By KELLEN TANIGUCHI on May 19, 2021.
Holden Lehr is graduating from Monsignor McCoy High School and is making the trip to Lethbridge on a scholarship to play for the University of Lethbridge Pronghorns men’s soccer team this fall.
The UBC Okanagan Heat also made an offer to Lehr, but he decided to play for the Pronghorns because it was closer to home and he has a sense of familiarity with the team.
“The coach knew my dad because he used to play there, so he would come down and watch some of my games and it escalated from there, and I started going to a bunch of camps and combines and from there he offered me a scholarship at the University of Lethbridge,” said Holden. “I was really excited because I used to play down in Lethbridge, and I know some of the kids that are on the team now and it’ll be fun to play with them.”
Hugh Lehr, Holden’s dad, played for the Pronghorns’ soccer team from 1992-96 under head coach Randy Bardock, who is still coaching the team.
“It’s pretty cool. Randy looked after me when I was a kid going to university and I’m comforted and know he’ll take care of Holden as well,” said Hugh. “I’m glad Holden got an opportunity to experience the sport that he’s good at and likes at a high level and he still gets to play.”
Holden is a central midfielder, and he says he brings something to the table that separates him from the rest of the players at his position.
“I bring my creativity and my play making skills,” he said. “I can see the game from a totally different perspective. My ability to create plays and set up my teammates is what sets me apart from the other midfielders.”
The 17-year-old has played soccer since he was four years old and he’s played for the Rattlers Academy Soccer Club in the Hat since he was 12.
Holden played soccer in Grade 11 at McCoy and he also played on the basketball and volleyball teams. He said although there was no competition this year, he was still able to stay in shape and work on his game.
“At school, we haven’t been able to play games, but practices for volleyball and basketball have been a thing and those two things at McCoy have really helped me out. I’ve been using my home gym and I’ve been going to the local soccer fields around my house â€¦ lots of things that are keeping me active for sure,” said Holden.
Holden says his basketball coach at McCoy, B.J. Melle, has played a large role in his sports career. Melle developed Holden as a leader and has helped throughout the whole process even though he’s his basketball coach.
Holden is enrolled in business at the U of L and he says he’s just excited to get back on the field and compete.
“I’m dying,” he said with a laugh. “I really want to play again. I’m excited to play at this new level at university, I’ve never experienced it or know what to expect but I’m hoping I can fit right in and I’m up for the challenge.”