Student Spotlight

Varsity Soccer Player Luke Hollingsworth

Luke is running a race against his older brother.  They will run from one end of his street to the other; about a quarter-mile (400m on a track).  His brother, because he’s older, counts them off, “On your marks, get set….” he pauses dramatically, and smiles confidently at Luke.  Luke gives him an exasperated look.  While he’s busy glaring at his brother, his brother shouts, “Go!” and takes off.  

“Come on!” Luke shouts back at his brother, who is already ten feet in front of him.  His brother doesn’t respond; he’s too busy trying to beat Luke.  The ten feet in between them grow to twelve.  Then fifteen.  There are only 100 meters left, and it doesn’t seem like Luke can beat his brother.  He tells himself to go faster, but his legs feel like bricks of lead.  They are barely sustaining his current pace.  He pumps his arms rigorously, and nothing happens.  His brother crosses the finish line, triumphant.  Several seconds trudge by, and Luke finally finishes.  Even though he lost, he wasn’t going to abandon the race.  

“1:10 seconds for me and 1:20 for you.  Great job!” His brother enthusiastically slaps Luke on the back.  Luke is not happy. 

His brother played soccer from elementary school to high school, and Luke followed suit.  He was involved in every soccer game at recess, and joined a club team when he was seven.  He has been on the boys soccer team for all four years of high school, which “has been really rewarding” for Luke because it has given him the chance “to let loose and have fun.” Although he loves winning, enjoying the game is really important to him because it keeps him coming back to the sport and not burning out.  Many players find drills tedious, but Luke doesn’t mind them because they give him an opportunity to focus and play to the best of his ability.  He believes that “no matter where you go, you just gotta give it your all and go as hard as you can.”  

In addition to soccer, Luke plays baseball.  He has applied his principals from soccer to baseball, which has helped him be a stronger baseball player.  Last year, almost all the players from Luke’s club soccer team graduated, which destroyed the team.  As a result, he switched his emphasis from soccer to baseball, which was initiated by the need to choose a sport for college.  Through baseball and soccer, Luke has become a more rounded athlete, and better at forming “quick bonds,” which are necessary in the athletic world for a team to do well.  Often, players are smushed together into a team for a two day tournament or for a couple of weeks, and Luke tries to “build relationships” for it to “go a lot better”.  Then we can have better play, and I can have a lot more fun.”  Although he loves playing soccer-especially during soccer season- he won’t take it further than high school.  

That being said, Luke “still love[s] the game of soccer, and” he “still love[s] baseball.”  His primary emphasis this year in soccer is to help younger players grow so the team will be just as tough next year when he and several other seniors graduate.  He believes “as long as everyone is pushing themselves, we can do well and do the best we can.”  This is a bit challenging for him because Luke is very quiet and isn’t a strong communicator.  In order to achieve his goal, he needs to work on being more vocal.  

Despite this, Luke will probably never give up on his goals.  Also, he’s now faster than 1:10 for a quarter mile.  And when he loses to his brother, “well, I guess it’s just like: I’ll beat him the next time!”