- Loves to travel
- Has a friend named Soup
- Once stayed in a hotel adjacent to an active erupting volcano
- Once surfed on a flooded golf course
Detroit Country Day – Michael Stakits, a 17-year-old senior at Detroit Country Day Upper School is the 2019 Favorite Forward for the fall Fan Choice Awards! Michael has played soccer since he could walk, and fast forward, he’s now a 10-year competitive soccer player on a travel team.
“The freedom of the game is my favorite part about soccer,” he says. “Within the boundaries of the field, there’s an endless amount of possibilities for the player with the ball. On the field, I can express my own style that isn’t configured to anyone else.”
Within the past year, the forward player has achieved many accomplishments besides winning a Fan Choice Award, including winning the state championship with the 2018-2019 varsity team. He’s also won the All-Academic awards for his junior and senior year, along with most recently being named as part of the All-District, All-Region and All-State teams.
In regards to winning his Fan Choice Award, Michael said it wouldn’t have been possible without his high school friends. “I have to give credit to my unbelievably supportive classmates; these are the people that were at most games cheering us on,” he says. “That same energy was magnified once they heard that I had been nominated.”
The hardworking senior also shares with us how great of a supporting and hardworking team his soccer mates are. “My teammates are very hardworking individuals that can turn on a serious side at will,” says Stakits. “Practices are always a joy with my team, between the camaraderie I share with them and their competitive banter, I couldn’t ask for a better group of guys to play alongside.”
Although Michael has won Favorite Forward, that’s not the only position he has played on his team. He says that he has experience with playing left back, left wing and center. “Last year, I saw the field as a left back and had some trouble adjusting to the defensive style," he says. “This year, I have focused more on the attacking side by playing left wing for most of the season and experimenting with center attacking the midfield.”
He continues, “There’s no greater feeling than the whipping in of an assisting cross after beating a defense-man down the line. I’d have to say left wing was my favorite position throughout my career as a soccer player.”
As for the challenges that Michael has faced, he says that his biggest one thus far would be his journey to where he is standing now. “From being on junior varsity to barely seeing the field on varsity, to starting this year and becoming the leading goal scorer-- these steps were each riddled with their own adversities,” he says. However, with hardship comes achievement, and his biggest success was winning a state victory with his 2018-2019 team.
“All the work we had put in throughout the season paid off,” he says. “It’s really an indescribable feeling to hoist that trophy and know you’re number one.”
Overall, Michael’s parents, Robert and Kristina Stakits says that he is a very well-rounded young man. Even as a young boy, his huge heart, compassion and kindness towards others stood out. His parents also say that he has always gone the extra mile to help a friend, stand up for a fellow classmate or make contributions to different charitable organizations by either donating his time or generously donating his birthday gifts to children in need.
According to his parents, Michael has always loved school and especially learning about other cultures. He has had the opportunity to visit many countries including Africa, the Bahamas, Canada, the Dominican Republic, France, Mexico and Italy. In addition, Michael has been a member of Detroit Country Day’s Outdoor Adventure Club and has traveled to Costa Rica, Peru, and in early 2020 he will be traveling to the Galapagos Islands. Other clubs that he is involved in are Science Olympiad, Social Studies Olympiad, Youth and Government Club, and Fear the Sting (Yearbook).
Michael has always been encouraged and supported in any endeavor by his family and friends. Michael’s large extended family is also very supportive. His grandfather, a former professional soccer player in both the former Yugoslavia and Canada, helped foster his love and passion for soccer from an early age.
Michael is very excited for the next chapter of life and is looking forward to graduating next year. He hopes to pursue astronautical or aerospace engineering and has applied to Michigan State, Purdue University, Indiana University and Miami of Ohio. He also plans to play soccer in college. “My future goals for soccer would be to continue my career and love for the sport at the collegiate level,” he says. “I want to enjoy the sport for my entire life and I don’t see the passion for it dying anytime soon.”
We’d like to thank our 4Frenzy sponsors for their support: DMC Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine, Hungry Howie’s, Meijer, Southeast Michigan Ford Dealers, and Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation.