The photographs included in our workshop video recap were taken by students in the photojournalism track.
By Avery Colbert
Sports Writing Track
Clearwater High School
Humility is not something to be expected from someone as talented as Kansas State center Adam Holtorf.
He revealed his character as he talked about everything from his upbringing to his experiences in three years of college football.
“As years went by I’ve definitely had to assume more and more of a leadership role.” Holtorf said. “And as that’s happened, I’ve had to become more vocal which is something that at some times has been hard for me to do. But as a senior and because I have that experience, and on top of a coaching change, a lot of people will look to me to hold people accountable.”
Holtorf understands that there will be differences on the field and in the locker room this fall since legendary coach Bill Snyder retired.
“There will be some changes especially in terms of what we put on the field. Things will change somewhat from what we’ve had in the past which I think we all expected from Coach Snyder retiring,” Holtorf said.
But he also knows that the only way to make the next season work is by welcoming the change and being willing to push through it. It also encourages him that new coach Chris Klieman and Snyder share similar philosophies: Do the right thing and be on time.
“They both stressed the importance of who we are off the field. Are we going to class, getting good grades, are we on time.” Holtorf said. “These are things that Coach Snyder always stressed and were some of the first things that Coach Klieman mentioned…. They’re very similar in terms of what they expect from their players.”
As far as how the changes in leadership will affect the team when it comes to actually playing the game, Holtorf expects for there to be differences in execution on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball.
“Klieman pulled aside about 10 of us, mainly upperclassmen, to sit down with us to say ‘this is how I envision this going’ and asking about how we’ve done things in the past as well as asking how we’d like things to go in the future,” Holtorf said.
Despite saying goodbye to Snyder, who was a huge part of Holtorf’s life and football career, he doesn’t worry about losing his starting position on the team because he doesn’t expect it in the first place.
“I feel secure enough to not worry about losing it [starting position],” Holtorf said. “But I also don’t expect anything just because I’ve had it for two years before. I still push myself because I don’t want to become complacent. It’s not a feeling of insecurity in my abilities — I just want to earn it. Things are never set in stone. I know that it’s nothing to be taken lightly or to take for granted.”
Holtorf said that many of the players on the team also share his mentality, and so the projections for them to place ninth in the Big 12 is something that “a lot of us guys really take to heart and we push ourselves that much more. We know that we’re better than what those projections have us at and that we have the talent to win more than we’re expected to.”
By Lillian Mulder
Sports Writing Track
St. James Academy
Kansas State midfielder Laramie Hall spends most of her time playing soccer for the Wildcats.
But one of her favorite childhood memories has nothing to do with soccer – mutton busting.
“It’s really weird,” Hall said. “They put you in the chute with the sheep already in there, shut the door you get situated and then the door is opened. And you ride the sheep.”
Hall would travel 45 minutes each way to her nearest rodeo and win money for her mutton-busting skills.
But riding sheep and soccer were not the only sports Hall played at a young age, although she said soccer was her first.
“It was actually a funny story… my first soccer game was co-ed, so at my first game I was out there on the field and I walk up and kiss this boy that was on the other team. My mother was mortified,” said Hall, who is from Oklahoma City.
Hall was part of Kansas State’s first women’s soccer team.
Most important to her is the relationships she has built with her teammates. They spend 10 hours a week year-round together for training and practice.
“It’s a support system, because they are really the only people that truly know what you are going through,” Hall said.
She has found a core group of people, inside and out of the soccer scene, as well.
She has also found a life filled with Jesus living through her. It’s not easy because the atmosphere of college can lead people a certain way.
“Don’t fall into that trap,” she said. “I did and it was awful. You have to make your college experience what you want. Make it the best you can, and make it last as long as possible. And keep your goals in mind.”