Meet UMW soccer player Duke Mensah-Abrampah– the self proclaimed “Best Fifa player at Mary Washington.” He was born in Ghana and moved to the United States when he was in the eighth grade. He spent most of his secondary education at Battlefield high school in Gainesville, Va where his family currently resides.
After changing positions during his junior year at Battlefield, Mensah-Abrampah improved greatly leading up to graduation, collecting a resume of accolades along the way. While playing for a number of great teams during high school, Mensah-Abrampah was named First Team All-Met by the Washington Post, accomplishing a goal of his since his sophomore year.
During Mensah-Abrampah’s freshmen year at UMW, he said there were many ups and downs to his inaugural soccer season at the collegiate level.
“I came into the season with an injury and the death of a team member which had unfocused us,” he said. “After a couple of early losses we settled in as a team all the way to our eventual loss to York in the Capital Athletic Conference semi-finals.”
Finishing up his freshmen season, Mensah-Abrampah had achieved CAC Player of the Week and DIII Virginia Rookie of the Year honors.
His favorite soccer memory from his freshmen season was the during the CAC quarterfinals when the Eagles were down a goal with five minutes to play in the game. Mensah-Abrampah received a perfect assist from John Tarley and he finished off the play to score the game-tying goal and force overtime. Then in overtime senior captain T.L. Tutor gave Mensah-Abrampah another impeccable pass that he once again sent into the net to win the game.
“Having the bench empty and the whole team go nuts was by my far my best UMW soccer memory,” he said.
Mensah-Abrampah has great ambitions for the 2010 soccer season, as he strives to help his team capture the CAC title, qualify for nationals and knock off rivals York and Salisbury.
Going into his sophomore year, Mensah-Abrampah couldn’t be happier being a part of the UMW family.
“The guys on the team are great. We look out for each other and spend a good deal of time together, be it on or off the field,” he said. “The best thing about UMW is the people,” he added.
When asked about his favorite place on campus, Mensah-Abrampah answered his old dorm, Jefferson, due to so many great freshmen memories. Besides being an exceptional athlete, he is also enthusiastic about his studies.
“My favorite UMW class was the ‘Imagining Africa’ freshmen seminar with Dr. Rallis, an awesome experience,” he said.
According to Mensah-Abrampah, when he isn’t on the turf or in the classroom, you can probably find him relaxing with his roommates perfecting his FIFA skills, re-reading Harry Potter novels or cooking.
When he was asked what quote motivates and inspires him most, he quoted the wise words of Ricky Bobby. “If you ain’t first, your last!” Wise words to live by indeed.