Photo Credit to: Joseph Stavern/UTRGV Athletics
For UTRGV Men’s Soccer forward William Akio, his love for soccer grew around age 12 when participated in soccer tournament. “After the tournament, my dad had a surprise for me and he told me close your eyes and hold your hands open. He gave me my first Chelsea jersey in which I still keep because of my idol Didier Drogba. I also root for Barcelona in Spain because of Lionel Messi.” Akio had his junior season cut short due to injury, but coming back from a long layoff is a difficult process because of the recovery time. “I feel that the semester without having to play many games my room-mate and teamate Jodabeni (Dondeli) has kept me busy. Balancing studies, following doctors’ orders to recovery and becoming a social media video blogger during the COVID-19 pandemic is quite the plate full for a student athlete. You do not think of it as much but it does add up.”
Recently while doing his recovery work for the fall season, he teamed up with one of his team mates and room-mate Dondeli to set up his own you tube channel. “My channel mainly inspires kids who are in challenging position to play soccer, not to give up and the different ways that a soccer player becomes a professional.” Additionally he shares an important piece to become a trend on social media. “Be consistent but do not over load, if you upload once a day, social media pages will recognize and will push you material.” As a citizen of Canada and a supporter of Chelsea and Barcelona, he hopes to represent Canada at the international level. “I feel that Canada is doing a fine job developing youngsters and I feel like I can contribute to my country if needed.” During the pandemic, his hard work in the class room has paid off as he earned a 4.0 Grade Point Average which earned him AD’s Honor Roll. “Since recovery was taking a bit of a toll, thankfully I was able to focus academically when I finally achieved a goal since I set foot at UTRGV which was to be on the AD’s Honor Roll.” Balancing school, soccer, and making vlogs has given me a different way to improve my overall skills as a person. I owe a lot to my coaches for believing in me and I would not be in the place where I am at today. Akio hopes to become a professional after his collegiate career is done.