The Road from Midwest City, OK to Louisiana Tech
By Francesca Pietrantonio
The “College Soccer Journeys” segment tells the true stories of former EXACT Soccer College Training Camp athletes pursuing their dreams of playing college soccer. If you are interested in being featured in “College Soccer Journeys”, or you would like to nominate someone to be featured, email EXACT Sports at Director@EXACTSports.com.
For Brooklynn Speis, the lifelong dream of playing college soccer will become a reality in Fall 2016. The rising senior from Midwest City, OK recently verbally committed to attend Louisiana Tech University to play Division I soccer under the leadership of Coach Kevin Sherry.
Speis launched her college journey when she attended her first EXACT Soccer College Training Camp in Dallas, TX in 2013. It was there that she met and trained with Coach Sherry for the first time. The connection was immediate for Speis, as she recalls being particularly drawn to Coach Sherry’s passionate style of coaching despite meeting over a dozen coaches that day.
“His training session was my favorite. Even though he just met me, he gave me very helpful pointers, and pushed me to be better,” Speis said. “I could tell that he really cared about his players. At the end of the day, I thanked him for a great session and even got a picture with him.”
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After this first EXACT Soccer Camps experience, Speis was motivated and ready to dive head first into her college search.
“The EXACT Soccer Camp not only gave me exposure to some of the best college coaches around, it taught me the mental side of soccer which I had never thought about. It also gave me new tools to start my recruiting adventure,” said Speis.
For the rest of her sophomore and junior years, Speis launched into a college search that would include researching and contacting dozens of college coaches and programs.
“I went on over 14 unofficial visits looking for the right fit for me. I was looking for a team that was truly bonded because I know I’ll spend the next 4 years with these girls,” she said. “We'll room together, play together, and spend every waking moment that isn't in the classroom together and I want to remember these years as some of the best years of my life.”
Speis’s development on the field progressed as well. She led the Carl Albert High School soccer team with 31 goals and 20 assists during her freshman and sophomore seasons as a forward. In her junior year, Speis changed positions and became one of the top midfielders in the state of Oklahoma, recording 9 goals and 7 assists.
Speis’s success on the field garnered attention from a number of college coaches including Coach Sherry, who had been following her development. Coach Sherry reconnected with her in her junior year.
“He sent me an email and said he remembered me from the EXACT Camp, and of course I remembered him,” Speis said.
“I went on a visit my junior year and met the team and got to sit down with Coach Sherry one-on-one. I absolutely loved it.”
After her visit to Louisiana Tech, Speis agonized over a final decision for two weeks. She’d gained serious interest from multiple colleges through her search and had a lot to consider.
Finally, a decision became clear. She trusted her gut, and on the morning of June 5th, Speis knew just what to do.
“I woke up that morning and just knew,” Speis recalled. “I woke up at 7 AM and at 8 AM I called Coach Sherry and committed!”
Team fit was always a high priority for Speis, and she worked hard to find the right fit. Her connection with the Lousiana Tech players and Coach Sherry played a key role in her decision.
“From the start, I knew I liked [Coach Sherry] as a person and loved him as a coach, but during my visit I couldn’t believe how great the team was. They were truly my deciding factor,” she said. “The collective leadership Coach Sherry has implemented has created a team of mentors with such a strong bond they’re more like family. I knew then and there that LA Tech was the right fit for me.”
With her decision made, Speis is focusing her attention on her soccer training and her senior year. But mostly, she is excited and looking ahead to her future on and off the field at Louisiana Tech.
“Honestly, I can’t see myself anywhere else. I am so very thankful to all of my coaches, friends, family and supporters for helping me get to this point. But I am most thankful to the EXACT Soccer Camp for preparing me. I am so grateful,” said Speis.