American novelist Mark Twain is credited with the saying: “It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.”
Twain might have had Centennial Lady Cougar soccer player Olivia Bohlman in mind.
Standing 5-foot-2, Bohlman is undersized in most every match. That does not seem to stop her from sticking her nose into trouble and winning most 50/50 balls.
“She’s fearless,” said Centennial soccer coach Sandy Pollack. “I can’t say enough about her work ethic. She’s quite unique. Even when the going gets tough, she never gives up – when other players might.”
Hard work is nothing new to Bohlman - whose versatility and scrappiness allows her to be able to play most positions on the field.
Having started playing at age 4 and entering club level at 9, Bohlman was named Brentwood Soccer Club Player of the Year when she was both 14 and 15. She has since been a member of Tennessee’s Olympic Development team from 2009 through 2011.
Pollack has coached Bohlman since the age of 15 in club soccer and continually credits her work habits, saying she definitely has a hunger for the game and wants to be successful.
“I’ve known Olivia for quite some time,” he said. “She’s extremely hard working. One of the hardest working players I’ve ever coached.”
Playing primarily forward and midfield, the junior has started on varsity each of her three years at Centennial.
Prior to becoming a Lady Cougar, Bohlman led Page Middle School in goals and assists for three-consecutive seasons.
One of the fastest players in District 11-AAA, Bohlman has been invited to run track for Centennial each of the last three years. She has instead chosen to focus on Club and Olympic Development Program soccer during the spring.
Bolhman’s Tennessee Futbal Club team finished third in Tennessee last year before making the quarterfinals of the U.S. Youth Region tournament. Now a member of Tennessee Soccer Club – the merger of Brentwood Soccer Club and TNFC – she plays on the league’s top 17U squad.
“She’s one of the few players at Centennial High School right now that have that on her resume,” said Hans Hobson, Director of Girls Coaching for TSC. “Olivia is definitely a standout.”
Hobson has coached Bohlman on occasion and calls her a very technical, scrappy, and coachable kid.
Playing collegiately is a clear possibility for Bohlman as she has gained interest over the summer from programs such as Tennessee, Auburn, East Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech, Belmont, Central Michigan, Florida Gulf Coast, Jacksonville State, and Western Kentucky.
While her skills are still developing, Pollack believes a school such as ETSU would be an ideal situation.
“That would be a good fit for her,” Pollack said. “I know the coach there very well and that’s a really good program. That’s what I would encourage her to look at.”