Soren Frykholm ’16 solidified his status as one of the most decorated student-athletes in Colorado College athletics and Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference history by being named the 2017 SCAC Man of the Year in a ballot of the league’s senior woman administrators.
The conference’s most prestigious annual award recognizes senior student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service, and leadership.
He is the third Tiger to be honored in the five-year history of the award, joining inaugural recipient Nick Lammers ’13 and Kaleb Roush ’14 on the exclusive list. The recognition was created prior to the 2012-13 academic year and is announced annually in conjunction with the league’s Woman of the Year award.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in his primary sport by the end of the 2017 spring season, received his undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2017 term and had a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.50 on a 4.0 scale.
“I'm grateful to the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference for graciously awarding me this recognition, and for fostering an environment in which student-athletes are encouraged to succeed not just on the field, but in the classroom and in their lives after their careers as college athletes are over,” says Frykholm, who graduated with distinction in Romance Languages.
“Soren is a most deserving recipient of the award,” says Head Men’s Soccer Coach Scott Palguta. “He embodies all the qualities we would like to see in our student-athletes. A natural leader and classy competitor, Soren always played the game the right way. Gracious and humble in both victory and defeat, I was very proud to be his coach and greatly appreciate the strong impact Soren had on our team culture. In a soccer program rich in history, Soren will, without question, be remembered as one of our finest student-athletes.”
On the pitch, Frykholm was a National Soccer Coaches Association of America first-team All-American as well as a first-team all-SCAC selection. The defensive midfielder from Boulder started all 17 games in which he played and was fourth on the team with 1,532 minutes. Frykholm helped the Tigers rank eighth nationally with a .600 shutout percentage after recording 12 clean sheets in 20 games. CC also was 10th in Division III with a 0.58 goals-against average.
During Frykholm’s three seasons, the Tigers compiled a 45-10-6 record and recorded 32 shutouts. He also scored six goals and added a pair of assists. “I'm humbled by the recognitions I've received this year and need to say that they aren’t just mine; I share them with the teammates, classmates, and mentors who pushed me to be a better student, athlete, and human being during my time at Colorado College,” says Frykholm. “Especially in regards to my soccer accolades, it needs to be said that I wouldn’t have received a single award on my own. On our 2016 team, more than on any other team I've ever played with, our strength and resilience came from the collective. Our attitude of ‘team over individual’ carried us through a season with many ups and downs not only to success, but to unbelievable closeness.”
He also excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.83 grade-point average. That performance led to him being named an NSCAA Scholar All-American, one of only six players in program history to receive the organization’s highest academic award.
Frykholm’s most impressive attribute was his ability to intertwine academic and athletic pursuits with his devotion to service and leadership.
That skill was prominently displayed when he spent six months in Salvador, Brazil, while immersing himself in Brazilian culture and studying at Universidade Católica do Salvador. Frykholm volunteered twice each week in one of the city's notorious favelas, where he taught English to those on the less fortunate side of Brazil's poverty line.
For his senior thesis, Frykholm translated an academic journal on racism in Brazil from Portuguese to Spanish. Racism is especially prevalent in Salvador, which is the capital of the northeastern state of Bahia, as well as Brazil's third-largest city.
After graduating, Frykholm travelled to Oaxaca, Mexico, where he worked as a translator with the Teozacoalco Archeology Project.
In recognition of his extraordinary efforts, Frykholm was named a recipient of the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which is awarded to a select group of student-athletes who excel academically and athletically. Nationwide across all NCAA divisions, only 29 scholarships are awarded for both men and women from each sports season (fall, winter and spring).
Most recently, he was selected as one of only two recipients of a 2017 NCAA Jim McKay Scholarships, which recognize student-athletes' outstanding academic achievement and their potential to make a major contribution to the sports communication industry.
“With or without the recognitions I've garnered in the past year, my time at CC was unforgettable, and I wouldn't change a thing about my experience there,” Frykholm says. “I'm so grateful to all the people I met during my three years, and to be leaving Colorado College with an appreciation for social justice and with the tools to make the world a better place.
“I've had so many people support me and advocate for me in my life. I hope to honor their love and generosity by living a life of paying it forward. It's no easy task, but I have many great role models to follow.”