Big Walnut Soccer Association

BWSA Player Testimonial
Posted Nov 19, 2019

As early three years old I started playing soccer in the Big Walnut Soccer Association. I played on a tiny tot team, called Storm, until I was old enough to join a rec league based out of Columbus, OH. As soon as I hit age nine (nine being the earliest you can start playing club) I joined a team called Blast F.C.

I was a part of the Blast F.C. until the age of fourteen, when I began to lose my love and passion for the game of soccer. Due to losing the love and passion for the game, I decided to stop playing club soccer. Being a huge soccer family and having four siblings continue their career at the collegiate level, it was a very tough decision. For one year, I played for my high school team at Big Walnut and took time away from club soccer. When I hit sophomore year, one of my friends began telling me about Freedom Soccer Club. After enjoying a year away from club soccer, I was hesitant to even consider, but after some thought I decided to give it a chance knowing I had nothing to lose.

After the Freedom Soccer Club tryouts, it was announced that I made the team. I was nervous to see what could come from this next chapter in my life. I had Ian as my coach and still to this day I can honestly say, without any hesitation, he has been the best coach I have ever had in my soccer career. He brought back my passion and my love for the game, and is a big reason I followed in my siblings footsteps and continued my soccer career at the collegiate level. Playing for Freedom gave me the opportunity to train at a high level with other quality players around me. It allowed me to get exposed to multiple college coaches from around the country as we traveled for tournaments and showcases. I was recruited by a handful of colleges, ranging from the MAC, Big Ten, Horizon, and AAC Conferences. I ultimately chose to accept a scholarship from Bowling Green State University, which is a Division 1 program in the MAC. 

Freedom prepared me to play at the next level. Being able to start as a freshman for a Division 1 program was my dream, but I would have not been able to do it without club soccer. My advice for younger players would be to get involved with a club organization as soon as possible. Get exposed to colleges and get your name out there: the earlier the better. College coaches are recruiting players at very young ages and are looking for players who are highly skilled, hardworking, and determined. Playing rec soccer does not necessarily prepare you as player (speed of play and foot skills) for the competitive level in college. The difference in the level of skill between rec and club is a big difference. Good soccer clubs ultimately build and prepare quality players for the next level, just as Freedom did for me!

Skylar Fleak
Big Walnut HS-Class of 2014
Bowling Green State University-Class of 2018, 2017 MAC Offensive Player of the Year,  All-MAC and  OCSA All-Ohio First-Team honors