Railsplitters Making An Impact Beyond The Game
May 15, 2012
HARROGATE, TN -- The impact from the Lincoln Memorial University men's soccer team will reverberate throughout the country as three seniors from this past season's squad are on the path to becoming exemplary models of the NCAA slogan that "just about all of us are going pro in something other than sports".
Robbie Curtis, Peter Fraser and Michael Watkins will be moving on to new challenges and pursuits following their time at Lincoln Memorial University. These three men have been ambassadors and exemplified what Railsplitter athletics wants to represent throughout their four years at the university.
Robbie Curtis completes his four-year stint for the Railsplitters and will move on to medical school, as he was accepted to the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine. He will begin his studies in July after receiving his degree from LMU in the spring commencement.
During his career on the field for the Railsplitters, the Ozark, Missouri native played in 56 career matches, logging 1,132 minutes of game action. In his four seasons, Curtis compiled eight goals and 25 shots, with 14 of those shots coming on goal.
With life after the game looming, Curtis looks hopefully and enthusiastically towards his new path and pursuit. "Soccer has always been a huge part of my life and will always remain an important part of my life," Curtis commented. "It helped me get to where I am today and taught me values you cannot get anywhere else. Soccer has given me much: people who have became lifelong friends & memories that will last much longer."
"Though I have not decided exactly what doctor I wish to be I am sure my career and education will be busy and fast-paced. I am more than ready to get my education and start in the medical field serving others in which ever way that may be. I am thrilled to start my medical education and pin point exactly what doctor I will be for the rest of my life. My participation in soccer will be a shadow of what it formally was but I am more than excited to start this next chapter in my life."
The Lincoln Memorial University men's soccer team will also be represented in higher education by Peter Fraser, as he will be moving to Nashville, Tennessee and Belmont University where he was accepted to an elite graduate program. Fraser will extend his education with the pursuit of a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy.
Hailing from Ottawa, Ontario in our northern neighbor, Fraser was an adament leader and remarkable representation of what Railsplitter athletics hope to be. He battled major injuries througout his time wearing the blue and gray, missing most of 2009 and all of 2010 with knee injuries. He appeared in five games, logging forty minutes in his career.
Peter looked into his new pursuit with excitement and enthusiasm, stating, "Being accepted into Belmont University in Nashville is one of the greatest accomplishments that I have achieved over these past four years. Having the opportunity to pursue a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at that school, and in that city is honestly the answer to many prayers and the realization of countless dreams. Playing collegiate soccer provided me with a structured daily schedule, and gave me the opportunity to interact with a wide range of diverse people. These two aspects became key in my pursuit of post-graduate studies, as organizational and interpersonal skills are essential to any program."
While his time on the collegiate level is done, Michael Watkins is continuing his involvement and pursuit of a career in soccer. He completes one of the strongest resumes in the history of the LMU men's soccer program by landing a spot in the Lenoir-Rhyne University Graduate School. Watkins will pursue a Masters in Liberal Arts while working as a graduate assistant for the men's and women's soccer teams at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
A four-year starter at goalkeeper for the Railsplitters, the Statesville, North Carolina native boosts record-breaking numbers at Lincoln Memorial University. At the conclusion of his career, Watkins holds the school record for save percent (.797), goalie games played (71), goalie games started (65), goalie minutes played (6,482) and ties (7). He sits in second all-time for wins (39), saves (298), saves per game (4.20) and goals against average (1.05). In his career, he was named All-SAC Second Team in 2008 and 2010 while being named to the First Team in 2009 and 2011.
Watkins reflected on the game he loves and his hopes for a continued future in soccer, stating, "I am very excited about starting the new chapter of my life. Being able to complete my Masters Degree and coach at the collegiate level is a huge opportunity for me. Soccer has helped me get into college, and now it is helping me continue my education. I am still chasing my dream of playing professional soccer, as I am currently playing for the IMG Bradenton Academics in Bradenton, FL this summer. This will ultimately get me back to the pro combine next January in an another attempt to get signed professionally. If that doesn't work out, I plan on sticking with coaching and passing my knowledge on to the younger generation as a goalkeeper coach."
"These players have embodied the true concept of student athletes," commented LMU head soccer coach Helio D'Anna. "Their GPAs as well as their resumes are exceptional and therefore their futures are bright. I look forward to keeping an eye on their future success."