At eight years old, Enock Maganda walked into a classroom buzzing with activity. It was the first day of school at Whit Davis Elementary and friends were reuniting after summer vacation. Maganda had just moved to Athens from his hometown of Columbia, South Carolina and felt isolated from the rest of the group. Yet, he had one thing in common with many of his classmates: soccer. The son of Tanzanian immigrants, Maganda fell in love with the game at a young age.
“I have been around the game ever since I was little, as many of my family members used to play,” Maganda said. “Whenever I play, I feel like nothing else is going on, It’s just me and the ball.”
Maganda grew up watching Messi and Ronaldinho, two FC Barcelona legends. He also looks up to his Uncle, Melchizedek Mashiku, who played soccer at Cedar Shoals from 2012-2016.
While Maganda started playing at the age of 10, he had never played on a club team before moving to Georgia. That changed when he joined Athens United, where he was coached by Cedar Shoals Head Coach Brian Lukasewitz.
“The way Enock shows up to practice in 100 degree heat and is ready to put in the work speaks volumes about his work ethic,” Lukasewitz said.
Maganda moved on from Athens United in 2018 when he joined United Futbol Academy in Atlanta. At the time, the league played in the United States Developmental Academy (DA), one of the top youth leagues in the country. The league dissolved in 2019 so Maganda joined his current club, Gwinnett Soccer Academy, to play in the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). In addition to club soccer, Maganda captained the Hilsman Middle School soccer team in 2018, played on the Tanzanian U17 National Team in that year and has captained the Cedar Shoals Varsity team for the past two years.
In addition to being named the offensive MVP for the Jaguars in each of the past two seasons, Maganda was named to the United Soccer Coaches Association Georgia High School Boys Soccer First Team and was selected to participate in the Southeast All-American High School Soccer Showcase in 2020. He was also named to the First Team 8-AAAA All-Region, First Team All-Area by the Athens Banner Herald and Divarsity’s Georgia High School Soccer All-Star Team this year.
While Maganda has had many highlights in his career, not everything has come easy.
In a soccer match against East Hall last year, the Jaguars were down by one in the closing seconds of the game. Maganda drew a penalty and stepped up to try to convert from the spot. Coming into the match, Maganda had never missed a penalty kick in his soccer career. His penalty was saved and the Jaguars lost the game. Cedar Shoals Assistant Coach Conor Naughton recalls fondly what would soon unfold.
“He (Maganda) was pretty down on himself so I texted him the next morning to try to cheer him up. He then told me that after everyone went home, Enock got back in the car and drove back to the field. He then spent 30 minutes taking penalties in the dark at 11:30 at night.”
Maganda doesn’t just excel on the pitch but also in the classroom. He has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his high school career, is in the top 5% of his class and is a member of the school’s Beta Club and National Honors Society Chapters. He is also dual enrolling at the University of Georgia this year.
“Enock is a great example of what we try to develop in our student-athletes,” Cedar Shoals Athletic Director L’Dreco Thomas said. “He excels not only on the field but also in the classroom.”
On Aug. 20, Maganda signed to continue his academic and athletic career at Wofford College In Spartanburg, South Carolina. Maganda committed to Wofford this spring after receiving offers from several other NCAA Division 1 programs including three Ivy league institutions.
“I chose Wofford because of the location and I really connected with the coaches,” Maganda said. “The program is in a rebuilding process so I know when I get to campus, I will be a key player who can make a difference.”
Wofford competes as a member of the Southern Conference. Maganda is the first men’s soccer player from Cedar Shoals to sign with a Division 1 school since Cade Jones signed with East Tennessee State in 2008.
Maganda plans on majoring in biology or sports medicine with the hopes of becoming an athletic trainer.
“I not only want to have a successful athletic career but I want to make sure that by the time I’m graduating, I have a solid foundation for whatever I choose to pursue. If I am presented with the opportunity to play professionally with a good team, that is definitely something I would consider,” Maganda said.