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The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Texas State soccer brings together family ties

Meg Boles
Texas State head coach Steve Holeman with his daughter, freshman forward Anna Mae Holeman, Thursday, Oct. 5, 2023, at Bobcat Soccer Complex.

In Spring 2023, coaching Texas State soccer became a bit more personal for head coach Steve Holeman.

Heading into the start of her collegiate career, Holeman’s daughter freshman forward Anna Mae Holeman had explored a few other schools, but the more she pursued Texas State the more connected she felt.

Through attending training camps hosted by Texas State, she became friends with players who were already on the team and became familiar with the program culture. Soon, she knew the Bobcat soccer program was the right choice for her.

Anna Mae committed to Texas State after finishing her high school career at Lumberton High School in Lumberton, Texas. This came just after her father concluded his first year as the second ever head coach of the Bobcat Soccer program.

“Texas State was definitely a good fit for me, I was looking into playing at Texas State before my dad was even offered the job,” Anna Mae said. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of athletes who don’t get the coaches they quite expected, so I felt pretty confident in knowing the coaches and staff ahead of time.”

Anna Mae said when coming to Texas State, she didn’t want to be placed under any stereotypes or experience any favoritism. Choosing this school was simply viable for her and her career, and having her family present to begin her collegiate and athletic career added a level of comfort.

“It’s [been] really great, I think that how [Coach Holeman] is as a dad and how he is as a coach definitely correlate,” Anna Mae said. “He’s not one to yell and he takes time to explain the tactical side of things- I really respect his coaching style and the experience he has.”

Anna Mae said she believes there is a distinction in her and her father’s relationship on and off the field. Coach Holeman said one of his many objectives as a coach is to treat her no differently than any other player, however, finding that balance comes with its own set of challenges.

“Sometimes I find myself being more demanding of her,” Coach Holeman said. “If she does something really well, I feel like if I compliment her in front of others it might feel like favoritism, [so] I have to balance it.”

Junior defender Lucy Hart said she alongside many other teammates have hardly noticed a shift in the team dynamic, due to the father daughter relationship.

“Honestly I don’t really notice that she’s his daughter on or off the field,” Hart said.

With the Sun Belt Conference spotlight, Anna Mae has had to deal with hate coming from outsiders, however, she found that focusing on ignoring the negativity allows herself to make the most of her somewhat unusual college experience.

While living on campus and utilizing her resources on and off the pitch, Anna Mae keeps herself occupied, and has earned herself a team role through her performance and dedication alone.

“[Receiving hate] happens,” Anna Mae said. “Just like anything, there’s always going to be people who don’t know the whole story. They’ve never seen me play or my dynamic, how hard I can work or what I can do.”

Anna Mae said she has no plans to step back from soccer. She had the opportunity to pursue track and field as well, but stuck with the ladder due to its team aspect and the effect playing soccer has on her mental health.

Since pairing up with her father and the Bobcat soccer program, her mantra has been to work as hard as she can while trusting that she’s in the right place this is what allows her to block out any mental obstacles.

“[What other people think] doesn’t really bother me because they don’t know my story,” Anna Mae said. “All they know is my name from a sheet of paper. I don’t hold any weight to what they say.”

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