Lincoln Wallace, Adventurous Student Athlete
ASU Prep Digital student and California native Lincoln Wallace doesn’t come from a soccer-playing family, but when his dad was deployed in the military, his mom got him involved in a soccer camp. He jokes that at the young age of five, “everyone’s good,” but Lincoln really was good and has continued to play competitively since.
Playing as a midfielder, Lincoln is positioned between the defenders and the forwards, being involved in both assists and attacks. “A midfielder has to be diverse,” he explains, and that seems to be Lincoln’s take on life as he broadens his experiences, trying new things and learning important lessons.
Skillfully Managing Soccer and School
Lincoln was attending his local public high school and playing on a club soccer team when he was invited to play at a tournament in Spain, which is how he spent the first few months of his freshman year. Then a summer soccer tournament took him to Germany, and shortly after returning to the United States, the International Soccer Academy invited him to come play for the Integrated Academy U17 team at the prestigious Bundesliga soccer club Hertha Berlin.
Within days of the invitation, Lincoln was heading back to Germany to train with other talented 16- and 17-year-old players from around North America. Registered in ASU Prep Digital’s flexible online school program, he was also set up to successfully complete his sophomore year.
Lincoln thrives on the independence this experience has granted him, explaining, “My favorite part is having to manage my own day. I’ve got to go to two trainings, but besides that, I could go to the store or I could do school. I could just do anything on my own time, which is really nice.”
Lincoln says that all of his ASU Prep Digital teachers were really nice and easy to contact, always there to help if needed. His favorite classes were Forensic Science and Spanish, and he says he looks forward to trying something new by taking Photography next year.
“My favorite part is having to manage my own day. I’ve got to go to two trainings, but besides that, I could go to the store or I could do school. I could just do anything on my own time, which is really nice.”
Living away from home and family while juggling soccer and school seems like it could be a really challenging experience for a 16-year-old, but Lincoln insists it was relatively easy.
“What makes it worth it for me is I’ve always wanted to play soccer all day and just keep improving. I’ve improved on everything like soccer, meeting new people, getting comfortable in new spaces and situations.”
When it comes to big life lessons, Lincoln says, “Well, I always say if you fail or if you mess up, the only thing that matters is your reaction. It works on and off the field. Like for example, you lose the ball on the field or if you get a C on a test, you can’t do anything about it. It’s the reaction after. You train or study harder.”
Considering that motto, Lincoln reflects on his favorite moment from his eight months in Berlin: a comeback against RB Leipzig’s academy team. “Early in the year, we lost to them. Then, right before the end of the year, we went back. They’re a really big club, one of the biggest. As a team, we all worked so hard, and we demonstrated everything we learned the whole year, and we beat them! It was just a really great experience.” Lincoln will cherish not only the big win but the chance to feel like a professional player competing against a prominent team at an impressive arena with a photographer in tow to capture every special moment.
“I’ve improved on everything like soccer, meeting new people, getting comfortable in new spaces and situations.”
Lincoln is back home in Southern California for summer break, although he’s still working hard. He’s signed up for boxing class and plans to run track, hoping that mixing up his training will help him to become an even better soccer player, more coordinated with faster acceleration and quicker movements.
Also on Lincoln’s to-do list: participating in the Nexen Manchester City Cup in San Diego, an annual youth soccer tournament that hosts over 10,000 players, ages 6-18.
More than pleased with his experience at Hertha Berlin with “the awesome atmosphere, fans, facilities, players, and coaches—everything” and his academic success with ASU Prep Digital, Lincoln will return to Hertha Berlin in the fall, working toward his ultimate goal of playing professionally in Europe.