Overloaded Ortman Thrives under Pressure


Colin Jones, Staff Writer

3 sports, advanced mathematics and music is a full load for the most experienced student. Freshman Francis “Seppi” Ortman, son of math teacher Dagmar Ortman, manages all of these activities and more during a typical school day.

“I get to school at 7,” Ortman says. “After school, I fit in homework until 4, then go to soccer and lacrosse practice.”

During the football season, Ortman was the undefeated freshman squad’s kicker. In addition, when varsity kicker Matt Blair was out due to illness during the November 17 Ygnacio Valley playoff game, Ortman was called in as a replacement. Ortman made a field goal and was successful in all of the extra point kicks in the team’s 52-14 victory.

“Seppi’s strength is he has the ability to put the ball wherever you ask him to put it,” said varsity football head coach Kevin Macy. “He can drop the ball on a dime. He also shows no pressure and feels no pressure. He’s been able to kick field goals of above 40 yards in freshman games.”

According to Macy, though Ortman may not yet be able to send his kickoffs into the end zone, he is effective at the position due to his accuracy. “Until he gains that strength the next best thing is [for him] to be able to pinpoint the placement of kickoffs anywhere on the field,” Macy said.

While he showed great talent during the fall season, Ortman’s true calling may be on the soccer pitch. “He’s pretty good [at soccer],” said soccer teammate and senior Sam Larson. “He’s pretty good for a freshman, so once he’s a senior, he’ll be pretty amazing.”

After wrapping up his soccer season with the varsity team, Ortman immediately joined the lacrosse squad for its spring campaign.

In spite of his non-stop athletic commitments Ortman also manages to pursue another time consuming interest: music. “In jazz band, I play bass trombone, and in concert band, I play tuba,” Ortman explained.

With so many activities crowding his schedule, it is inevitable that there will be some conflict. “I try to fit [all of the activities] together,” he said. “But depending on the season, I go with the most important activity. Right now, I’m focusing more on soccer,” Ortman said.

While some might be concerned for a younger student taking on so much, Ortman’s mother, Dagmar, said that “he doesn’t need to tone down [his activities]. He needs to work on time management.”

To this point, Ortman does seem to thrive under the workload.

“What does he need to work on?” said Larson. “Probably his ego,” he joked.

“I couldn’t fit in any more [activities],” Ortman remarked. “[But] it’s really fun.”

According to his mother, Ortman remains surprisingly calm amidst the chaos of his schedule. “I’m at a stress level of about 9 and he’s at a 3,” said Dagmar Ortman. “I wish he were more stressed [sic],” she joked.

Ortman does expect that as the vigor of academics increases in the future, he will need to make some choices. “Depending on how tough my classes are, I may have to cut down [the activities],” he said.

According to Ortman, his preferred career path is engineering, though he admits his interest is hard to narrow down.