We recently heard from former Loughborough Grammar School pupil and FirstPoint USA client, Ryan Holland. Ryan was amongst our Class of 2015 and a received an offer from Feather River College, California. Having now completed his time at FRC, Ryan tells us that he received over 15 D1 scholarship offers for his remaining two years of college, and is delighted to say that he has signed to Penn State University. Here, Ryan tells us about his time at FRC and his experiences as a student athlete.
Ryan states that he has had a great two years at FRC, noting, “the reason why I enjoyed it so much was due to the fact that there was such a great emphasis on success and how to be the best you can be, both as an athlete and a student.” Ryan also says throughout his time at FRC, he has made some great friends many of which will remain life-long friends, from countries such as the UK, USA, Norway and Australia.
Talking about the facilities at FRC, Ryan notes that they are not as big and professional than that of the four year schools, but are fantastic for a Junior College. Stating, “we have spacious and habitable dormitories which are only a five-minute stroll from campus. The athletic facilities are great, with a manicured soccer field and excellent trainer staff. The college is set in the most stunning location, albeit the town is a little small and quite a drive from the bigger towns. But, if you come here to work hard and train hard, you will enjoy your time here.”
With regard to his second year, Ryan states there has been a number of highlights, but says the biggest was making the All-Regional team, and being ranked No. 4 as a team in the state. Ryan also tells us that the team’s greatest sporting achievement was making it to the Elite 8 in the California Community College Athletic Association (CCCAA), and being ranked No. 8 in the nation.
Upon first beginning life as a student athlete, Ryan tells us that it can be difficult to balance your time between commitments; “you are playing soccer three hours a day, with three hours of class, and then doing in homework in the evenings.” However, Ryan states that once you come to terms with it all, you are able to start managing your time better, allowing everything to balance out and still be left with time to socialise. Ryan also adds, “everyone on campus is in the same position so you find that it all becomes the norm, we all support each other with work commitments and obviously, team commitments.”
We asked Ryan if he had had the opportunity to work whilst out in the states. He tells us that he hasn’t really had the time to work so far, but notes, “there are a lot of internationals, especially on my team, that worked on campus to reduce the amount they had to play in college fees.”
Having made the transition from Freshman to Sophomore, we asked Ryan if he felt there was a big jump with regards to playing soccer at the different stages. He said, “the jump wasn’t too bad to be honest, but the main difference was definitely having more seniority and responsibility in the team. We had to lead the freshman to better the successes we had in first year.”
Finally, we asked Ryan if he had any advice for prospective student athletes…
“If you don’t have a stand out D1 or D2 scholarship offer to a good school, then take the Junior College route as it gives you a better chance of broadcasting your success and ability to a wider audience; and in turn, will give you a chance of better offers. It became apparent once I arrived at Feather River, that the preference for bigger colleges is for you to have come through the Junior College route as it shows commitment that you want to stay in the USA, and that you have some experience to bring to the table.”
We’d like to thank Ryan for sharing his experiences of college life with us so far, and we’d like to wish him the best of luck for the remainder of his studies at Penn State University.