Borden’s Grant Hollkamp has been named on the Olympic Development Program’s Midwest Region 2 team for the second time.
The diminutive 14-year-old southern Indiana attacking midfielder was among 18 players selected for the ’97 team following his performance at the ODP camp in DeKalb, Illinois recently.
Hollkamp’s age group comprised 400 players from 14 states and those who impressed were invited to participate in the ‘holdover’ pool for an additional period of training.
This was the first year the U14s played together as one, as opposed to being split into older and younger pools. That made the task of selection even harder, but Hollkamp said making the region team was a goal he set himself after last year’s experience.
“I knew the competition was going to be very tough and I put a lot of work in to getting selected,” said the Mockingbird player.
Hollkamp will fly out for training and games at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. from November 24-28. The team will also travel to an international event next year, possibly in Costa Rica or Spain.
Before that, you should be able to catch the 8th grader in action locally when he togs out for Louisville Collegiate’s junior varsity team at Jeffersonville, ahead of the varsity game, on September 29.
Hollkamp’s coach at Collegiate, Brad Davies, said he feels his small size has actually been a benefit to his player development.
“Most players at his age who are named to the regional and national teams are physically dominant — they have matured faster physically than their peers,’ said Davies. “As a result, they rely on their size and speed instead of developing the more difficult elements of the game — the technical and tactical elements.”
Davies added that as a result of his size, Hollkamp has had to dedicate his energies to developing the technical and tactical elements of his game.
“The result is a technically strong and tactically savvy player who is a few steps ahead of the game mentally,” he said. “Grant is always looking for feedback and for opportunities to improve. His growth mindset will be what enables him to realize his dreams of playing soccer in college and as a pro.
“Grant isn’t even close to becoming the player he wants to be and can be, but he has the mindset and dedication to get there, which is why he is such a joy to coach and guide as a player and a person.”