Strong around the goal

Seymour plays a competitive schedule in both of Chase Salmon’s sports — soccer and basketball.

The Seymour High School senior said he has to be ready for every match and every game.

“The schedule helps a lot because we see a lot of the best teams out there, and that’s what we know we have to beat to compete in sectionals,” he said.

In basketball, Salmon is a post player, although his positioning on offense has changed this season.

“Last year, I played strictly block,” he said. “Now this year, I’m kind of free-moving. I’ll go inside-out a lot because I’ve worked on my shot a lot so I can shoot.”

Salmon said he has worked on being quick on his feet.

“I try to use my speed a lot because I am kind of small for the center spot (6-foot-4), so I kind of thrive on my speed, and if I have a big guy on me and he’s slow, I’ll beat him off the dribble,” he said. “In the post, I’ll even use my speed.”

Salmon said he likes playing against defenders that are the same height or smaller than him.

“I like those matchups because a lot of times, I’ll draw a double-team and I can kick it out to a teammate for a wide-open shot and score,” he said. “I prefer a zone because it’s a lot easier to move around. I think a zone is a lot easier to break.”

Salmon said he is comfortable stepping out and shooting a 3-pointer, too.

“My best spot is the top,” he said.

His high-point games have been 24 against Salem and 16 against Floyd Central, both last year.

When the Owls are on defense, Salmon said he prefers to play man-to-man.

“I love man because then you’re one-on-one with your guy and you see who is better,” he said. “It’s a lot more ball pressure.”

The Owls recently lost their season-opener, but Salmon is hoping they put together a winning season.

“We need to work hard and be focused on the process,” he said. “Like coach says, we can’t take any game like ‘Oh, this is them,’ so we have to play to get better and just work on everything.”

For the past three years in the fall, Salmon was the soccer team’s starting goalkeeper.

“It takes great reactions, speed and great awareness of where the ball is,” he said. “You’ve got to be good at cutting off angles, and distribution is a really important part, too. You’ve got to be able to distribute it to your team once you get it in an effective way.”

Salmon said he liked filling the role of goalkeeper.

“My favorite thing is saving penalty kicks,” he said. “There is nothing better than that. You get the crowd behind you, and knowing that you’re so important to a win is just nice.”

Shutouts were nice, too, Salmon said.

“Shutouts make me feel great,” he said. “I know I did my job and the defense did their job, and it’s a great feeling.”

He said defense requires teamwork.

“It takes good communication and awareness of your team,” he said. “You’ve got to know how they’re going to react to stuff. If I know my right has more tendency to dive at the ball, then we have a guy kind of step behind it, and if the left is more conservative to contain it more, we’ll play with that.”

Being in good shape also is important in soccer.

“We do a lot of conditioning,” Salmon said. “We’ll run over the summer, lift weights and just get ready for the season because we know it will be long games. A lot of it is also mental. You have to have mental toughness, but if you’re not in shape, you just can’t play.”

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Name: Chase Salmon

School: Seymour High School

Parents: Gary Salmon and Christy Yingling

Siblings: Brittin, Alex and Cheyanna

Sports: Basketball, two years; soccer, four years

Athletic honor: In basketball, receiving the rebounding award

Home basketball games: “I absolutely love this gym (Lloyd E. Scott Gymnasium). The fan support usually is great. I love the cheer block, the band. There is no better place to play.”

Favorite away gym: “I like the setup at Brownstown and how it is sunken.”

Home soccer matches: “I loved them. Freeman Field is a really nice field. I think it is one of the better ones we play at all year.”

Favorite away field: “I like Columbus just because it’s always a really competitive game. That’s probably my favorite because that is where the sectional takes place. That’s where all the intense games happen.”

Plans: Attend college and play basketball

Favorite food: Steak

Favorite TV show: “Arrow”

Favorite singer/musician: Eminem

Favorite movie: “Coach Carter”

Favorite athlete: Derrick Rose

Favorite team: Chicago Bulls

Favorite quote: “Anything easy in life isn’t worth much.”