HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) – It was David Panter’s dream to play soccer in America.
When the Reading, England star received an offer from Hastings College to play for the Broncos, he didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“As soon as you hear from Hastings that they are even remotely interested, I know a lot of people feel the same way,” said Panter. “There was only one way forward and that was Hastings.”
Hastings College men’s football has had a pretty impressive résumé for the past 15 years. They won national titles in 2010 and 2016 and the national runner-up in 2019.
Add in the numerous GPAC conference championships and it’s easy to see why athletes from all over the world want to play there.
Moving from their home country to Nebraska can be difficult and sometimes very lonely, but these international athletes are finding a way to deal with the difficulties.
“My escape, and I think many people flee, is the time out on the field in terms of training and the anticipation of something other than school,” explained Panter.
“They need to be a little more focused and focused on their goals and things like that, and I think that has a direct impact on the football field, too,” said Cole Poppen, head coach of the Hastings men’s football team. “They are passionate, competitive, extremely talented and a pleasure to work with.”
Adjusting to a new environment outside of athletics can also be challenging, so the college has a support system for the students.
“The guys on the team are a huge part of our campus community and they’re just a great bunch,” said Grant Hunter, the director of international programs at Hastings College.
As the Broncos continue their quest for another conference championship and a possible race for the national title, the team needs all the support they can from their new friends and family in the Hastings community.
“We do not bite. We definitely want to see her in the stands and at the end of the day we wear her jersey, her coat of arms, ”explained Panther. “Come on, be the person who supports us when our loved ones, family and friends cannot be there. It would be nice to see her in the crowd.
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