Karns’ Samuel Akers defies odds to play quarterback for Beavers

Sophomore silences doubters with play on the field
Sophomore silences doubters with play on the field
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - If you grow up around Karns, you dream of playing for the Beavers.

Samuel Akers got his tryout at quarterback long before he was a student.

“Before Sam got to the high school, he was actually our ball boy,” recalls Head Coach Lee Warren. “Great ball boy. We haven’t had one as good as him since!”

But the odds to play football were stacked against Akers from the start.

“It’s called a brachial plexus injury,” explained Akers. “The doctor who was giving birth to me, he just did a bunch of wrong things in the procedure. I can’t move my wrist and do a bunch of stuff like that.

According to Akers, he only has 75% mobility in his left arm, but that didn’t stop him from excelling in athletics. One person served as all the inspiration he needed along the way.

“My mom was a big one. She got me into everything that I do,” said Akers. “She’s taught me how to do everything.”

There were obstacles along the way.

“I was bullied a lot during the first couple of years at school,” Akers recalled. “As I started getting more and more into sports, people started to think that it was cool.”

Now the sophomore is in line to soon be the coolest story on Friday nights in East Tennessee, inspiring others both on and off the field.

“It’s really easy to say, ‘Oh poor me.’ No, but he’s not like that. He’s accepted the challenge.” Warren said. “He works hard. Doesn’t complain about it ever. We’re proud of how he’s progressing and handling everything that life has told him so far.”