Academy alumni advances on Armed Forces soccer team


Armed Forces Sports

Ben Lockler, pictured in green, wins possession of the ball in the the Air-Force vs All-Army game April 2019.

Alumni Ben Lockler participated in the seventh Military World Games as the starting goalkeeper for the U.S. Armed Forces Men’s Soccer Team. He graduated in 2011, continued his academic career at Virginia Tech, and became a second Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force. 

“As the starting goalkeeper, representing the United States Armed Forces Men’s Soccer at the World Games in Wuhan, China, he sets the bar at a new level for Ocean Lakes graduates,” said Donald Hart, who coached Lockler.

Lockler was the starting varsity goalkeeper for three of his high school years, during which the team had an impressive record of 36 wins, nine losses, and one tie. He led the team as a captain in his junior and senior years, assisting the team in obtaining the school’s 12 National Academic Title, and its 15 Virginia High School League Sportsmanship Award.

“Looking back now, I can appreciate that learning to balance schoolwork, sports, and social events was important and set me up to do well in whatever path I choose,” said Lockler.

Although, “He stood out as one of the top keepers in Virginia Beach during his high school career,” said Hart.

Lockler declined scholarship opportunities from other colleges to continue his education at Virginia Tech. There he studied nutrition and exercise science and participated in club soccer, moving up to play at the NCAA level, playing semi-professionally, and finally joining the military. These all made for a variety of soccer experiences on different levels. 

“My path towards continuing to play soccer after Ocean Lakes was not what I anticipated,” said Lockler. 

Locker’s hobbies don’t stop at soccer, he enjoys many different types of activities. 

“When I’m not busy with work, I like to spend time doing any type of physical activity or cooking. I always enjoy reading. Lately, I’ve been reading a lot of US history and whenever I get the chance I’ll get out on the mountain bike,” said Lockler. 

Lockler hopes to stay around the game of soccer, and when he ages out, he hopes to get into coaching. 

“I’ve been very fortunate to enjoy the experiences that I have so far, in the professional and athletic worlds, and I’m looking forward to seeing what the future holds,” said Lockler.