Eman Akway’s soccer journey


Dribbling past defenders making moves after, finally winding up for a shot, and he scores! For freshman Eman Akway, soccer is more than just a game to him; he’s played it his whole life, and it has become a staple of who he is. 

“I play [soccer] on a daily basis, and it is a part of my life now,” Eman said, “I look forward to playing it every day now, because it has shaped into a part of me.”

For Eman, his love for soccer started when he was born. But he was not the first to play. Soccer has run deep in Eman’s background for many generations. It has been played and carried on by many of his family members. Family had a lot to do with Eman picking up the sport.

“My cousins played soccer so I followed them,” Eman said. “I’ve enjoyed it and a lot of my family members have carried it on and my mom and grandparents played it, and it is a big generational thing in my family.”

Sports can also bring a sense of community and friendship while playing, that’s one thing Eman loves about soccer. Sports are oftentimes looked at as all you do is play and that’s it. And that may be true from the outside, but people don’t see the inside coaching and life lessons and morals sports bring into your life and the friendships people form on the outside. Sports bring and strengthen you closer to people and morals you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

It brings him closer to his friends but sports also teach life lessons and goals outside of sports.

“I think my coach gives me the materials to get better and that I need to become a good player,” Eman said. “It’s more fun when you know them, and it’s more enjoyable because you are actually friends and not just teammates.”

Soccer is a very fun sport, as Eman has expressed, but it can also take you places. Just like any kid playing a sport, Eman is chasing the goal to play in college rather than the pros. Every kid when they get introduced to a sport has the mindset of making it pro. It’s kind of a lifestyle if you play a sport to have the dream. But Eman is hoping to make it a reality by attending some very good soccer programs that he has looked at and after that making it to the big show.

“I hope to play on the Division I level and professional soccer after that,” Eman said. “That would be my dream. [The University of] Michigan, Purdue [University], and Wake Forest [University] are some of my top schools if I make it to college soccer. Those schools have a good education and very good soccer programs that would help me get better and get into professional soccer.”

Eman’s love for the game continues to grow every day. Every day you will find him working and working until he makes it big as he has always wanted. He’s learned and grown as a person because of soccer. The game will forever lay a mark on him and will forever be a part of him, regardless of what happens in the future. He will forever hold the character traits the game is building for him along the way, no matter what happens with the game of soccer in his life.

“My coach always said to be encouraging to other people and have a very positive mindset when you are on and off the field,” Eman said, “because these affect the people around you and you want the effect to be positive.”