MINNEOLA – Versatile athlete Stephone Atkinson made his varsity debut this past season at Lake Minneola.

Despite the 1-9 record by the Hawks, the 6’2″, 195-pound Atkinson made an impact as a running back, linebacker and safety.

He called his team young and made a guarantee that Lake Minneola will be much better this fall.

“We can turn this program around by putting in extra work before and after practice,” Atkinson told Prep Sports Scouting. “Our team treats each other like family and cares for each other, we just want the best for this team to be on top.”

Atkinson called the spring game against St. Cloud a game changer. He lined up as a defensive end for the first time.

Starting his football career in the 5th grade, he says he discovered his confidence by watching the top guys in the NFL on television. He was a running back and safety when he opened up his play on the gridiron.

Atkinson called his will to give everything he has on each play his biggest strength.

On the opposite side, he knows what he has to do complete his game.

“I can better my overall game by working on the mistakes I need to work on,” Atkinson said. “Also, I will put in the work to be better than anyone else. I train every day to better myself as a football player.”

No offers have come yet for Atkinson, but he’s drawn interest from Liberty.

He’s grateful to play for his head coach Walter Banks, who enters his third season in charge of the Lake Minneola sideline.

“Coach Banks is a great coach,” Atkinson said. “He taught me so much about the game of football and about life. I love playing for coach Banks. He treats me like I’m his son.”

Atkinson’s goal is to continue his football career in college. He says it wouldn’t only be about football, it would be about the fact that he’d be the first person in his family to attend college.

Adding strength to his frame will be key this off-season, but Atkinson has very impression directional speed. He makes people miss with his long arms and does a good job of bouncing outside or finding the whole down the middle. Atkinson got his feet wet in his first varsity season and he will look to take his game to a new level out of the backfield this fall.

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Quick Hitters

Favorite players to watch – Marshawn Lynch
Playlist before games – Motivational videos
Favorite movies – Fast and Furious series
Favorite TV shows – Friday Night Tykes
Nicknames from teammates or friends – “Steph”

Game film: Atkinson’s Hudl tape

Jake Perper is the founder of Prep Sports Scouting. Make sure to follow along for all the updates on Twitter: @JakePerper.

Photo credit: Michelle Brown Photography

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