Star Athlete: Kieran McLean


I always wondered what it would be like to be a star athlete who was involved in pretty much anything you could think of, from clubs, rigorous programs, outside of school sports, and the list goes on. Instead of being that person, for a brief moment I was granted the opportunity of living vicariously through the one who does it all. And when I say all, I really do mean it all.

Kieran McLean is a star varsity athlete who participates in Varsity Soccer here at Freehold High School. Aside from being one of their star Center Backs and once captain, Kieran is a Junior in the Computer Sciences Program. McLean is also President of Model United Nations, and Vice President of Youth and Government. Apart from these school activities, he actively participates in a club soccer team and volunteers for Luv Micheal.

As for getting into soccer, McLean has played for as long as he can remember. Influenced by his family when he was younger, Kieran’s lack of interest in soccer was never an issue. He recalled seeing soccer on TV all the time which he says may have also influenced his choice of playing. 

Being that I played REC soccer as a child and am obviously an expert, I wanted to see Kieran’s inputs on the benefits and difficulties as well as inspirations, hopes, and dreams. As we talked, he mentioned that one of his favorite parts of playing soccer is the versatility of soccer. McLean opinionated, “Soccer specifically allows you to be creative with the way you play. Unlike basketball or football where there are set plays, soccer is all about the expression of the players on the field. Whatever your position is, your job is to create.” As we delved into one of the many difficulties, he explained that since there is only 3 substitutions allowed, it is vital that you conserve your energy since you are running/sprinting around the field for 90 minutes.

With all of his activities, soccer being the main one, I was curious as to what his hopes and dreams might be for himself. He stated that,  “It’s a dream of mine to play professionally and has been since I was a kid. Currently, the goal is to get an offer to play D1 soccer at a good school.” Outside of soccer, he hopes to maintain solid grades in all his classes and puts himself to the challenge of several AP courses.

One pregame ritual of Junior McLean’s that we discussed was what he does right before the referee blows the whistle. “I say a quick prayer… I repeat ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ (Phillipians 4:13). It was written on my grandmother’s grave and I repeat that to myself for encouragement.” 

I was fortunate enough to have gone to the Senior game on 10/11/2021 and see the athlete in action. As I watched him play, I was able to see the determination in his eyes. His devotion to soccer was noticeable to me from the moment I got there.

To close Kieran’s interview, I asked what his advice to others who may want to follow in his footsteps might be. His main point to me was “Life is more than your career.” He further explained that we all focus so much on getting good grades and getting into good schools to get a job. Instead, we should remain in the present of high school, soccer, and everything else. “Enjoy high school and the time you have with your friends without having to worry about adulthood, and enjoy the soccer game, because it only lasts 90 minutes and you won’t be able to change what you did when it’s over.”