Nathan Feiner didn't go to college just to play soccer. Soccer was the vehicle that got Feiner to college, giving him the opportunity he sought to learn more about the world and more about himself.
Feiner, a New Richmond native, carried his love for soccer into his college career.
Feiner completed his college soccer career by being selected for the All-American Rivers Conference men’s soccer team last week. Feiner is senior at Wartburg College in Waverly, Iowa. Feiner is a fitness management major with hopes of someday becoming a school athletic director. He was a three-time All-Middle Border Conference selection at New Richmond High School.
This was his most productive collegiate season with one goal and four assists for six points. He was one of two Knights to start in all 18 games. His four assists led the team. He’s been a starting midfielder for most of his Wartburg career. Feiner’s outstanding play this season earned him the honor as Wartburg’s Most Valuable Player.
Feiner said he quickly found out that being in college sports was vastly different from everything in high school.
“We have 45 guys and we only play 16 games. At the college level, it’s dog-eat-dog world. It’s a conference battle every single day,” he said.
He said that pressure taught him to better prepare for every day for practices and games, because there was always pressure he could lose his job. Feiner said he always tried to be a team-first type of player, but he took that to a higher level when he was named senior captain.
“I tried to be the heart and soul of this team. You find yourself in a role where you want to do more for your team and yourself,” he said.
Feiner was especially with his team’s strong play late in the season. Wartburg defeated Luther College, which qualified for the NCAA tournament, 1-0 in Wartburg’s regular season finale. A week earlier, Wartburg scored a 2-1 win against Gustavus Adolphus, the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference champion.
One of the biggest changes for Feiner will be the structured routine of a college sport. He said the Wartburg team practiced year-round, five days each week, even during the summer. For the past year, he’s also served as the team’s strength and conditioning coach.
That doesn’t mean Feiner will relax. Feiner stays extremely busy when he’s not in the classroom. He said he’s currently holding down five jobs to help pay for school. The most time consuming of those jobs is being Wartburg’s Director of Intramurals.
Graduation awaits Feiner in May. He said he was grateful to have the opportunity to attend college because of the personal growth it offered.
“The hardest thing for me, and it’s different for every student, is managing everything in my life. The four years wasn’t about soccer. It was about me growing to be the best I can. It’s a process of figuring it out,” he said.