Olé FA player and Luther College senior defender Harry Merz honoured as 2019 Scholar All-America.
After his time living in residence and playing at Olé FA , Harry Merz is a player who decided to follow the US University pathway. In 2016, Harry left NZ to pursue both his football and education, first at St. Edwards University in Texas, before transferring to Luther College in Iowa.
After 4 years in university, returning to NZ to play for Western Suburbs during his breaks, Harry became a staple in the Luther defensive unit. He finished his time making 68 appearances that included 66 starts. He was named named Luther’s Newcomer of the Year, and was an American Rivers Conference Fall Sports All-Academic Team honoree.
While Harry had success with his football and enjoyed his time playing at Luther, he also excelled off the field, where he has been studying Political Science. As a result, Harry was recently named a 2019 Scholar All-America.
Student-athletes receiving Scholar All-America recognition met the following criteria: Must have a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) or better throughout career; Started more than 50 percent of all games during the 2018 season and significantly contribute to their team; Nominated by head coach of current College Services member institution; Junior or above in academic standing; and, if a transfer student, in second year at school.
Chatting to Harry over the recent NZ Summer break, he was happy with the achievement and said that he worked incredibly hard towards this, and that it was one of his goals. He acknowledged that juggling both soccer and study can be really “full-on,” but possible for the serious student-athlete.
Harry commented on how the lessons he’s learned through soccer apply to all aspects of life. His time at Olé Football Academy was a big part of this, providing him the experience of living away from home, and the guidance and lessons from his coaches and mentors have helped prepare him for life.
After completing his degree, Harry has decided that he wishes to pursue other opportunities, which aren’t soccer related. He has an exciting chance to take on an internship in Washington DC, and may return to do further study in the future.
Olé FA are proud of Harry for everything he’s achieved throughout his time here and in the US, and will continue to stay in touch with him and support his journey.
He is a great example of the pathways and opportunities Olé FA players have to pursue whatever they choose, using football as a medium.