Four members of the Genesee Community College men's soccer team family were recognized this past weekend at the 71st United Soccer Coaches Convention at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pa. as the USC concludes its festivities today.
The near week-long gathering brought together leaders, teachers and facilitators of the game that concluded with an awards banquet honoring the Cougar quartet.
Of the trio of Cougar sophomore players recognized, Holmes was honored twice – once as an all-American player and once as an all-American scholar.
The 2017 National Junior College Athletic Association National Champion Cougars were co-captained by Holmes, who hails from Kildare, Ireland. The sports management major was just one of four overall junior college players who were recognized as first-team selections both on the field and in the classroom by the USC. At the junior college division-three level, he was just one of two to achieve the feat and the lone defensive player in the country.
Although known more for his stealth defensive play, Holmes' offensive numbers were quite astonishing. He led all NJCAA defenders in points with 32 and goals with 13. In addition, the Genesee sophomore was the catalyst behind the team's amazing run that ended with a 10-game winning streak and a 20-game unbeaten streak in bringing the Cougars its first national championship in soccer.
Joining Holmes as a USC First Team All-American was GCC forward Livesey (Sandbach, UK), who set a single-season school record for assists with 26. That total was seven more than anyone else in the nation at D-III and the most in the country among all NJCAA players (D-I and D-III) for 2017. Livesey led the Cougars in goals, assists and points and his totals ranked him nationally No. 4 in points with 60 and tied for No. 16 in goals with 17 in addition to his No. 1 ranking in helpers.
Wattis (Langley, UK), who scored the team's first goal in the Cougars' national championship semifinal game to help them advance to the championship game, was named as a USC Second Team All-American as a defender.
Genesee Community College was also recognized as the Junior College D-III Staff of the Year for the men's division and was led by Gavin and assistant coach Josh Carpenter, with the pair leading the 2017 GCC men's soccer team to its first national title in Herkimer, N.Y. in November. An often overlooked but vital part of Genesee's staff is its athletic trainers, who assisted the coaches and players throughout their championship run and include Amber Nichols and Jeff Engels.
The United Soccer Coaches (formerly known as the National Soccer Coaches Association of America / NSCAA) is an organization of American soccer coaches founded in 1941. It is the largest soccer coach's organization in the world, with more than 30,000 members and recognizes youth, high school and college men's and women's players, coaches and teams. The NSCAA was rebranded as United Soccer Coaches in August 2017 and is based out of Kansas City, Mo.