A month before the COVID-19 pandemic started to spread across the country, Colin Holtan attended a soccer camp at Northern Michigan University.
That turned out to be a defining moment that cemented the 2020 Stoughton High School graduate’s status at the collegiate level.
Holtan will continue his soccer career after signing a National Letter of Intent on Saturday, June 20, to play as a preferred walk-on at the Division II school.
“It’s always been my dream to play college soccer,” he said. “I worked hard over my last couple of club and high school seasons. Hopefully I can make it to the NCAA Tournament.”
Holtan helped the Vikings (9-7-2 overall) to a third-place finish in the Badger South Conference with a 4-2-1 mark last season. The defender scored three goals and dished out five assists.
“Colin was an exemplary student and player while at Stoughton,” Vikings boys assistant coach Justin Packard said. “His determination and commitment to his craft and his teammates will have positive effects within the SHS soccer program for years to come.”
Holtan has already started preparing for his first college season by ramping up his conditioning and workouts. He has to report to NMU –located in Marquette, Michigan – on Aug. 7 for COVID-19 testing and preseason training. The team has two preseason games in late August.
The Division II season has been cut down from a maximum of 23 games to 14 games.
Virtual soccer All-Star
Holtan was selected to participate in this year’s Wisconsin Soccer Coaches Association All-Star Game.
Due to the pandemic, the senior showcase game will be simulated through computer programming built into FIFA 20. The games will be simulated by a computer in July.
Each player had to complete a short form to give the game’s programmers the necessary information to create players’ physical characteristics, including how they run and shoot. Every player will be given maximum power. Players were also able to select how they celebrate scoring a goal.
Holtan said he also had to send a photo so the player characteristics could be tailored to him.
“It’s been a dream come true,” he said. “I have always wanted to have a character in the game. It’s cool to get one made and I don’t have to make one that looks like me. It’s truly a blessing.”
Unlike a normal game, there will be no injuries. Since the computer does not substitute evenly, the WSCA has increased the rosters this year from 36 players to 44 for boys and 66 for girls. The extra players will allow for two boys games and three girls games with 11-player teams and no substitutions.
Matt Menzl, the announcer for the WIAA boys and girls soccer state tournaments, will be the announcer for the games.
Yahn taking JUCO route
Former Stoughton baseball player Ethan Yahn announced Wednesday, June 24, via Twitter that he will continue his academic and baseball career at Lamar Community College.
The 6-foot-2 infielder/right-handed pitcher was a starter on last year’s Vikings team.
Lamar Community College is located in Lamar, Colorado.