Ryan Birchfield is a former FirstPoint USA client and has just completed the second year of his soccer scholarship at Feather River College (FRC), California. Ryan hails from Ipswich and is a former pupil of Chantry High School. We recently caught up with Ryan and he gave us an update on his experiences out in the states so far, and offered some advice for any prospective student athletes.
Ryan tells us that he has thoroughly enjoyed his time at FRC stating, “for men who are trying to play at a high standard and transfer to a top 4-year school, Feather River College is the place to be.” The highlight of Ryan’s Sophomore year was beating Clovis, to make it through to the 3rd round of playoffs (Elite 8) for the second year in a row. Ryan tells us his team unfortunately lost in the next round, but tells us it was a great experience. Also, having made two consecutive appearances in the Elite 8 of California, Ryan tells us this made the class of 2017 the most successful in FRC’s men’s soccer history.
The soccer facilities at FRC are amazing, Ryan tells us; the school boasts two training fields as well as a match day field. Ryan states this is a real bonus as the weather can be quite bad in winter, so this gives the student athletes the option to rotate fields to be able to keep up practices. However, Ryan states the school also has an indoor training facility too, which is beneficial if the weather gets really bad.
Ryan tells us that he has really enjoyed his Sophomore year at FRC. Having an extra year of experience over the new Freshmen makes a big difference, and Ryan states that this extra experience can be used to push yourself to the next level. Throughout his time at FRC, Ryan tells us that he has not worked whilst studying, but does say that he is soon due to transfer to Lipscomb University, Tennessee, where he will be working at an ID camp in July.
Student athletes can often find it difficult to find the right balance between studying, training and socialising; Ryan tells us how he’s found this. He states, when not in classes or at soccer, most of his time was spent in the library to keep on top of his work. Ryan noted that this was a bit tedious throughout the semester, but his hard work paid off as he graduated with a 3.78 GPA.[caption id="attachment_11371" align="aligncenter" width="588"] Lipscomb University[/caption]
Finally, Ryan offered some advice for any prospective student athletes who may be thinking of heading out to the states. Ryan stated…
“Have an open mind, don’t go into the process expecting to end up in Paradise; not everybody always loves it. When you get over to the states, work as hard as you can, on and off the field, it will benefit you hugely in the future.”
We’d like to thank Ryan for updating us on his progress so far. We would like to wish him the best of luck for his transfer to Lipscomb University and for the remainder of his university career out in the states.