EDWARDSVILLE - Soon-to-be Edwardsville High School graduate Axton Anom signed to continue his academic and athletic career in college.
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He committed to play soccer at Maryville University Tuesday afternoon in front of his family, friends, and coach.
"I"m super excited," Axton said. "It's a great program, great coach, great teammates to be around."
A dream he's had for a long time has now come true. Axton said he knew he wanted to play college soccer once he started taking the game more seriously and playing more competitively around age 10.
"He's about as good a kid as you could ever ask for to have as a soccer player to bring on your team," Edwardsville boys soccer head coach Mark Heiderscheid said.
"Axton is just a really really classy player," Heiderscheid continued.
"His technical side is easy to see the minute that he steps on a pitch. His character, his work rate, his passion for the sport, his drive; he's just such a complete player when it comes to what he brings to the game."
Axton was a transfer to Edwardsville during his sophomore year. He played both his junior and senior seasons as a varsity starter and was a key component to the team's midfield dynamic.
As a Tiger, he scored three goals and had two assists.
Prior to Edwardsville, Axton and his family lived in Kansas, but his parents are originally from Ghana. Axton's father moved to the United States when he joined the Army.
Axton is proud of his family's background and always wore a wristband with the Ghana flag on it every game.
"It's great. I love everything about Ghana. It's part of who I am and I think it fuels me and makes me want to work hard, seeing my parents' story," Axton said.
He says he has full support from his family and that they're just happy he gets to continue doing the thing he loves which is to play soccer.
He said his favorite memory while playing at Edwardsville was last season's playoff run.
The Tigers made it all the way to the Class 3A Super-Sectionals, coming up just one win short of making it to the state tournament.
"At the start, it wasn't looking too hot, but obviously we got better as the season went on, we made a pretty good run," Axton said.
The Tigers finished with a record of 17-6-2 in his final season.
While very humble, Axton was certainly pleased with his signing and hopes it encourages others.
"It's a great accomplishment for me and I think for the team," he said.
"I hope this inspires others to go on to do the same and want to play college soccer," he said. "Everyone that was here, they all mean a lot to me and I'm happy they could make it here. I hope they also go on to do great things for themselves."
While at Maryville Axton plans on studying either pre-med or bio-medical sciences.
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