By Chris Cox
Like most kids, Duncan sophomore Kierney Holthaus began playing soccer when she was young.
“I’d say I started playing when I was about 6,” she says. “My older brother played so I was always watching him play and wanted to try it.”
While a lot of kids play soccer, not many stick with it for over a decade. For Holthaus there are several things about soccer that appeal to her and developed her passion for the sport.
“I love being outside and not in a gym,” she says. “The whole game brings me joy. Finding people you like playing with also helps you play for a long time. With school sports, you can really build those bonds because you’re around your teammates every day and going through the same things as them. That really helps you build relationships with them.”
Even though she is a sophomore, Duncan has a fairly young roster and, because of that, Holthaus says she wants to be more of a leader this year. To lead a team effectively, Holthaus knows she has to show good character on and off the field.
“Character is a big part of the game,” she says. “You have to show good character on and off the field if you want to lead. If you try to tell someone what to do but then they see you doing something you shouldn’t do, you lose credibility. Character is a big thing and you have to show good character to be taken seriously.”
One person Kierney credits with helping her know what character looks like is her teammate Callen Villagrana.
“She’s just a good person on and off the field,” she says. “She’s always encouraging everyone while also pushing them to be their best. I think she’s just a good person to look up to.”
Outside of soccer, Kierney is a member of the Duncan volleyball and basketball teams. She is also a part of Duncan’s leadership class and student council and is a part of her church student leadership group. While she still has a couple of years left in high school, Holthaus knows college is in her future.
“I want to go college somewhere,” she says. “I don’t know what I want to study yet but I’m sure I’ll figure it out over the next couple of years.”