It didn’t take Sheldon “Tesho” Akindele to make his mark on Oredigger athletics. The true freshman, in only his fourth month in Golden, Akindele has become a force to be reckoned with in Division II soccer. Currently undecided about his major, the he currently leads Mines in goals (17), points (45) and is third on the team in assists (7). Akindele added an assist on the Oredigger’s first goal during a 5-1 win over Regis University that became the first NCAA tournament win in program history. And recently, the freshman received national recognition as he was featured in ESPN The Magazine’s Faces in the Crowd article. Other awards include being named to the All-Conference RMAC team, 2010 Freshman of the Year as well as the RMAC player of the month for October. As Mines heads to Texas to look to continue its postseason run, Akindele will be an integral part of the team’s success. And the scary part is, he has three more years of soccer in his future. For his efforts and performances this year, Akindele is this week’s Athlete of the Week.
[Oredigger] How did you end up coming to Mines?
[Akindele]I’m from Colorado and I wanted to stay in state, also math is my favorite subject so Mines just seemed like the perfect choice.
When did your soccer career get started?
My dad has always played soccer so he got me into it when I was really young.
When you’re not excelling on the soccer field, what other hobbies do you like?
I like to play basketball and football with my friends every once and a while.
In my free time I really like to watch TV and play video games. I like watching The Office and Jersey Shore, and I like playing FIFA.
Last week, Mines defeated Ft. Lewis in penalty kicks for the RMAC tournament championship. Describe what that meant to your team.
There is a big rivalry between us and Ft. Lewis. I’m still young, but a lot of the older guys really like to beat them, especially since we haven’t beat Ft. Lewis in a long time. Winning the RMAC tournament means a lot to us, we hope it’s just helping us get one step closer to a national championship. And ending Ft. Lewis’ season is always nice.
What has been your favorite part about being a part of the success that this year’s team has witnessed?
I really like how our team comes together like a family. We’re there for each other on and off the field. I’m just glad I got to be a part of such a great team and great group of guys.
How has the transition been for you from high school to college soccer (especially at such a competitive program)?
It’s hard to get use to all the homework we have here. It’s a lot more work than we ever had in high school. It’s difficult to balance school work with all the hours of practice, but it’s definitely worth it.
How do remain focused in the classroom and on the field
Well the reason I’m here is for school, and if I don’t do good in school I won’t be able to play soccer. That thought keeps me going.
What has surprised you the most about Mines?
I was surprised at how many people there are. Every day I feel like I meet someone new.
What has been your favorite aspect of Mines so far?
My favorite part of mines has been playing on the soccer team and meeting new people.
My least favorite part of mines has been chemistry class for sure!!! (Amen, brother)