Fahn excited for future of Spartan sports
Halfway done with high school, incoming Exira-EHK Junior Harlee Fahn hopes to build off an already stellar career.
Fahn plays softball, basketball, volleyball and runs track and field. Most recently, softball ended with her taking home honorable mention in the Rolling Valley All Conference list.
“It was great,” Fahn said. “That was my first time ever being an honorable mention, so it was just great to accomplish that.”
During their 2023 campaign, the Spartans finished with a 22-win season, including a 4-2 first round tournament victory over the Audubon Wheelers and a 3-2 win in the second round against the Woodbine Tigers.
Fahn was a big part of their offense, batting .323 with 21 hits, 19 runs scored and nine runs driven in.
“Nobody expected us to do what we did,” Fahn added. “Accomplishing more than what we expected just feels great as a team and we all improved a lot this year, every single one of us.”
Coach Andrea Schwery has been coaching Fahn for three years and Fahn is grateful for the help she’s received along the way.
“She has been a very helpful coach,” she said. “She helps me with my hitting, helps me with my fielding and overall helps with any mistakes and helps me fix anything I need too.”
With the new school year approaching, Fahn normally would be playing volleyball, but will step down this season. Last season, Fahn had 36 kills, 18 digs, two assists and a serve efficiency rate of 93.1%, the highest on the team.
“It was great playing these past two years,” she added. “Hopefully I’ll be on the court next year.”
During her sophomore season, Fahn was coached by Derek Reischauer, who was in his first year coaching Spartans volleyball.
“A new coach is always hard, because you never know their expectations,” Fahn said. “He’s kind of like coach [Tom] Petersen. He has high expectations. He’s a good one for volleyball and he knows what he’s talking about for volleyball, so that’s a plus from our past coaches.”
In basketball, Fahn was a part of a team that reached the Regional Final game in tournament play against the Remsen St. Mary’s Hawks.
During the season, Fahn scored 105 points, with 23 steals, 14 assists and 98 rebounds. Outside of playing the game, she maintains a strong relationship with Petersen.
“Making it to Regional Finals is honestly one of the best feelings,” she said. “He [Petersen] is not just a coach. He’s more like family to me. He knows what he’s talking about. Seeing him helping me with anything that I need too, he’s really helped me improve my basketball skills.”
In the spring, Fahn participated in track and field where she finished high among teammates in numerous events.
In the 100 meter dash, she finished with a time of 15.14, the second fastest behind teammate Jaelynn Petersen with 14.40. In the 200 meter dash, Fahn had the third fastest time with 31.37 and in the 400 meter dash, she had the third fastest time with 1:14.21.
“With my running, I was so surprised with how good I did,” she said. “Our team was amazing. We all helped each other, and joining with Audubon this year, I hope to get to state.”
Fahn also participated in discus with her furthest throw of 81-09.00, and in shot put her best throw was 31-08.00.
“Track and field actually was my first year this past year,” Fahn said. “I took a break my freshman year. I did do it in junior high. With our field, in shot put and discus, I was actually surprised how far I threw. Junior high I was throwing 27 feet and this past year I got to 32 which was amazing. I was just short of making it to state.”
Three Spartan girls who just graduated that Fahn has participated in most of these sports with are Makenzie Riley, Shay Burmeister and Quinn Grubbs. Fahn is grateful for their leadership and friendship along the way.
“Makenzie, her first year for basketball was last year and she was amazing,” Fahn said. “Shay was an amazing leader. There is nobody like Shay, she’s just an amazing person. Quinn was a great leader. She knew what she was talking about. All three of them are amazing leaders and I hope to be like them one day.”
Among all these sports, Fahn has a favorite that she’s been participating in since she was young.
“Softball has always been my favorite sport since I was a little girl,” she said. “I’ve always wanted to play college ball, but with basketball and coach Petersen, he just makes it a better sport. I don’t want to go to practice just to play the sport. I want to go to practice because of him.”
With Fahn approaching the upperclassmen section, she has advice for younger students who want to come into Exira-EHK that have aspirations of playing sports.
“Some advice I’d give is never give up,” Fahn said. “It gets really hard. I’ve known playing four sports the past two years is a lot on top of schoolwork, but you just have to keep going, you have to find that motivation, you have to keep striving for greatness. There are hard days, but you’ll get past them. Spartan sports is truly an amazing experience and I hope to get better these next two years.”
Fahn credited her family for the love and support they’ve given, pushing her along the way.
“With my brothers playing sports, I’ve always looked up to them and always strived to be better than them,” Fahn added. “My family is there for most of my games. They cheer me on. They always tell me I do good even if it was a bad game, but I’m very thankful for my family.”