Holmes CC gives Oxford’s Artica chance at next level

Published 6:00 am Sunday, April 10, 2016

Henry Artica did not play a single game his senior season. The Oxford High soccer player had aged out of the required limit set by the Mississippi High School Activities Association, which caused him to sit out.

When a player does not play their senior season, the opportunity to play at the collegiate level usually passes them by as recruiters will move on to prospects who are still playing on the field.

That was not the case for Aritca, who signed with Holmes Community College on Friday inside the Oxford High library. Holmes had been looking at Artica since his junior year, and the offer to play still stood for the Charger to resume his soccer career this fall.

“I never thought about it, and then it just came up,” Artica said of the offer. “I don’t want to waste it.”

Artica went down to Holmes and participated in some ID camps as well as tryouts to get a feel for Holmes. The closeness to Oxford was also another selling point for the senior.

“I liked the coach and they got a really good soccer program,” Artica said. “They’ve been telling me what to do and how to be better and stuff. They always kept in contact.”

Holmes would like Artica to play the midfield as he did at Oxford once he arrives, and he has been working on his skills to stay sharp once he is able to participate in live game action once again.

“Henry is just one of the best center midfielders we had,” Hunter Crane, former Oxford boys assistant and current girls coach, said. “He controls the game so well. He transitions with the offense, he transitions back to the defense. He’s the guy that you want in the center to control the offense and set the tone for your team.”