“In many ways,” Champlain Valley Union (CVU) head football coach Jim Provost declared, “Harvey Ottinger is our Most Valuable Player.” And if that isn’t praise enough coach Provost continued, “Harvey is a two way starter. He converted to the offensive line this year and has excelled. He has also anchored our defense from his middle linebacker position. Harvey is the ultimate team player.”
Born on July 1, 1995 in St. Paul, Minn., Ottinger and his family moved to Shelburne when he was six. His family includes parents Margaret and Matthew, younger sister Lila, an eighth grader at the Shelburne Community School, and a cat named Addie.
“Soccer was the first team sport I played,” Ottinger began. “But football is my favorite sport. When I found out there was an opportunity to play football I switched. That was in the fifth grade. That first year I played for the Chittenden South Jaguars,” he recalled. “In middle school I played for the Buccaneers.”
Moved up to varsity at the end of his sophomore year, Ottinger’s dedication to the sport is now paying off for the Redhawks. “Being there for the team is my greatest strength as a captain,” said Ottinger. “I’m not outspoken, but I make sure everyone knows what they need to do.” Coach Provost adds, “Harvey is a selfless player. Named to the north All Star team, he is also an All Star student and young man. We will miss him terribly next year.”
“I have played football for eight years,” Ottinger explained. “And my greatest achievement is being named senior captain. I’m having a great year.” And so he is. The Redhawks are 5-3 and seeded No. 7 out of 14 teams headed into playoffs.
In addition to football, Ottinger plays soccer during the offseason. “I’ve been playing indoor soccer for about seven years. There’s a bunch of different people who play at the Field House. My dad is the coach,” he commented. “It’s a lot of fun.” He is also gainfully employed at Cucina Antica in Shelburne. “I have been a dishwasher there since April. Although I had to take the fall off to play football, I’d like to return to work after the season is over.”
That’s not the only plan Ottinger has once football is over. He will apply early decision to Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill. and pursue his interest in history. “I know Northwestern is a reach for me, but academically it has a lot to offer. And so does Chicago. It’s a great city.” Ottinger has already shown his ability to prioritize all of his commitments including academics, athletics, work, and fun with his special brand of intensity, motivation, and versatility. Based on his successful past Ottinger’s future is looking very bright.