Emily Bucholz signs with Delta College to play football


Emily Bucholz of Harbor Beach signed her national letter of intent to play soccer at Delta College this fall.

She signed on the dotted line with the Pioneers at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, January 18.

“The campus has a pool, and there’s a nice slide that goes into the pool, which was a big factor (in my decision), and it’s awesome,” Emily Bucholz said. “Also, I’ve lived in a small town all my life and didn’t want to get away from it yet. Delta College has that small town environment. And Coach Damon (Amey) is amazing.”

“I played my first match for the national team (travel soccer) and he approached me right after,” Bucholz added. “He was like, ‘We wanted to show you the campus,’ which was amazing because after my injury, I didn’t know if there was any way to play college again. It was really cool. “

Bucholz also said the team is amazing and has high expectations.

“In the five straight years they’ve been in the national tournament, they’ve made the championship game four times,” she said. “How could I not choose them? And the whole team is a family. It’s one of their sayings, that we are a family, and I even have a t-shirt that says ‘Family’ in the back. It’s just awesome.”

The Lady Pioneers are looking to enter their sixth consecutive NJCAA National Tournament, and they are looking for Bucholz to help with the effort.

“I have to practice, practice, practice (to be a contributor),” Bucholz said. “I hope that one day I will succeed with them, because it may not be next season that I will contribute, but I will be there for them during the whole race. I will do my best for them.”

Bucholz said Delta College has a good physical therapy program and it will be her major next fall.

“I got my physiotherapy degree because of them,” she said. “Later I will specialize in paediatrics. I’m also really looking for that next step (in football). Either in division 2 or if I’m really lucky, in division 1. I’m really looking for that group and team for me push to the next limit.”

Bucholz offered advice to the Lady Pirates as she takes the next step.

“Have fun,” she said. “I focused a lot on competing and being the best on the field and on the pitch. Sometimes I just forgot about that aspect. Now that my decision is final and that weight is on my shoulders , I can now look back and realize how much fun that whole experience was.”

Harbor Beach basketball coach Jim Tamlyn saw potential in Bucholz during a scrimmage at Lapeer during Christmas break years ago.

“Lapeer was really good; they had a girl who was going to Michigan State to play football and a girl who was going to West Michigan,” he said. “Their foot speed was off the charts. We had to take them away from our offense, because of their lateral movement. When you think about how success in football contributes to the basketball court, quickness, lateral movement, the speed of the foot, all these elements are transmitted.”

“When I think of a kid like Emily Bucholz, she’s very athletic, with incredibly fast footwork, and it’s hard to replicate that lateral movement,” he added. “So it goes hand in hand, because you can put her on one of the best perimeter players on the other team and not feel like you lost a step. If anything, you won one. So I think the correlation is there.”

Regarding the recruitment process, Tamlyn noted how well a player can be trained.

“I tell our kids all the time, ‘There are a lot of kids who can play, but how coachable are you? “, He said. “If you are coachable, and you can always put the ball in the net on the football pitch, and you fit that coach’s particular philosophy and style, you will be successful. There’s just a ton of overlap, believe it or not, coming from the outside on the football field to the inside on the basketball court.”

“I’m thrilled for her to see how this next chapter, from graduating in May on the football field, to becoming a student-athlete at the next level,” he said. he adds. “I’m excited about these opportunities for her.”

Tamlyn said there are two challenges Bucholz will face as she takes the next step. The first is planning.

“My wife and I went to school in northern Michigan at Marquette, about 425 miles away,” he said. “Now Delta isn’t that far away, but some of the kids who don’t play sports in college, it’s not uncommon to come home every weekend or every other weekend. All of a sudden you show up on campus and you can have a game on Saturday afternoon.”

“It could be home, it could be northern Indiana or southern Ohio,” he added. “Not being able to come home on weekends can be a challenge,”

The second is the level of competition and academics, but Tamlyn said he’s confident Bucholz is ready.

“I think we were able to do a good job preparing her academically, so I don’t think academics will be a problem,” he said. “She’ll face better competition, and your schedule may not allow you to come home or go home. All those things that people don’t consider can be challenges ahead. As far as football is concerned, everything else will be played out on the pitch.”

Tamlyn advised Emily not to be afraid to reach out to a teacher or coach when she needs help or advice.

“Reach out and reach back,” he said. “I think that’s the most important thing, don’t forget the support staff who got you there because if you need help with a resume or a potential reference, we continue to support you. and to help you once you are on this college campus.”

“These days are always fun, whatever the sport,” he added. “It shows you how hard these kids have worked to play at the next level. It just happens to be football today, but I’m excited about this next step for her.”

Harbor Beach athletic director Troy Schelke said Bucholz was in her lifting class in the morning and he saw her lead her through the class.

“Every day she comes to class with a plan to practice,” he said. “She just works extremely hard, she’s extremely focused on her goals, and she’s just a pleasure to work with. I’ve seen her on the basketball court a bit, also on the soccer field. I know her ethics hard work and courage, which she shows in the weight room, will really transfer to the soccer field at Delta College.”

Schelke said Bucholz will face more challenges when she arrives in Delta.

“I think she’s going to have a great experience there,” he said. “College athletics, just like high school athletics, has its challenges and probably more challenges in some sense. I think Emily will be fine. She’s a competitor, she’s a hard worker. can’t wait to see her perform at Delta College.”

Schelke advised Bucholz to be patient as there will already be experienced players when she arrives.

“Emily will have to move up the pecking order,” he said. “But, if she works hard and keeps training the way she does, she will move up that pecking order. She has to anticipate that it will take patience to the next level, but once she shows what ‘she can do, I’m sure we’ll see her at the next level on the pitch often.”

“It’s a big day, a big party,” he added. “I love these kinds of days, so I’m very happy for Emily, her family and I’m happy for the Harbor Beach family. So it’s a really great day of celebration for everyone here at Harbor Beach, and in especially for Emily.”

Bucholz will begin classes at Delta College in the fall.


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