Akot Named NJCAA Region 16 Player of the Year

November 3, 2021 | Athletics Campus News

East Central College sophomore Stephen Akot was named the National Junior College Athletic Association Region (NJCAA) Region 16 DII Men’s Soccer Player of the Year.

The award goes to the player receiving the most votes from the region coaches at the conclusion of the regular season.

Akot, a native of Dronten, Netherlands, is in his third season at ECC. Akot elected to stay one more semester before graduating this December because last year’s COVID-19 impacted season didn’t count against his eligibility, according to Dr. Jay Mehrhoff, ECC Athletic Director.

“His first sophomore year was hampered by an ankle injury and he felt he needed to stay at ECC to prove himself,” he said.

Akot has been a model student in the classroom, student worker and athlete during his tenure as a Falcon.

“He will be graduating with an associate degree and plans to either return to the Netherlands or find a job anywhere in the world,” Mehrhoff added. “He loves his home country, but Stephen is up to exploring more opportunities before he officially has to become an adult with a job.”

On top of his great digital social media work for the soccer team, he has his own fashion line called “Merch,” specializing in casual wear with a design flare as he makes specialty T-shirts and hoodies.

A very talented person, Akot hopes to combine his passions into a future profession in business and fashion.

Akot’s 15 goals this season tie him for No 11 all-time with former teammate Arman Kovac (2019) and NJCAA 2nd Team All-American Jacob Moore (2015.)

Also, Akot’s 21 career goals tie him for ninth all-time in goals scored for a career in the ECC soccer record books.

In 2019, he scored 6 Goals and had 2 assists for a total of 14 points. In 2020, he had 1 goal and no assists for a total of 2 points.

This year, Akot had 15 Goals and 5 assists for a total of 35 points.

Photo by Bill Battle, The Missourian