Andrew Will balances soccer, multiple majors

Thursday, October 8, 2009 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 1:26 a.m. CDT, Thursday, October 8, 2009
Columbia College's Andrew Will, right, practices during halftime of Tuesday's game against McKendree University.

COLUMBIA — Andrew Will likes to be the best.   

Not only is Will a senior on the Columbia College men's soccer team, but he also has time to squeeze in classes for all three of his majors. Yes, that's right, he is a triple major and an athlete. 

When Will started at Columbia College in 2006 he set out to be a history major. But after taking his first accounting class, he was hooked. Accounting became major No. 1. He then became the manager at W.G. Grinders and loved it. Management became major No. 2. After committing to major in accounting and management, he only had four classes to earn a finance degree, so he figured, why not?

So how does Will handle the demands of being an athlete with three majors? Extremely good time management. He said the structure the soccer season provides helps him manage his time effectively.

"During soccer season, it is a lot easier to stay on top of studies," Will said, "When coach gives us time off in the spring, I have more difficulty. I stay more disciplined. I lose track of time in the spring.”

Will said he knows he has a short amount of time to get things done so he knows what he needs to do. 

A typical Monday for Will looks something like this: He gets up and volunteers to read to a first grader. He squeezes in study time before his class at noon. Before his second class at 2 p.m., he studies and does more homework. After a day of class and studying, he heads straight to the training room and then to soccer practice until 6:15 p.m. He changes and goes to dinner and then heads back to his apartment to study more if he needs to. Phew.

“Then I go to bed, and I wake up and do it all over again,” Will said. 

Will’s competitive nature fuels his motivation to stay on top of things.

“Since I was little, I thought everything was a competition,” Will said. “That’s the way I’ve always looked at it. I want to be the best.” 

A lack of structure can prove challenging for Will, but his former roommate and teammate Vinny Aizpurua remains impressed. 

"He has a nonstop work ethic," Aizpurua said. "He would do all of his work between classes."

Columbia College men's soccer coach, John Klein is equally impressed. 

"Andrew has always had his act together," Klein said. "He is certainly the type of player you want representing a program." 

What Will is learning from his management major is definitely carrying over to the field. 

"He's leading through the experiences he's had here and is passing it down to the younger classmen," Klein said. 

It helps to have so much support from his teammates and coach, but more important is the support that comes from home. 

Although surprised by his son's initial decision to take on three majors, Jorg Will said he is confident in his son's abilities. 

"Once he sets a goal, he generally achieves it," Jorg Will said of his son. 

Hard work and accountability have been staples in the Will household. Jorg Will and his wife Maria Will have worked hard in their respective professions. Jorg Will is an operations manager for Honeywell in Kansas City and his wife works in information technology.   

"Both my wife and I work very hard, and our kids have seen that," Jorg Will said. 

Jorg Will also works hard to support his son's soccer endeavors. During the four years Andrew Will has been playing for the Cougars, his father has missed only 15 games. Not only does Jorg Will travel to Columbia from Kansas City for all of his son's home games, but he tries to make the away matches as well. He has gone as far as Chicago and Arkansas to see him play, sometimes driving three hours to see Andrew Will play for less than a half in a game. 

"You want to support your children," Jorg Will said. 

Andrew Will has been paying attention to the lessons his father taught him. 

"My parent's always told me to shoot big," Will said. "That's the way I was raised." 

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