McDonough senior Akers off to Wingate for lacrosse
McDonough senior does early signing to D-II lacrosse program
McDonough High School senior Morgan Akers has made official what has been her heart since the seventh grade, signing a national letter of intent to play college lacrosse.
The senior midfielder saw her dream come true when she signed to play NCAA Division II lacrosse at Wingate University in North Car- olina on Nov. 15 in the McDonough gymnasium among family, friends, coaches, teammates and school officials.
“It was a very exciting moment for me. Win- gate was my top choice and I am very glad that everything worked out,” said Akers, who started playing lacrosse at the age of 5. “It is great to be a part of a growing program. I’m glad that every- thing worked out how I planned.”
On what what led to her decision of picking Wingate, she said. “Wingate to me is a very special place. The moment I stepped on campus, I was like, ‘Wow, this is definitely the place for me.’ The coaching staff there, it’s really just a family atmosphere. That’s really what has drawn me to Wingate. Once I committed, I never had a doubt in my mind this is where I wanted to go. It is about 30 minutes from the city of Charlotte.”
Family and lacrosse go hand in hand for Akers.
Her father, James Akers, has coached her for six years combined in high school and travel ball. Her older brother James was a former lacrosse standout on the McDonough boys squad and her cousins, Colin and Ryan Weigle were former players at Tuscarora and Frederick High Schools, respectively.
Morgan Akers, who also received an offer from Division II Mount Olive College (N.C.), took time to single out all the people who helped her reach this goal, including teachers, all of her coaches and, most significantly, her family.
“I’ve had so much support from the community, my team- mates, my family,” she said. “I definitely would not be here without everybody. “My family’s been by far my biggest supporters.”
Akers added of the special sign- ing event, “Signing that day was a great feeling. It’s been a long jour- ney, but I’m excited to officially sign and can’t wait for next year and can’t wait for this spring.”
Wingate compiled a 12-5 over- all record in 2016 under head coach Caline Olmstead, set- ting a school-record for overall victories. Wingate also had 6-2 record in the South Atlantic Conference.
“This was a great opportunity for me to sign early because I’m now done with the deci- sion-making process and I can relax and enjoy my senior year of high school,” Akers said.
Olmstead first discovered Ak- ers at the Maryland Indy Play Day tournament over the sum- mer at the University of Maryland in College Park.
On what she will bring to the Wingate program, Akers said, “I would say I have a very good lacrosse IQ and field awareness is one of my strong attributes and I’m a natural leader that I strive to do everything to the best of my abilities.”
Akers, who maintains a 4.3 GPA in the classroom, first started playing lacrosse for the Charles County Lacrosse League and then played for sev- eral travel teams like Uproar, Infinity, Ulax and the Southern Maryland Revolution. She also played twice at the National Brine Tournament in Virginia and Washington, D.C.
Akers has started the last three seasons for McDonough under her father and head coach with a superb junior campaign that saw her finish with 25 goals to go along with a team-high in draw controls (64), assists (58), groundballs (98) and caused turnovers (36).
She was an All-Southern Maryland Athletic Conference Potomac Division first-team selection and was also a runner-up candidate for the SMAC’s Most Outstanding Player last spring.
“It is amazing to see that all her hard work on the field and in the classroom has paid off,” James Akers said. Along with being the head coach at McDonough, Akers is the director and coach for the Revolution, Infinity, Uproar and Ulax in Annapolis. “To see her dreams come true is special. She is a team player and she has a lot of knowledge of the game. This season as a senior she will be the team captain again and has had a key role in helping the McDonough program develop, She is really giving back to the sport of lacrosse in the county. The younger girls really look up to her.”
McDonough High School senior Morgan Akers, pictured here controlling the ball in a game with the Uproar travel team, recently signed her national letter of intent to play NCAA Division II lacrosse for the women’s team at Wingate University (N.C.).
McDonough High School senior Morgan Akers signed her national letter of intent on Nov. 15 to play lacrosse at Wingate University (N.C.). Seated, from left, are Akers’ mother Lisa Akers, Morgan Akers and grandmother Connie Akers. In the back row are McDonough athletic director Pam Van Bellen, left, head girls lacrosse coach and father James Akers, and assistant coaches Leigh Emig and Cathy Stottlemyer.