MILLEDGEVILLE — A former Georgia Military College soccer standout returned Tuesday to visit the campus that offered him new opportunities both on and off the field.
Njikang Rene, 26, was a member of the GMC Junior College soccer team from 2010 to 2012. Since then, he has moved on to play for the Georgia Gwinnett College Grizzlies as well as the National Premier Soccer League team, Georgia Revolution.
Rene explained that his journey to get to where he is now has not been a walk in the park.
His home in Cameroon, Africa was where he was first introduced to the sport. Though he was able to play soccer in Cameroon, he said the games lacked structure in his native country. Many coaches came and went, which did not allow Rene to be as comfortable as he wanted to be with the sport.
Rene decided that he needed to look for opportunities elsewhere, which led him to his decision to come to the United States.
These opportunities would not be only in soccer.
“The world is changing,” Rene said. “I knew I would have to focus on being in school and getting good grades more than playing soccer.”
After looking at many colleges to see where he could potentially get a full-ride soccer scholarship, Rene learned that GMC was holding tryouts. He made the team, earned a full scholarship and was accepted to the school.
Though Rene had to sit out the first 10 games of his first year while waiting for paperwork to transfer from Cameroon, he knew it was worthwhile when he finally got on the field.
“I was really excited when I got the call that I would be playing in our next game.”
The season ended on a high note with a few wins, which gave the team confidence carrying over into following season.