Photo courtesy of Diana Henze.
Spain Park senior Erik Henze will continue his soccer career at UAB as a walk-on for the 2015 season.
Spain Park senior Erik Henze has chosen UAB as the next stop in his soccer career.
Henze will go to UAB as an invited walk-on for the Blazers’ 2015 season, meaning he will have a spot on the roster.
The 6-foot-1, 180-pound Jaguars center-back, incidentally, is the son of UAB assistant athletics director David Henze.
Spain Park coach Matt Hall said Henze is an outstanding leader.
“He’s always the first one out there,” Hall said. “He’s one of my hardest workers in the offseason conditioning program. He’s one of those guys that spends a lot of time in the weightroom and running. He really leads by example.”
He’s also a skilled player who understands the game, his coach said.
“He reads the game extremely well,” Hall said. “He’s very strong on the tackle, and because he’s 6-2, he’s really good in the air. He’s good with the ball, he has a lot of really good strengths and qualities in that area.”
Henze agrees with that assessment.
“I think my strengths are my ability to read the game. A lot of my game is making interceptions,” Henze said. “And I’m really good in the air. I wanted to go to UAB because I grew up going to their camps. I like coach (Mike) Getman. I just think the whole coaching staffing is just amazing.”
Henze said, even though he is heading into his senior year and offers could come his way, he’s sticking with his commitment to go with the Blazers, even if they should be forced to leave Conference USA.
“I’m going straight to UAB. No matter what. (C-USA) is a very good soccer conference. But even if they do, they probably would move to an easier conference for us to get to the NCAAs. But I love UAB with all my heart.”
The Blazers were 11-7-2 last season and earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament after falling in the C-USA tourney championship game to South Carolina. The Blazers lost a 1-1 shootout to Furman in the opening round of the NCAA tourney.