on Thursday, August 10, 2017 at 6:46 am

Shaye Herman with Harmony’s flag football coaching staff. Submitted Photo

By Rick Pedone
Sports Editor
Shaye Herman was a very busy young woman during her senior year at Harmony High, especially so in the spring.
From February through early May, Herman played quarterback and defensive back for the Lady Longhorns flag football team that won the Orange Belt Conference and A-10 district championships.
Between games, she joined the track team, where she set the school’s triple jump record (33-11.5) and helped the squad win the Orange Belt Conference title for the second time in the school’s 13-year history.
“Being able to do both sports that I loved was a blessing,” she said. “Thanks to (flag coach Paul) Strauch and (track coach Adam) Kerns I was able to work around both.”
Herman, a four-year varsity flag football starter, saved her best for last, throwing for 29 touchdowns and rushing for four more. Defensively, she had nine interceptions.
For the second year in a row, she is the Osceola News-Gazette Flag Football Player of the Year.
Strauch, who switched Herman from receiver to quarterback prior to her junior year, said that she would do anything to help the Longhorns.
“She was tremendously unselfish for switching from wide receiver, where she was dominant, to quarterback,” Strauch said. “Shaye wanted to win, always, which is what made her so great.”
The team put together an impressive 14-4 season, reaching the regional finals, despite losing several players to graduation or transfer after reaching the state championship game in 2016.
Herman said that the team expected to do well this season.
“I don’t think it was that hard to bounce back from the loss of seniors because we got a feel for the big wins last season and our competitive drive was the same this year, along with a strong base of returning players,” she said.
Over her career Herman threw 57 touchdown passes, had 15 TD receptions, rushed for eight scores and snared 18 interceptions. The Longhorns were 51-10 and reached the state tournament twice while she was a member of the team.
“I think this year was a much better season for myself as a player because of the great experience I got last year and since last year was my first playing quarterback,” she said.
Herman, who also played basketball for Strauch, said that of all the sports she played, flag is her favorite.
“Although I loved basketball, football was definitely my favorite thing during my high school career,” she said. “I had learned so much more than just football from my coaches. They have been a blessing. And meeting such amazing teammates was another bonus.”
Kerns said that even though Herman was splitting time between flag and track, she was totally committed when she competed for the Lady Longhorns track squad.
“Shaye is one of the most competitive athletes I’ve coached,” Kerns said. “Last summer, I was told that she built a triple jump pit in her backyard. That is all you need to know about her competitiveness. We were very grateful that Coach Strauch worked with the track program so that Shaye could compete.”
Herman confirmed that she put a landing pit in her backyard to train for the triple jump.
“A small one,” she said.
Herman also played volleyball at Harmony, but not as a senior. She said that she kept her sanity by breaking down her schedule into segments.
“I pretty much try to take it week by week, looking forward to our next opponents, and of course, the next school assignments,” she said.
Herman will attend UCF and study to be an athletic trainer or physical therapist.
She won’t play a scholarship sport, but she does plan to continue her flag football career at the intramural level.
“I’m actually hoping to be on UCF’s club team,” she said.
That doesn’t surprise Coach Kerns one bit.
“She is going to be successful in whatever she does,” he said. “She is going to be missed not just as an athlete, but as a person.”