by Joel Muhs / Sports Editor
Much like in everyday life, connections and relationships play a crucial role in the sporting world. The same is true for Hutchinson Community College, where family ties and relationships have come full circle for soccer coach Sammy Lane and freshman soccer player Dayza Hollimon.
Lane, who has coached the Blue Dragon soccer team with a fiery passion since 2005, spent time playing and coaching professionally with the Wichita Wings with Dayza’s father, LeBaron Hollimon. LeBaron coached the Wings from 2011-2013, and now coaches the Kansas Wesleyan University men’s soccer team in Salina.
“To have gone through two seasons of Wings with LeBaron was really kind of cool, and when the Wings folded, I was able to give him an opportunity here to be my assistant which kind of helped him get into college soccer,” Lane said on his time with LeBaron at the Wings. “It was kind of a full circle of things, but we’ve known each other for 30 years now. It’s an interesting circle of life almost now that his daughter is back here playing for me.”
After playing, coaching and learning from each other for 30 years, Lane and LeBaron share another thing in common by being able to coach Dayza, who has been able to learn from two big influences in her life.
“I think it’s pretty cool, because I’ve always known Sammy and he’s an awesome person,” Dayza said on the uniqueness of being able to play for Lane. “I think I always just tell myself the soccer world is a small world, so it’s just kind of cool that it came back around to where I’m playing for him now.”
Although she has gone from one professional soccer figure in her life to another, Dayza noted how it was always a privilege to have someone like her father around when it came to practicing soccer from the beginning.
“I had it a little bit on the easier side, because if I wanted to get extra training in I could just go to my dad and he would give it to me,” Dayza said. “If I wanted help on something or some question I could just go to him. For the most part it was pretty fun as well, just because I got to walk around soccer communities and everyone was just like, ‘Oh my gosh you’re LeBaron’s daughter.’”
Much like her father, Dayza chose soccer as her favorite sport. However, the two have contrasting play styles and have strengths where the other one is weak, which Lane believes could result in an unstoppable player if both skill sets were combined together.
“Two totally different players actually,” Lane said. “LeBaron was wonderfully skillful and worked in the weight room and stuff like that to develop his body and to develop strength. Dayza is naturally strong and naturally aggressive. Probably not as skillful or as technical as (LeBaron), but if you combined the two you’d have one of the best players of all time.”
Even though it started 30 years ago, the Hollimon and Lane connection has found its way back together again at HutchCC, where Dayza will look to continue the soccer legacy both now and in the future.