By Matthew Dunn, Contributing Writer
Spotlight Athlete: Owen Frank
School: Grafton High School
Grafton High School senior and varsity boys’ soccer player Owen Frank gives some insight as to what started his love for the game of soccer, as well as some of his favorite things off the field.
What is your earliest soccer related memory?
“My earliest soccer related memory would be playing in the U5 [under 5 years of age] soccer league in Tennessee for an AYSO [American Youth Soccer Organization] team. I was super tiny, and I remember my coach yelling at us to spread out over and over again. I also remember my tiny little cleats and the really small pugg nets we played on.”
What was it like first trying out for the varsity team?
“It was super intimidating trying out for varsity. I was definitely nervous and of course trying to impress the coach. It was hard because I was smaller than most of the other boys, but I thought that seeing what it was like to play with the big dogs was really important for me.”
What made you choose playing soccer?
“I played many sports when I was younger like lacrosse and basketball, but I was always most interested in soccer. When I lived in England for a few years as a kid I really got into soccer and improved over there. I found out that I had a passion for the game and I would say that my grandfather really encouraged and sparked my love for soccer. We used to chat all the time about soccer when we went to visit him in England.”
What has been the single most memorable game during your time at Grafton High School?
“I think that my most memorable game would be the home, night game against Sutton my sophomore year. It was a huge game for us as Sutton had a very good team at the time. I came on as a sub that game and scored a huge goal to win the game 2-1. I remember the fan section that night was huge, and I’ll never forget that moment.”
What do you most enjoy doing in your spare time?
“I enjoy hanging out with my friends and also fishing whenever I get the chance.”
What is your favorite subject to study, and why?
“My favorite subject would have to be biology. I love learning about the world around us and I plan on majoring in biology in college.”
What is your favorite professional sport or team to watch?
“My favorite team to watch is probably Liverpool F.C. in the Premier League [a high-level English soccer league].”
What book or movie would you most recommend to a friend, and why?
“I would definitely have to recommend the Disney movie McFarland, USA. It is such a great story about a group of school boys that work in the fields of California in a very poor town forming a cross country team and winning the state championship. It is a based on a true story which makes it even better.”
If you could spend the day with any celebrity or historical figure from any time in history, who would it be? Why?
“It would probably be Steven Gerrard, a famous England National Team and Liverpool F.C. soccer player that I watched when I was younger. He was a huge idol for me and was my favorite player in his playing days.”
What is your favorite post-game meal?
“My favorite post game meal is definitely a grilled cheeseburger with lettuce and ketchup.”
What advice would you give a younger student-athlete?
“My advice would be to believe in yourself and your abilities at all times and to have confidence in what you do on the field. I also think that if you really want something you have to work day in, day out to reach that goal.”