Black Immigrant Daily News
Three young national athletes recently returned to the island after impressive debuts on the United States collegiate circuit.
Kickstart Rush trio Kyle Lewis, Ethan Squires and Jody Greene departed the island during the summer of 2022 to pursue their athletic and academic ambitions, and from all reports, they have kicked off their college experience on the right foot.
Loop Sports sat down with the young gentlemen as they shared their experiences, challenges and successes in their first semester.
Loop: What is the name of your school and where is it located?
Ethan: I am attending Murray State College which is in Tishomingo Oklahoma.
Jody: I am currently at Southeast Community College in Nebraska.
Kyle: I attend converse university in South Carolina
Loop: Why did you select this school to attend?
Ethan: I chose this school because of how ambitious the coach was in building the program to become a successful one.
Jody: I chose this school because the scholarship offer I received made tuition affordable.
I also believe this school is where I can start my career and education while playing soccer
Kyle: After speaking with the head coach and assessing the program, I decided it was the right step for me in my career.
Loop: What are you studying?
Ethan: I am studying Business Management.
Jody: Sports Science & Business
Kyle: I am currently studying Mathematical Economics
Ethan Squires’ versatility earned him valuable minutes for Murray State College
Loop: How did you earn your scholarship?
Ethan: I earned the scholarship with the help of an agency called ASM who put me in touch with the coach.
Jody: I maintained good grades and created a highlight video and CV to send to coaches overseas with the help of my agency
Kyle: I made my profile as attractive as possible and contacted many schools until I got the right offer.
Loop: What role has Kickstart Rush played in preparing you for such an opportunity?
Ethan: I’ve been at kickstart since the age of three years old. They are mostly responsible for my development as a player.
When I received the scholarship was around the same time, I received a call up for the senior team of the club.
Training and playing matches with them prepared me for facing more physically built players and tougher styles of play.
Jody: I have been at Kickstart from the age of four and ever since then I have grown as a player, as well as a person.
Kickstart has given me the opportunity to be seen in front of high-level coaches from around the world by tours and visits.
Kyle: I started at Kickstart from four years old and I’ve experienced many coaches from Kickstart Rush who’ve Impacted me to make me a better player.
Jody Greene was appointed as one of the team captains in his freshman year for the Southeast Community College
Loop: How have you managed the transition from what you experienced here in Barbados to what you are experiencing now?
Ethan: The transition has been smooth so far, mainly because I was prepared.
Jody: I have transitioned well. Nebraska is a lot different to Barbados, but building new relationships by meeting new people with different cultures has so far been a great experience
Kyle: The transition was easy because I have experience playing football abroad. However I will say you have to come with the right mindset because you will be out of your comfort zone dealing with many different things such as culture change and climate change.
Loop: What has been the most challenging thing that you have encountered thus far, and how have you managed to overcome it?
Ethan: The most challenging thing I’ve faced is the mental and physical strain the very short season has on you. I’ve overcome this by focusing and spending time on recovery for my body. Mentally to cope I’ve been reading books and spending time alone with God.
Jody: I received an injury from contact in a game. This has been tough to accept but it’s part of the game. I have missed games because of this but I do what I can.
Kyle: The most challenging thing has definitely been adapting to the physical demands of American soccer, as the style of play requires you to be in the best physical shape possible due to the amount running required.
Kyle Lewis scored times last season as he helped Converse University to their first conference title
Loop: What are your plans post-college?
Ethan: My plans post college are to continue to pursue my dream in becoming a professional football player either in the US or in Europe.
Jody: After my time here at college I’m looking to transfer to a four-year university to further my education and playing experience.
Kyle: My plans are to keep in shape, devote the extra time to my studies and also try to play club football with a team over here if I get the chance. To become a professional footballer.
Loop: What is the biggest lesson football has taught you?
Ethan: The biggest lesson football has taught me is a lesson in patience.
Jody: Football has taught me the importance of balance. Being able to balance playing at a high level while studying to maintain good grades is a challenging lifestyle that requires discipline.
Kyle: The biggest lesson football has taught me is that you have to be fully committed and make the necessary sacrifices if you want to achieve success.
Loop: What advice would you give to young, aspiring athletes?
Ethan: My advice to young aspiring athletes is to never give up and trust in God’s timing.
Jody: Pay attention to detail. Be confident. Take care of your health (physically and psychological). Believe in yourself
Kyle: To the young aspiring athletes you have to be fully committed and dedicate yourself to this game.
You have to make sure the level of your game is better than the players you’re competing against in the countries abroad.
Finally, I’d say make as many connections as possible because we’re already disadvantaged being so far away from the footballing world.