Keegan DeKuiper and Annie Lockett: Hope Athletics Podcast

Microphone on a stand.

When injuries sidelined Hope College’s Keegan DeKuiper and Annie Lockett from competition last season, they put aside their disappointment and focused on supporting their teammates and coaches.

Their servant leadership drew praise from those around them, including their respective men’s soccer and women’s volleyball teams. They were announced as Anchor Award recipients in April at the 2024 Hope Athletics HOPEYs ceremony.

The Male and Female Anchor Awards are presented to athletes who anchor their teams, inspiring their teammates to train and perform at their best. 

Annie Lockett poses for a portrait.
Annie Lockett
Keegan DeKuiper poses for a portrait.
Keegan DeKuiper

DeKuiper and Lockett spoke about their experiences and lessons learned during Season 4, Episode 3 of the Hope Athletics Orange and Blue Podcast.

They both said they relied on their Christian faith to help navigate a challenging time in their lives.

“It was super tough, but God just has a way of changing your heart (and) changing your mindset,” DeKuiper said.

Added Lockett, “Ultimately, we serve a God who turns these poor things into good things, and he does that through people.”

Ultimate Teammates

A goalkeeper, DeKuiper went from starting nine games as a sophomore in 2022 to missing the entire 2023 season.

The exercise science major from Norton Shores, Michigan (Mona Shores HS) rose to the occasion, head coach David Blahnik said.

“Keegan is the ultimate teammate,” Blahnik said. “Whether he is the star of the game or injured on the sideline you can always count on him to be a servant leader to his teammates and coaches to help in whatever way possible.” 

Lockett earned American Volleyball Coaches Association All-America honors as an outside hitter in 2022 and helped the Flying Dutch reach the NCAA Division III quarterfinals. 

The business major from Mason, Ohio (William Mason) never saw the court in 2023 but still poured herself into her teammates, head coach Becky Schmidt said. Hope finished as national runner-up last season.

“Annie is a selfless leader who was able to impact the team despite not having one stat this year,” Schmidt said. “Her willingness to put the team first, celebrate her teammates and bring wisdom and perspective to the team was inspiring.”

Written transcript of the interview

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