Alyssa Holladay Guides Her Teammates Into a Promising Season


Becca Heiniger

Alyssa Holladay (12) has shown remarkable leadership in all sports she takes part in, which has earned her title of Captain of the MSHS Girls’ Soccer team. Her goal for this year is to keep the team tight-knit and connected throughout the whole season.

Mia Heiniger, Reporter

Alyssa Holladay (12) is Manitou Springs High School’s (MSHS) Girls’ Soccer Captain, along with Brooklyn Mack (12) and Ava Spangler (11). Holladay started on varsity her freshman year, taking the position of center back. Holladay has grown comfortable with her new position on the field from experience. Finding a voice is typically hard as a freshman, but since then, Holladay has grown into a leader. Her leadership skills have led to her being a captain for the girls’ basketball team as well. “I do think that being a captain fits me. I feel very comfortable with responsibility and leadership,” Holladay said. Both the teammates and coaches of the soccer team agree that Holladay fits her leadership role as a captain.

To begin practice, the captains lead both JV and varsity players in a warm up. This is a simple tradition that most teams have. The leadership that shows through the captains urges the rest of the players to stick with it as they push themselves. Towards the end of basketball season, soccer and basketball start to overlap each other. Being captain of girl’s basketball, Holladay had to finish her basketball season before going into soccer. Missing out on the first week of soccer practices left both Mack and Holladay missing a game. As the basketball season ended, both captains came into practice with complete excitement.

Though Holladay has continuously played on varsity throughout all of high school, she has improved into the player she is now. Holladay has expanded her level of footwork and endurance. Mentally, Holladay has stayed positive and assertive throughout the years. She is considerate of the team and she encourages them to always do their best. Coach Ben Mack said, “She’s gotten better and better. Her decision making is really good and her confidence has grown a lot.” Holladay has pushed herself to be the best she can, which shows through her leadership on the field.

As Holladay grows in her leadership and soccer skills, so has the team. “Having new players, especially freshman, on varsity is exciting. They add a completely new level to our play and encourage everyone to improve,” she said. As a captain, Holladay invites and challenges new players on and off the field, and to see herself grow through all four years has kept her to continue and encourage her teammates as they grow too.

Freshmen joined the team without any former interaction with their teammates, but as the first week progressed, so did the relationships between each player. “Alyssa is great. She stands in the goal during practices and yells at us, which makes us a lot better,” said freshman player, Sophie McKeown. “Off the field she is so easy going. I don’t think anyone has ever made me laugh harder in my life.” Holladay creates new bonds with each player and her character builds each day, bringing new life into the practice.

This year, the team is focused towards being a family and staying connected throughout the whole season. “Anyone leaving [the team] has a huge impact on everyone else. We all love each other,” said Holladay. The team is made up of some of Holladay’s closest friends, which furthers her excitement for the season. She trusts her team and knows they will be successful as they work hard. 

Last season’s goalkeeper was a senior, leaving an opening for new goalies. To stay triumphant for the duration of the season, the team will need to shift their play of the game. The coaches, her teammates, and the community of Manitou understand how strong Holladay is. Last year in particular, she performed a quintessential stunt that left a lasting impact on the team. It showed how powerful and obstinate Holladay is. As she was pulling in to head the ball, another player came directly at her, causing Holladay to break her nose. As she was pulled out, she didn’t want to escape the game. Her love for the game kept her pushing to stay in, although her nose was broken. “She would run through a brick wall for you, she literally broke her nose last year. She just wants to go back in,” said Coach Mack. Holladay stays focused on what is important, her unshakable mentality keeps her going when most would give up.

As Holladay goes into the season, her personality keeps the team entertained as well as focussed. “She brings a really positive vibe, and understands how and when to be serious. She also understands when to be loose and goofy, which earns the respect of her teammates,” said Coach Mack. “She’s really personable and gets along with the girls.” Holladay understands the importance of family within the team and has an amusing spirit that keeps all the players in check.

Holladay puts in a great deal of effort into encourage her team from the start to the finish of the season. As the first games come into play, the team has already bonded into a tight, well working family. Each player that leaves will unquestionably change the team. As the two senior captains leave, there will be a part of the team that will be empty, but it also leaves opportunity for future players to shape the team.