Turf toe. Shoulder surgery. Four separate concussions.
The number of injuries sustained by senior defender Mekyla Spraggins has added up over the course of her career on the Ferris State University women’s soccer team. However, the Grand Rapids native hasn’t allowed anything to hold her back.
Now, as one of the senior captains, Spraggins is the anchor in the FSU back line. She has garnered numerous athletic accolades during her collegiate career.
Success has always been part of Spraggins’ nature. While attending Forrest Hills Central High School, her team won three Division II state championships. For her efforts, Spraggins earned all-state honorable mention in her senior season.
According to Spraggins, she had offers from several different schools to play collegiate soccer. However, the decision was an easy one for her.
“Ferris State was the choice since it was so close to home,” Spraggins said. “Making the transition to college wasn’t too tough.”
Now, in her senior season, she has been nothing short of a warrior on the field for the Bulldogs. With turf toe, a shoulder surgery and four concussions in her past, does that change her attitude on the field?
“Nope, I don’t think so,” said Spraggins. “The key is to not be hesitant; however, you just have to be more careful and take care of things.”
Even with the injury setbacks, she has established herself as one of the best defenders in the GLIAC. Last season, Spraggins was an All-GLIAC Second-Team selection.
One of the most important things to Spraggins is being able to lead some of the younger Bulldogs in their adjustment process.
“I love the fact that we have three captains because we all kind of balance each other out,” Spraggins said. “It’s really nice that your teammates can trust you and hold you to a higher standard.”
In addition to the relationships with her teammates, Spraggins cherishes the atmosphere of home games.
“I love it when there is a big game and the crowd gets into the game,” she said. “It’s really exciting as a player to have that support.”
Despite the many privileges of being a collegiate athlete, Spraggins remains humble. When asked what her favorite thing about FSU was, Spraggins laughed before responding with “Starbucks.”
In today’s sport’s world, athletes are often coddled if they have a scratch or a boo-boo. But this is not the case for Spraggins. She has remained a warrior in the face of her many injuries to play an integral role for the FSU women’s soccer team.
The Bulldogs are currently 4-4-1 overall and 4-1-1 in the GLIAC. The team will need Spraggins’ mental toughness as they face off against the defending national champions, Grand Valley State Univeristy. FSU will take on the 14th nationally-ranked Lakers Sept. 30 in Allendale, Mich. Game time is set for 6 p.m.