Beth Davis Akers played softball for the Bruins from 1998-2001 helped bridge the program as it transitioned from NAIA to NCAA Division I. During her three years as a Bruin, she played in 148 games, starting 120 of them as an infielder and as a pitcher. During her senior season in 2001, she ranked second on the team in RBIs and third in batting average and hits.
Beth recently spoke to BelmontBruins.com about her Belmont experience and her current role as wife, mother, and teacher here in Middle Tennessee.
Why did you choose Belmont?
I attended Belmont because of the Christian based environment they provide that I was accustomed to all the way through school from Kindergarten to current (went to Davidson Academy in Nashville). I also loved the smaller feel of the campus and getting the opportunity to play college softball at the Division I level.
What is your fondest athletic memory at Belmont?
It's very hard to choose my fondest athletic memory at Belmont because there were so many. If I had to narrow it down it was all the road trips and the long hours in the bus with my teammates. We had 3 coaches in 3 years, which is a lot of transitions. I think that is why we were a very close knit team. We always had such a great time together and felt as though my teammates were more like sisters than anything. We still keep in touch and had a reunion weekend last fall where we rented an AirBNB in town and did things like Top Golf together. We even came over to visit campus because it's much different and larger than when we were there. Another great memory is playing games at big schools like the University of Florida and the University of Tennessee. Both were something very cool to experience even though if we didn't win.
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Belmont? How?
The people who had the biggest influence on me during my time at Belmont were two of my coaches, Charlie Gunter and Don Watson. They were fun to be around and always were people I respected and looked up to. If I ever needed anything I know I could come to them. To this day I still keep in touch with them.
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Belmont?
The most valuable thing I learned from my time at Belmont is always give it all you have with everything in life. Whether it be sports, academics, or life.
What advice would you give to current members of the cross country team?
My advice to current members of the softball team is to make sure to give it all you have every day so you don't ever look back and regret it. Playing division one sports is such a privilege. Not everyone gets that opportunity.
Who was your favorite professor and why?
My favorite professor had to be Dr. Cynthia Watkins. I had her finishing up my undergraduate degree, but I got to spend a lot of time with her when I was completing my masters in Special Education. She was never satisfied with average. She would continue to give a project back to you until it was right. She always pushed me to be the best version of myself and I learned so much from her in my time at Belmont.
Where do you live now?
I have lived in Nashville my entire life and have been fortunate enough to stay here. We currently live on the west side of town in Bellevue.
What is your occupation?
I work for Dickson County Schools where I work as the Early Interventionist. My job includes working with preschoolers and students through third grade, primarily the ones diagnosed with Autism.
The preschoolers come in when they are three and are unable to learn from the classroom. I along with two assistants, will pull them out work with them 1:1 to build their skills up. The main areas we target are the learning to learn skills such as imitation, functional communication, setting up behavior plans, and even potty training. The goal is to get them ready for Kindergarten so they are able to be in an inclusive setting where they are able to be with their peers and learn from that environment.
I have been working with children on the Autism Spectrum for over 20 years and it's something I've loved doing. It's very challenging, but so rewarding. I have had several kids I have worked with through the years who have graduated from high school with regular diplomas and even a few who have graduated from college.
Tell us about your family.
My husband, Wayne, and I have been married for 17 years. We actually met at Belmont my senior year and he was completing his masters. We have 2 children, Matthew (11-5th grade), and Claire (6-1st grade). They both attend Christ Presbyterian Academy here in Nashville and we also attend church there. Our lives revolve around the kids and their school activities and sports. Matthew plays basketball, football, and baseball. Claire plays basketball, softball, and soccer. I have actually gotten back into softball, but now I am coaching Claire's softball team at Grassland. We are constantly on the move, but I wouldn't have it any other way!