Sophomore defender Michael Oakley has been recognized for his skills on the field and in the classroom.
Along with sophomore defender Jordan Rideout and senior midfielder David Sarabia, Oakley was named first-team All-Summit League earlier this month.
In addition, Oakley was the only Roo to receive the Summit League’s Academic All-League honors.
“It is a real honor for me,” Oakley said. “It is nice to see that other coaches in the Summit League appreciate my hard work and I’m very thankful to be highly recognized in the conference.”
With one game-winning goal, two assists and four points, Oakley has been an important player in Coach Rick Benben’s lineup.
Oakley is accustomed to earning awards. As a four-year starter at Lee’s Summit North High School, he earned Defensive Player of the Year and first-team All-State awards.
He was also was named to the first-team All-Western Region and team captain his junior and senior years.
In his first season at UMKC, Oakley started and played in every game but one. He also earned a spot on the Summit League All-Newcomer team.
Oakley started playing soccer when he was 4 years old, and played for such local clubs as the Kansas City Football Club, Legends Soccer Club and, most recently, at Sporting Kansas City’s youth academy.
“Soccer is in my blood,” he said.
“I try to work hard every day in practice to ensure my spot as a starter. He (Benben) looks to me for some leadership since I have some experience now as a collegiate center back.”
With rigorous practices and away games, being a student-athlete is no easy job,.But Oakley’s All-Academic award and 3.80 GPA prove this is not a problem for him.
“I really just try to do my best with time management and try to stay on top of my classes,” he said. “My teachers always cooperate very well with me and in return I try to perform well in their classes.”
Since he was young, Oakley said he has dreamed about becoming a professional soccer player.
“I hope I can play soccer for as long as possible to be honest, I plan on pursuing that as much as possible,” he said.
Otherwise, Oakley said he plans to earn a degree in broadcast journalism and settle down with a family.
“I want to find an amazing girl and be able to support and start a family,” he said.