A strong faith in God off the field motivates Hart brothers on the field

Dalton Charest

Equinox Staff


To the majority of their fellow Keene State College students and teammates, what stands out most about the Hart brothers is their talents on the lacrosse field and the equally long, nomadic blond hair flowing down their backs.

What most don’t notice are the unique and devoted Catholic lives the two lead off the field that have contributed much to the success they attain on the field.

Michelle Berthiaume / Sports Editor Sophomore Ryan Hart looks for a teammate during a game against Bates College at Owl Athletic Complex on March 26, 2013.

Michelle Berthiaume / Sports Editor
Sophomore Ryan Hart looks for a teammate during a game against Bates College at Owl Athletic Complex on March 26, 2013.

Both Ian and Ryan Hart are local to the Monadnock region of New Hampshire. Hailing from Richmond, N.H., only ten minutes away from the KSC campus and attending Monadnock High School, the siblings have both already established themselves as dominant forces for the men’s lacrosse team. Everything else off the field and behind the scenes is an extraordinary story filled with a strong faith in God and service trips to undeveloped countries.

Ian Hart, who is in his senior season for the Owls, has played alongside his brother, a sophomore, for almost their entire lives. The two oldest of nine brothers and sisters, the perspective of having a large Catholic family is certainly real.

Under the parental guidance of Robert and Kathy Hart, the two boys have flourished into meticulous and responsible young adults. Head Coach of the KSC Men’s Lacrosse Team Mark Theriault has been more than impressed with the two during their tenure at KSC.

“It’s great because I didn’t have to go far in terms of recruiting,” Theriault said. “I didn’t have to worry about a lot of things with them, and I’m still surprised with their talent from where they came from but at the same time, they’re both very blue-collar hard-working kids.”

When you relate religion to sports these days, many people instantly think of Tim Tebow praying on one knee in the end zone after scoring the game-winning touchdown against the Pittsburgh Steelers in overtime. With Ryan Hart, he sees it as a much more humbling and reserved type of style that contributes to his athletic prowess on the field.

“We just look at it every day that God gives you and make the most out of it,” Ryan said. “He gave us athletic ability and something we loved so every day going out there, making the most out of it and being humble but being proud of it.”

Many people assume that a religious lifestyle is a much more uptight and strict upbringing. Ian Hart was quick to debunk those theories.

“We’re just normal kids enjoying the college life,” Ian said. “At the same time, we have our morals and stuff, so we’re pretty down to earth when it comes to that, but I don’t know. We’re just normal kids having fun.”

Though late-night binge drinking on a Saturday night may not adequately suit in the Hart brothers’ lives as they keep to a strict customary attendance in Church every Sunday morning.

When they’re not attending St. Bernard’s Church on Main Street in Keene and are on a trip with the lacrosse to Florida or San Diego, the two still manage to find a way to attend their weekly proceedings.

“On the spring break trip, me and my assistant had taken the Hart brothers to church on Sundays,” Theriault said.

Coach Theriault added, “I’ve done it a few times when we were down in Florida and Coach Griffin took them to church in San Diego this year. Also, they came back to school a little late this spring, just by a couple days, which wasn’t too much of an overlap in terms of lacrosse.”

Michelle Berthiaume / Sports Editor Senior Ian Hart controls the ball during a game at Owl Athletic Complex on March 26, 2013. Hart had one goal and three assists in the game.

Michelle Berthiaume / Sports Editor
Senior Ian Hart controls the ball during a game at Owl Athletic Complex on March 26, 2013. Hart had one goal and three assists in the game.

Just what were the two Hart brothers doing other than playing lacrosse that brought them back to school a little behind schedule?

Every year, the whole Hart family, all eleven of them, travel to Kingston, Jamaica to work with the Missionaries of the Poor, a Catholic religious order aimed to provide aid to the poor and needy within the area.

“It’s pretty humbling knowing they do that and very admirable and respectful with what they do down there,” Coach Theriault reiterated.

What their recent trips to Jamaica have brought is another addition to the already blooming family. The Harts came across a boy in an orphanage named Moses who was abandoned by his parents due to their inability to care for him.

Since then, Moses has developed Cerebral Palsy and likely wouldn’t have survived otherwise, according to Kathy Hart.

“Like someone said, we can’t change the world but we can change it for one little boy,” Kathy Hart said.

“Moses was abandoned there by his family. They just weren’t able to care for him, so it’s really an honor for all of us and he teaches us so much, just always having a smile. Actually, Ryan put his little [adopted] brother on his back when we hiked a 4,000-footer up in the White Mountains and that’ll be the only time he’ll probably be able to do that because he’s getting big.”

She added, “We try to include him in everything. It’s funny; we are so physical and everything for him is a challenge. We always learn from him with his patience and his joy, and he’s just such an awesome kid.”

Now that Moses was officially the newest addition to the family a year and a half ago, Kathy Hart is extremely thankful to be able to see her two sons play together so close to home at the college level but the Jamaica trips are becoming an annual visit for the two.

“You know, lacrosse, it is a game, they want to succeed at it,” Kathy Hart said. “But they’ve seen people just kind of surviving, just trying to live from day to day, and I think they see how blessed they are to be able to go to college and play lacrosse. It really is a gift to have those four years and to play.”

“We try to go once a year and it’s really fun when it comes down to it,” Ryan Hart said.

He added, “All the brothers we stay with are around our age, being from India, the Phillipines, Africa and we can relate with them and see where our brother came from. They let us play soccer with them and stuff so that was sweet.”

Now becoming their own men, the two brothers also live together during their time in college but make sure that they pay enough visits home to teach their younger brothers and sisters the game of lacrosse and other sports.

“It’s awesome because you have to set the example and people watch you,” Ian Hart said.

Ian added, “Looking up to you and now that we’re older, some of our little brothers are just starting and have been playing lacrosse for a few years now and it’s just cool to see them play and to just know they’re probably going to be better than you are because you’re going to be able to teach them what you know.”

Whenever Theriault turns his head after another practice, he’ll usually come to find the Hart brothers shooting around the net or polishing off their skills just to get that little bit more of practice.

He said with their work ethic it’s likely something that comes with both having such a large and unique family, as well as the religious aspect of it.

The Hart family is much more aware of their two eldest sons’ success on and off the field and said that contribution of their Catholic faith is something that’s been extremely endearing to their lives.

“We’re very proud of them, because they’re working, doing school, playing lacrosse and are still a big part of the family,” Kathy Hart said.

She added, “The effort they put into it is great no matter the outcome in the end.”


Dalton Charest can be contacted at 


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