Silver Creek sixth grader Grant Hollkamp has just been named on the Midwest Region 2 1997 (younger) team following an impressive performance at the Olympic Development Program camp in Kansas recently.
The Javanon U13 forward was part of a Kentucky team participating at Overland Park earlier in the month, where some 450 players represented 14 states.
The team lost its first game to Michigan, but finished strongly with wins against South Dakota, Missouri and Ohio.
Players who perform at a high level throughout the week are then asked to holdover for an additional four days of training as part of the regional pool. Hollkamp was one of 24 players selected on this team.
In total, he was in Kansas for 10 days and got to meet and play against some of the Midwest’s best talent, while also benefitting from the expertise of top coaches from Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio.
The Region 2 squad will play in Orlando at the ODP Thanksgiving interregional event against Region 1 (northeast states), Region 3 (southern states) and Region 4 (western states). The team will also play games next spring in Virginia.
Hollkamp said it was a lot of fun to play against the best players at his age and he made a lot of new friends at an amazing venue.
“The new complex in Overland Park has 12 lighted, turf fields and cost $24 million. It was by far the nicest I have ever played on,” he told Kick It.
The players got to watch several World Cup games during the afternoon, and with Barcelona being his favorite club, and Andres Iniesta being his favorite player, it is no surprise to hear he was rooting for Spain to win the tournament after the US departed.
So can he put in an Iniesta type performance and help Region 2 emulate Spanish achievements in November? Hollkamp’s just happy to be there.
“I am really looking forward to playing the other three regional teams in Orlando at Thanksgiving and see how we do,” he said.
ODP is a national program which identifies and develops youth players to represent their state, region and, ultimately, country. ODP teams are formed with each of the 55 US Youth Soccer state associations and four regions.