A German student moves to America and becomes a soccer champion – even though he has never played the sport before.
What sounds like a superficial youth movie script has become a reality for Lorenz Plattner: The teenager from Munich, who currently attends Stratford High School in Wisconsin as part of a student exchange, became the famous winner of his team’s soccer game on Thursday. This is what appeared on the national news.
In the WIAA (Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association, Division 6) Senior Scholastic Athletic Championship Final, he kicked the game-winning field goal for the Stratford Tigers against the Darlington Redbirds – his first successful attempt under competitive circumstances.
Blattner told TV reporter Carly Marotta after the game that he “never” expected that. The young athlete – who a few years ago was a youth footballer for SpVgg Haidhausen – “is still quite scrappy,” he said, looking proud. He changed his career – for which, according to his own words, he had been a footballer for five years – he wore a shirt that did not even have his name on it. Just one of the many elements appropriate to a Cinderella story according to American taste.
Blattner makes a field goal for the first time in his career
The national title duel was very exciting. When the score was 7:7 with 26 seconds left, the hero of the day was about to make the first field goal attempt of his high school career.
He wanted his side to fire to victory from 24 yards out, but Darlington blocked the kick and regained possession. After a period of pause, the school tried to win the match for themselves. However, the Redbirds lost the ball with six seconds left, giving Stratford a second chance.
They attempted to get into the opposite end zone with a pass, but were stopped at the 3-yard line as the game clock was running down. But the German School were lucky again, as Darlington conceded a holding penalty, sending the ball back to the 15-yard line for the final play.
The German’s teammates convinced coach Jason Tubbs to allow Plattner a second attempt. The German definitely wanted to use this.
“If we had lost, I would have been the fool.”
“Of course I wanted another chance to prove that I can do it. After I kicked the first ball, I felt depressed and a little sad. If we lose this game, I will be the stupid one. The fool who can’t kick a field goal,” commented the Stratford player.
To help motivate him, Platner used a psychological trick. With a black pen he wrote on his arm: “Just like training” – the idea of remembering under high pressure that he had practiced the job a few times worked.
Blattner took advantage of his second chance and scored a 32-yard field goal for a 10-7 win and his team’s second straight title. A prominent citizen was also happy: “Congratulations Lorenz!!! Keep it up,” exclaimed former German footballer Dominik Eberle on X.
An unforgettable day for an unlikely hero.
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