Of the notable Northeastern athletic achievements of the past four years, Hannah Adams has been involved in many of them.
* First sectional volleyball championship, her freshman year.
* First girls basketball sectional since 1998, sophomore year.
* First Tri-Eastern Conference softball championship, also sophomore year.
* Wayne County softball championship, freshman and senior years.
* First softball sectional final, senior year.
* TEC Player of the Year, senior year.
“She was a fun athlete to watch, a great athlete to coach,” said Northeastern softball coach Jennifer Hill. “She made the others strive to be better, and that’s what good athletes do — they make those around them better.”
Adams is the third finalist for the Palladium-Item’s 2013 Myyon A. Barnes Athlete of the Year Award.
She was part of the Knights’ volleyball squad in 2009 that won 29 straight matches, an outright TEC title and the program’s first sectional crown before finally falling to powerhouse Muncie Burris in a regional final.
It was the only year Adams played volleyball at Northeastern, opting instead to concentrate on basketball and softball.
A good decision for Adams, who excelled at both. She was part of Northeastern’s sectional championship in girls basketball her sophomore year, and followed that by leading the Knights to a TEC softball crown in the spring.
“It’s pretty cool to know we set some records,” Adams said. “It’s just nice to know you’ll be remembered for something there.”
Area softball fans aren’t likely to forget Adams’ performance in the most recent postseason.
She injured her leg during an early May game against Hagerstown, and could still feel it with every pitch as the sectional rolled around weeks later.
She gutted it out, though, pitching Northeastern to two victories before falling in the Class 2A sectional final to Eastern Hancock.
It was the first time the Knights had reached the championship game.
Adams finished her senior year with a 12-4 record from the circle with 157 strikeouts and a 1.26 ERA.
She also hit .567 with six home runs and 37 RBIs. When she played in conference games, that average rose to .842.
“It was neat. No one expected us to do it, either,” Adams said of Northeastern’s postseason run. “We were just off the radar.”
Adams’ basketball numbers were impressive as well.
She closed her Northeastern career by averaging a double-double of 14.7 points and 10.5 rebounds.
Adams also was able to play one basketball season for her father, Northeastern coach Max Adams.
“I just thought, all the time, she brought great leadership to the floor, or to the diamond,” Max Adams said. “She just did it. Those are qualities anybody would love to have.
“She showed up and she knew she had something to do.”
Hill also praised Adams’ leadership qualities.
“(A) hard worker. She would work at practice, go home and put work in, and will continue to do so,” Hill said.
” … I think Hannah’s legacy is, she paved the way. She was great for Northeastern. Hannah came and she just put us on the map. Everyone had to figure out Hannah. She left a great legacy at Northeastern. She’s a great kid, great athlete, great student.”
Adams aims to continue that two-sport legacy in college. She’ll play both basketball and softball at Grace College, an NAIA school in Winona Lake, Ind.
She’ll major in psychology.
“I want to compete just as well as I did in high school,” Adams said. “I want to be challenged every game, and compete as well as I can.”
Max Adams had a good seat for his daughter’s past four years as a Knight.
The volleyball run was exciting — for him as a fan, and her as a player — though this senior season was special.
“I enjoyed this year, the sectional for softball, the fact that she fought through a lot of pain with the strained quad she had,” Max Adams said. “She just looked at me and said, ‘This is it. I don’t want to be looked at as not giving everything.’
“She wasn’t going to quit. She stood up and played hard through that. She had some great seasons.”
Added Hannah Adams: “It was really great. I enjoyed getting to play with a bunch of different people and also great athletes. I think that’s what makes it more fun. It was a really great four years.”