Gameday+ | Meet a Buckeye: Jack Holland, men's soccer

Ray Stein
Buckeye Xtra
Air transportation major Jack Holland gets equal thrills from scoring a goal in soccer and making a perfect landing in an airplane. [Kyle Robertson/Dispatch]

Jack Holland

Sport: Men’s soccer

Age: 22

Year: Senior

Hometown: Dublin (Coffman H.S.)

Major: Air transportation

Question: Did you know there is another soccer-playing Jack Holland? He is the 27-year-old captain (and fan favorite, apparently) of the fifth-tier English club Bromley. Heard of him?

Answer: I was not aware of that! That is awesome, though. I hope our fans think the same of me as they do him!

Q: How closely do you follow world soccer? Is there one league in particular that interests you?

A: I am heavily into world soccer. I love nothing more than to catch up with games around the world on Saturday mornings. You can’t beat the English Premier League; I am a Manchester City supporter, so that league is my go-to.

Q: How do you feel about Major League Soccer?

A: I love MLS. I follow the Crew and love getting to their games when I can. I was fortunate enough to train with the Portland Timbers for a few days, so I support them, too!

Q: As a central Ohioan and a soccer player, should I assume that you’re happy that the Crew was saved?

A: I am so happy. The venue for their new stadium looks amazing. I can’t wait to cheer them on there.

Q: Let’s switch to your game. In your first three years at Ohio State you played 40 games and had one goal. Yet this year you already have three goals and four assists. What’s gotten into you?

A: I finally got enough confidence and patience. I know I’ve had this skill the whole time; it just took a little longer for my work to pay off. I also think the way coach (Brian Maisonneuve) has instilled confidence with me and my teammates makes playing easy. I am grateful for them making my job easy and fun.

Q: How much of your success can be attributed to your being more comfortable in your role?

A: It is everything. Now that I have this confidence, I can lead more by example. I can play better and hold myself and my teammates to a higher standard, bringing everyone up.

Q: As a team, things obviously are going much better than they did a year ago when you were 1-15-2; do you sense some relief among your teammates?

A: I do feel relief, but I think the better word is hunger. We are happy that things are better, but we know we can achieve more. Our eyes are not just on being better than last year. We want the Big Ten and NCAA tournaments.

Q: Who among your teammates does the best job of keeping everybody loose when things aren’t going well, and how does he do it?

A: For me it’s (goalkeeper) Parker Siegfried. He’s a jokester. Whether he is showing off his horrible dance moves or making fun of his balding hair line, he lightens up the room and gives us all a laugh.

Q: Do you consider yourself a happy-go-lucky type of player, or do you tend to be more serious?

A: I am way more of a serious player as far as on the field. When I cross that white line, it’s time to go to work. That’s how I’ve always been. I am ultracompetitive, so when it’s time to play, I get really serious and intense.

Q: Do you have any superstitions, rituals, etc., before you play?

A: The only rituals I have really are to pray right when I get on the field and tape my right wrist. The tape covers some special wristbands I have worn for years; I need them on to feel at ease when I am playing.

Q: What was your home life like growing up? I know you have two younger brothers, Luke and Ben.

A: Luke is 19, a sophomore at the University of Dayton, and Ben is 16, a junior in high school. Growing up with them was great. They are a pain in the butt, and I had to be hard on them sometimes, but they are my best friends now that we have gotten older. Being a role model to them makes me proud.

Q: How did your parents deal with three active boys in the house? Were there, um, accidents — broken furniture, shattered vases, etc.?

A: There was more than one occasion of broken items from us playing sports in the house. I won’t comment on who broke them (Luke) but my mom would often send us outside and make us run around the block. They also let us have wrestling matches in the living room with my dad, which a highlight of growing up.

Q: What sports did you play growing up?

A: I played football, basketball, swimming, diving, baseball, soccer and lacrosse. If there was a class or a team for it, I did it. As I got older, lacrosse and soccer took over.

Q: Are you a music fan? What artists are filling your headphones these days?

A: I’m a huge music fan. I love all types, but country is my favorite. Luke Combs fills my headphones most nowadays.

Q: What about video games? Some college students, I know, somehow find the time to play now and again. Are you among them?

A: I actually never play video games. I’m more of a movie guy if I have time to relax.

Q: You announced that you were going to Ohio State early in your senior year of high school; who else recruited you, and what tipped the scales in OSU’s favor?

A: I also got recruited by the Air Force Academy, Northwestern, Dayton and Loyola Chicago. You cannot beat the resources OSU has. And it was close to home and my family. That was huge for me, but the culture and connectedness OSU has is amazing. You cannot find it anywhere else.

Q: On a scale of 1 to 10, how much have you learned about yourself from your freshman year to your senior year?

A: I could give it a 100.

Q: Let’s talk about your major, air transportation. What does that translate to as far as a career?

A: I will be set up to become a military, corporate or commercial pilot.

Q: How long have you been interested in flying?

A: Within the past four or five years. Air Force was the first school to offer me, so I knew I liked it. When OSU offered me, I knew they had a great aviation program and their airport is right by my house, so it was an easy decision.

Q: Should I assume you’ve logged some hours in the cockpit? If yes, how many and what sort of planes have you flown and where?

A: I have about 40 hours of flying and I am weeks away from getting my full private pilot license. I have flown the Cessna 172, the Diamond Star DA40, and Diamond Star DA20. I also have a few hours in a glider, too, which was fun!

Q: What’s a better feeling, scoring a goal in soccer or getting a perfect landing in an airplane?

A: That’s too hard of a question. It’s a tie. Scoring is an amazing, exciting feeling. But landing nicely and knowing I did not hurt myself or the plane is very cool, too. They both are great outlets for me — the two things I love most!