Hickory’s Hart Signs with Centre College

Hickory’s Hart Signs with Centre College
Posted on 06/07/2016
carson hart


(L-R) front:
Lisa Hart, Carson Hart, Keith Hart;
Back: Robert Turner (assistant principal). Rebecca Tuttle (assistant principal), Coach David Craft (athletic director), Coach Brian Jillings (head soccer coach) & Luis Torres (soccer teammate ) 

Hickory’s Hart Signs with

Centre College in Kentucky

Come August, Hickory High’s Carson Hart is leaving for Danville, Kentucky. Coach Jeb Burch of Centre College has offered Hart the opportunity to play left back for the college’s soccer team.

Hart is familiar with the outstanding soccer and academic programs at Centre—as his older brother is a senior playing for the Centre team.

“Centre College provides a great combination of academics and athletics,” said Hart, “and I look forward to starting my college career.”

A soccer player since he was three years old, Hart shares that playing team sports has made a difference in his life. “Team sports helped me to become a leader on the field and off the field. In soccer, along with life, one must recognize that not everyone is the same and everyone can contribute to an end goal,” said Hart.

“Being pushed my four years has given me value of hard work and how it pays off. Whenever soccer and other activities overlapped, I was faced with a decision, and sticking to soccer helped with characteristics of commitment and decision-making.”

Hart gives much credit for his soccer success to Head Soccer Coach Brian Jillings of Hickory High. “Coach Jillings is one of the most important figures in my career. There were times when I felt he was too hard on me, but looking back, I understand he was pushing me because he saw my true potential,” said Hart.

“Coach Jillings, with his calm demeanor, taught me about humility and being humble. I admire his work with NCHSAA and what he has given back to the game. Although Coach Jillings has an outstanding record and numerous achievements, winning is not his goal. His goal is to mold the players into young men and instill within them good values to last their entire lives. I am thankful for the way Coach Jillings has built this program,” said Hart.

Coach Jillings carries equal admiration for Carson Hart. “What a fantastic opportunity for Carson to continue his soccer career at Center College and particularly to play alongside his brother, Luke,” said Jillings. “I'm confident the transition to the collegiate level will be a smooth one and Carson will become a significant asset for Center College. 

“In terms of soccer, Carson is technically very gifted and has a great understanding of the game.  He provided such a presence for us on the field and in times of need, it was Carson who the team would turn to for inspiration.  Opposing teams always had to prepare for him.  He is an absolute magician with the ball in tight spaces and could make even the best of the defenders look like school boys.  His cultured left foot could spray penetrating passes all across the pitch or finish opportunities with clinical precision.  He will also be a huge threat in dead ball situations whether it's launching a long throw into the box, attacking the ball in the air, or curling the ball around the wall past the keeper,” said Jillings.

“Off the field, Carson is an extremely dedicated student who has demonstrated a remarkable ability to balance the demands of being a student-athlete,” said Jillings.  “He is such a good-natured young man, and he is admired by coaches, teammates and the faculty alike. I’ve been very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Carson these past four years and will miss him greatly.  He's left an indelible impression at Hickory High and I'm confident that he will do the same at Center College.”

Hart was selected to represent the West Team in the NCCA East/West All-Star Game in Greensboro scheduled for July 19th, 2016.  According to Jillings, it's a very prestigious event with only 16 graduating seniors from each side of the state participating in the showcase game. Hart is the 10th player from the HHS men’s soccer ever to be selected to play in the game.

Additional accolades for Carson Hart include: NCSCA All-State Selection 2015, NW3A/4A Conference Player of the Year 2015, NCSCA All-Region Selection 2014 & 2015 and NW3A/4A All-Conference Selection 2014 & 2015. His career stats include 25 goals and 40 assists.

Hart, the son of Keith and Lisa Hart of Hickory, plans to major in business. While at Hickory High, he served as the vice president of the Beta Club, co-editor of the Key Club and he was a member of both the National Honor Society and Student Council. Hart is also an Eagle Scout and a Leadership 2000 participant.

“I will definitely miss the fall nights under the lights playing the game I love with my friends,” said Hart. “I would not trade my four years at Hickory High for anything. The camaraderie that occurs on and off the field is amazing.”


(Post/photos by Beverly Snowden, HPS director of communications)

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