By Gracean Ratliff '23
Six-foot-two, Luca Batchen is a new football recruit, all the way from Kenzingen, Germany.
“There is an organization named Grid Iron Imports,” Batchen said. “The organization helps football players from Europe to come to the U.S. and play football there.”
By coming to North Cross, Batchen is in hopes to get a college scholarship to play football. Although undecided on a college, playing football is the goal.
In Germany, Batchen played on the defensive line, but Coach Stephen Alexander put him on the offensive line.
“The biggest change from coming to the U.S. from Germany, football wise, would be how easy the teams here are to play,” Batchen said. He is also adjusting to practicing five times a week, which he did not do in Germany.
He enjoys the tight knit community at school. Most of the teammates he plays with, he also gets to see in class, making his day filled with seeing his football buddies.
“Living in the dorm means you don’t have that much privacy,” Batchen said. “You will have one or two roommates. It is sometimes really cool to have teammates and friends around you, but sometimes it can be annoying.”
“I would say the people [are the best part about North Cross],” Batchen said. “In the U.S. everybody is so nice, even if it is sometimes fake. In Germany nobody would come up to you and ask how you are.”
Batchen is supposed to be a senior and graduate with the class of 2022, but decided to follow many of his other teammates and reclass to play another year of football.
For Batchen, coming to the U.S. is a very big change, having to adjust his language, sleep schedule and whole life.
“A big change was the language. In Germany I have had English since the fifth grade,” Batchen said in an email interview. “The sleep schedule was a problem for the first three days, especially with the football camp. I slept like three hours. The most cultural differences, I knew already because of my sister. She went for a half year to the U.S. Other than leaving my friends and family, the biggest change between Germany and the United States is the food,” he said. “All the food here is filled with fat and sugar, much different from Germany.”
Despite his height, build and intimidating appearance, Batchen is actually a vegetarian.
His sister and ex-girlfriend back in Germany were the ones who inspired him to become vegetarian. His sister had been a vegetarian for about five years, and his ex-girlfriend had shown him videos on it and was inspired by them.
He has officially been a vegetarian for a year and a half now.
The North Cross football team has always had very extensive workouts and practices. Although he is not getting any protein from meat, he keeps his energy up by eating other meat free and protein filled foods.
Coming to the United States really put a toll on his vegetarianism. Being a vegetarian is hard enough, but not being able to eat delicious meats or being tempted by them is even more difficult. According to Batchen, it's even harder coming to the U.S., where the majority of the foods here are very unhealthy. To Batchen, finding foods to eat is the hardest struggle about being a vegetarian.
“The reason I became a vegetarian was because it just didn't feel right about killing and eating innocent animals,” he said.
the Willis Hall Herald
Editor-in-Chief: Gracean Ratliff
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