Long Beach senior Luke Hartman mixes the perfect blend of upstanding character, academic excellence and athletic achievement.
Hartman embodied a selfless attitude on the field, making an arduous transition from wide receiver to quarterback this fall because his team needed it. Hartman brings the same dedication to the classroom, holding a 105.06 weighted GPA and testing himself with 14 college-level classes throughout his high school career. Away from school, Hartman can be found in the Long Beach community lifeguarding, volunteering at surf camps and coaching PAL lacrosse teams.
Hartman was honored for all of his efforts Wednesday night, being named the Jay Fiedler Top Scholar Athlete as part of the Golden 11 selected by the National Foundation Football Hall of Fame’s Nassau County chapter.
“I’m really grateful to win,” Hartman said. “Obviously, there was a group of 11 guys that were all really successful, both in the classroom and on the field. So to be at the top of that group, I really feel just grateful and that my hard work paid off.”
The Golden 11 are Wantagh wide receiver/outside linebacker TJ Carlo, Calhoun quarterback Joey Goodman, Cold Spring Harbor lineman James Howell, Garden City running back/linebacker Matt Kephart, Massapequa lineman Jason Kovaluskie, New Hyde Park tight end/linebacker Anthony LaSala, South Side wide receiver/defensive back Michael Melkonian, Manhasset running back/linebacker Jack Mulholland, Seaford tight end/defensive end Devin O’Donnell, East Meadow fullback/linebacker Matt Rodriguez and Carey wide receiver/defensive back TJ Wakely.
“Every one of those guys were captains, some were two-year captains,” said Frank Luisi, the director of the Nassau County chapter. “They all have this leadership and goodness about them that’s unparalleled.”
Luisi said it was the most talented Golden 11 group that has ever been nominated.
Hartman is a two-time all-county selection, earning the honor as a quarterback this year after completing 79 of 132 passes for 800 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushing 84 times for 445 yards and seven scores. He was recognized as an all-county wideout and safety last year, breaking Long Beach single-season records with 38 catches and seven interceptions, according to Long Beach coach Scott Martin.
“Difficult is an understatement, especially in the beginning of the year,” Hartman said of the position switch.
A Towson lacrosse commit, Hartman is a smart and caring teammate. Martin said that Hartman was the first to console his teammates that missed out on winning awards, taking the forefront on something coaches usually do. Martin also said the Long Beach coaching staff had “a ton of discussions” about gameplanning and personnel with Hartman, something they do not do with most kids, especially someone new to the quarterback position.
“The way he is described by his coach and all of his teammates, this guy is a man for all seasons,” Luisi said. “He cares about people. He serves others. He has no arrogance. He has humility, kindness and compassion for others, and he plays fiercely for his team and his coaches.”
“I’ve been the head coach 15 years, and Luke is one of the best – if not the best – all-around football player we’ve had,” Martin added. “It’s sad to see him go, it’s good to see him grow.”