STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI) — 2019 has been the breakout season for Starkville wide receiver Joshua Aka.
Double-digit receiving touchdowns as he became a key piece in the Yellowjackets’ state championship run.
“To see that the grind is paying off, seeing all the hard work paying off, it’s just great to see,” Aka said.
Football is a part of Aka’s future, but football doesn’t define the senior.
Aka is a member of the National Honor Society, while also taking college-level courses after being accepted to the Shackouls Early Honors College at Mississippi State.
“It’s demanding for each side,” Aka said, “it’s big for these college courses that I’m taking that I stay on top off that and it’s big that I complete the tasks for my coaches and coaching staff, and even the city that’s watching us each and every Friday that I don’t let them down or anyone else down.”
“Some people can’t do both,” Starkville head coach Chris Jones said.
“He’s one of those kids that can do both. To me, that shows the guys behind him you know what, I can do that too. I can be a great student and a great athlete.”
Sports will always be a part of Aka’s life, as he hopes to purse a career in Kinesiology, hoping to one day open his own physical therapy clinic.
“When I got hurt in middle school, I had a growth plate issue. I seen the people, they were really genuine, they were really down to earth people,” Aka said.
“Just helping people is something I always loved doing. With a student athlete like me, and athletes in general, I always wanted to get quickly back on the field and they helped me do that.”
For those that see Aka all the time, it’s not surprise seeing all the hard work and effort pay off.
“I always thought he’s going to be successful no matter what,” Jones said.
“Whether it’s football, whether it’s school, or later on in life when he gets a job because he’s one of those kids that does everything right. He works his butt off. To me, when you work hard, stay patient, do what you’re supposed to do, your time will come.”