Friday, September 10, 2010

Hickman soccer player excels in many fields

Thursday, September 9, 2010 11:20 p.m. CDT; updated 12:08 a.m. CDT, Friday, September 10, 2010

BY Blair Weaver
COLUMBIA — Hickman boys soccer player Andy Atkins not only has talent on the field but off, as well.

In the Kewpies' game Thursday night against visiting Raymore-Peculiar, Atkins, a senior midfielder, scored on a penalty kick in the beginning of the second half to send Hickman on its way to a 4-1 victory.

This summer, Atkins was invited to spend a week in Washington D.C. representing his state at Boys Nation.

Boys Nation gives two high school boys from every state but Hawaii the opportunity to represent their state at the annual event. All 98 boys act as delegates and participate in “senator simulation” by gaining experience and education about the federal government.

Not quite every high school athlete is given such an opportunity. But Atkins isn't the usual high school athlete.

Besides being a captain on the soccer team and taking part in Boys Nation, Atkins also has been class president for the past three years, is starting up a poetry society, is a part of his high school’s mock trial organization where he has met several lawyers from Columbia, is a member of the school academic team, and is a member of the National Honor Society and the National Spanish Honor Society.

Atkins was first nominated for Boys Nation by Columbia city counselors and made it through an interview process before being selected.

“I loved getting to meet everyone from all the different states. Any preconceived notion I had about what people were like was blown out of the water,” Atkins said.

While in D.C., not only did the boys get to meet the Supreme Court, spend time in the Library of Congress, sit in on senate sessions and meet both state senators from their state, but they got to visit the White House and meet President Obama, as well.

“I’m interested in a law degree. I met a lot of staffers with law degrees, I love foreign language and international affairs interests me, as well,” Atkins said.

It is clear Atkins not only has his focus on soccer.

“It’s not easy balancing both soccer and school. It is a lot of work,” Atkins said. “I seem to be more productive in season. I can’t afford to be lazy.”

Photo: Hickman soccer player Andy Atkins watches from the sidelines in the Kewpies' home game Thursday against Raymore-Peculiar. ¦ EVE EDELHEIT/Missourian

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Driving Directions

  • WAYNESVILLE : Take 63 South Towards Jeff City. Take US-54 W thru Osage Beach to Camdenton. Take MO Hwy 5 South to Lebanon , MO.Continue on MO Hwy 5 South to I-44 E towards Waynesville, MO. Take Exit 156, toward WAYNESVILLE/FORT LEONARD WOOD. Turn LEFT onto HIGHWAY H/I-44-BL/MO-H. Continue to follow I-44-BL.Turn RIGHT onto MO-17/W I-44-BL.1001 HISTORIC 66 W.
  • QUINCY TOURNAMENT IN QUINCY ILLINOIS: From Columbia Take 70 West to Kingdom City. Take 54 North to Mexico and then 54 east and north (54/19) to Laddonia. From Laddonia take 19 North to New London and then 61 North to Hannibal. When you get to Hannibal, you will need to take a right at the sign that says Quincy or to Illinois or to Springfield which is hwy 72 across the river. You will then pick up Highway 172 north to Quincy. In Quincy take the Broadway exit and go left.The fields we are playing on are located on State Street. The streets in Quincy that run West to East are numbered streets. The Mississippi River is to the West and the street numbers get higher the further East you go. When you enter from highway 172 the first street you will see is 48th street. Go left. At State St turn right and the park is a few blocks on the right. The Paul Dennis Complex is located on State between 36th and 48th street.
  • JEFFERSON CITY- 179 SOCCER PARK: Take 63 to Jeff City. Across the river take Hwy 50 toward Sedalia. Take the hwy 179 exit and turn right onto 179. The soccer park is about 3 miles on your left.
  • DESMET High school from CBC High school (about 3 miles): leave CBC and turn left (east) onto N Forty Dr. Turn right onto Conway Rd. Follow Conway Rd to left at S New Ballas Rd and it is about 1.2 miles to the high school at 233 N. New Ballas Rd.
  • CBC High school in St Louis: about 1 hour and 50 minutes. Take I-70 east to US40E/US61S just past Wentzville. Head toward Chesterfield/Forrest Park. About 23 miles to Mason Rd exit. Take S Mason Rd north back over the highway. Turn right on N. Forty Dr and the high school is on your left about a mile at 1850 De la Salle Dr.
  • CAMDENTON: Hwy 54 out of Jeff City to Hwy 5 in Camdenton. Turn left (east) on to Hwy 5. Continue on Hwy 5 for 5 or 6 blocks and can see the school campus on your left (north side of road). Turn on to Dare Blvd and the stadium is a block or two behind the schools.
  • SMITHTON TOURNAMENT: I-70 west to Booneville. Exit on Hwy 5 south. From Hwy 5 take Hwy 50 west. Go to Hwy W and turn south. Follow Hwy W into Smithton. Turn east on to E. Washington St. (I think this is a continuation of Hwy W), Turn right (south) on to Myrtle Ave and the school is 550 Myrtle Ave. Games are at the school.
  • ROLLA: Hwy 63 out of Jefferson City. Continue on Hwy 63 into Rolla. Turn left (east) on to 10th St. Continue on 10th St about 8 blocks to N. Cedar St. High School is at corner of N. Cedar and 10th St. Soccer field is behind the high school.