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.”