News-Sun photo by DAN HOEHNE Heather Bloemsma is all smiles Thursday after making it official and signing her letter of intent to attend and play soccer at Erskine College.
published: Sunday, February 17, 2013
Bloemsma's path leads to Erskine
By DAN HOEHNE
SEBRING - For some, only a certain college will do, whether it be from a family legacy or a rooting allegience, though a course of study isn't certain.
For others, the options are open, and their search is to find the best fit for their objective.
Former Blue Streak soccer standout Heather Bloemsma is in that latter group, and she a virtual plethora of options as to where to play.
Thanks to her performances at Sebring and in travel ball, which earned her a place in the 2nd Annual PostYourT North South All-Star match coming in early March, and a brief time on a scouting website, her name and ability got out there and Bloemsma had dozens upon dozens of offers coming in.
"Some schools were making it a point to call on a weekly basis," older sister and former college player herself, Jessica said.
But in sifting through the cavalcade of invitations, one thing kept coming up that wasn't finding a match.
Whereas many high school seniors, up through their first couple or three years of college, aren't sure the path they want to take, academically, Bloemsma has her sights set on a degree in Special Education.
"The thing is, even if I forgot about playing and went to a school like Florida, they don't have a four-year program for it," she said. "It's more of a general education program, and then a fifth year where the concentration is then on Special Education."
But NCAA Division II Erskine College in Due West, SC did have a four-year degree program, and they just happened to be one of those schools she'd been hearing from.
Familiar with the area from her time working up there at Camp Joy, her visit to Erskine served as a reminder.
"The scenery is amazing on campus and around South Carolina," she said. "All red brick buildings, big, beautiful trees and the grass is so green."
Meeting with the coach and this past year's team captains from the Flying Fleet, who play in the Carolinas Conference, the ever-hard working Bloemsma got the feeling she was welcome.
"Their coach is from Scotland and I really enjoyed his accent, even if he was hard to follow sometimes," she giggled. "But he seems like a very aggresive coach, they type who will put the peope in who work for it, regardless of your year. And the captains were really nice, and you could tell they were hard workers."
Her time with the Blue Streaks saw her perform predominantly on defense, with even a brief stint in goal for a portion of a game this past season.
But as is the case in her travel ball experience, Bloemsma expects to be used mostly at midfield.
"I think that's what they're thinking, with maybe a little center and mid," she said. "But I'll play anywhere, even in goal, so long as I can get a chance to play."
Which of course, is her main athletic goal.
"I really look forward to improving and get to a different level of play," Bleomsma "It'll will be a nice achievement to be able to say I'm playing soccer in college.
"I had knee surgery in 2010, and am pretty much recovered and confident in kicking, sliding and running," she continued. "Though I haven't fully gotten my speed back, which I want to get to and I'm sure I will. They've already sent me a workout program for the summer which I'll be following."
Her academic ideals firmly in mind, the athletic goals plainly in sight, Heather Bloemsma eagerly awaits the next chapter.
"It's just going to be neat, the college experience. Meeting new people and being on my own."
The path is a lot more direct when one knows where they are going.
Small Banner Ads