Shaun Scott, staff photo Mercer Island Islanders left tackle Aksel Turk is a force in the trenches for his football team.

Turk towers above his opponents in the trenches

The most important position on the football field never touches the ball for Mercer Island.

Mercer Island left tackle Aksel Turk, who protects senior quarterback Nikhil Nayar’s blindside, is responsible for making sure his quarterback is comfortable in the pocket. Nayar, who is one of the top signal callers in the KingCo 3A Conference, is blessed to have a player like Turk keeping him safe between the white lines of the gridiron.

The 6-foot, 6-inch, 240-pound lineman relishes the role of being a leader on the line.

“I got the blindside so I got to make sure that nothing gets to him that he doesn’t see,” Turk said. “I think it is one of the more important positions on the offensive line. I think we’re going to have a really good offensive line. We have a lot of big guys. Jaeden (Pritchard) and I both got first-team all-KingCo last year. We have a lot of experienced players.”

Turk said the biggest surprise of the first few weeks of practice is the emergence of freshman offensive lineman Derek Osman. Turk has marveled at the freshman’s tenacity in practice sessions.

“He is a freshman but he doesn’t look like a freshman,” he said. “He is really good and has impressed me. I really want him to start and I think he will.”

Recently, the Mercer Island Reporter had an opportunity to ask Turk a few questions about his life away from the football field.

Mercer Island Reporter: What is your favorite movie of all time?

Aksel Turk: “Inglourious Basterds.” Quentin Tarantino is a great producer and I just like his movies.

MIR: What is your favorite eatery on Mercer Island?

AT: QDOBA (Mexican restaurant). I like their quesadillas.

MIR: How many text messages do you send per day?

AT: I send around 10. I don’t send them too often.

MIR: What is your biggest pet peeve?

AT: When there is something on a whiteboard that is not erased and a small little mark is left. That really bothers me.

MIR: What is something unique about you that nobody would know?

AT: I play the guitar. I started when I was 10 years old.

MIR: Who was your favorite sports team growing up?

AT: Liverpool F.C. (professional soccer team). I grew up in Norway. Soccer is a lot bigger there.

MIR: Who is your favorite athlete of all time?

AT: In football, I would go with Joe Thomas (Cleveland Browns) because he plays the same position as I do (left tackle). He is one of the best of all-time. He is an athlete I look up to definitely.

More in Sports

Alex Edwards captured USA Swimming All-American honors for his stellar 2018-19 season with the Mercer Island Islanders. Photo courtesy of Bruce Edwards
Edwards earns USA Swimming All-American honors

Stellar 2018-19 season garners recognition.

Mercer Island Islanders midfielder Matt Capone (right), passes the ball to a teammate in a contest against the Juanita Rebels during the 2019 season. Capone will play soccer at Northwest Nazarene University this fall. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Attaining a dream on the soccer field

Mercer Island 2019 grad Matt Capone will play college soccer at Northwest Nazarene University.

Mercer Island Islanders 2019 graduate Teague Conder (pictured) will continue his baseball career at Whitman College in Walla Walla. Photo courtesy of Teague Conder
Conder to continue baseball career at Whitman College

Former Mercer Island third baseman embraces the action.

Peacocks roam the neighborhood of Beards Cove in sportswriter Shaun Scott’s childhood hometown of Belfair. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Running alongside a beautiful creature

Peacocks roam the streets of the neighborhood I grew up in.

Seattle Mariners legend Edgar Martinez, left, and Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone, right, collaborated on a book titled, “Edgar: An Autobiography.” Martinez and Stone attended a book signing on June 12 at Barnes Noble in Bellevue. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Legendary Mariner meets a plethora of fans

Edgar Martinez visits Bellevue Barnes & Noble to promote his book.

Mercer Island resident Michael Magnussen has competed in all six of the marathon majors in the world since 2016. Magnussen clocked a time of 2:56.21 at the London Marathon in May. This past February, Magnussen finished with a time of 2:55.40 in the Tokyo Marathon. Photo courtesy of Theresa Magnussen
Running is a way of life for Magnussen

Hard work and determination pays dividends for avid Mercer Island runner.

Mercer Island Islanders sophomore Tegan Yuasa is currently the top-ranked male 55-kilogram athlete in the sport of Judo. Yuasa will compete at the Cadet World Championships, which will take place from Sept. 25-29 in Almaty, Kazakhstan. Photo courtesy of Mark Yuasa
Yuasa earns first place in the USA Judo Elite Senior National Championships

Mercer Island High School sophomore Tegan Yuasa captured first place in the… Continue reading

The Mercer Island FC Maroon girls soccer team earned a 2-1 victory against the PacNW Blue in the President’s Cup D2 championship contest May 12. Photo courtesy of Tom Hill
Maroon girls soccer team completes journey with a championship

Teamwork propels Maroon soccer team to third title in five seasons.

Mercer Island senior Matthew Capone, left, dribbles the ball up field while being guarded by Juanita sophomore Andrew Taylor in a game on April 11. Capone earned first-team all-3A KingCo honors as a midfielder during the 2019 season. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders athletes capture all-league honors

Bevy of Mercer Island soccer/baseball players garner recognition.

The Mercer Island Islanders tennis doubles team consisting of Kevin Chen/Chris Elliott earned first place at the 3A state tennis tournament on May 25 in Kennewick. Photo courtesy of MC Chen
Doubles duo attains a coveted goal on the tennis court

The doubles team of Kevin Chen/Chris Elliott goes undefeated at the 3A state tournament.

Coach Don Papasedero, Gihoe Seo, Grace Shaddle, Annelise Rorem, Katelyn Travis, Lilly Pruchno and coach Tim Okamura take a team photo with the 3A third place trophy on May 22 at Hawks Prairie Golf Course in Lacey. Photo courtesy of Billy Pruchno
Mercer Island girls golf team captures third place at 3A state tourney

Islanders’ girls golf squad rises to the occasion in final tournament of 2019.

Mercer Island player Glen Mahony (No. 9) leaps on the back of Will Wheeler (No. 14) during the 3A state championship game against the Bellevue Wolverines. Mercer Island defeated Bellevue 14-6 on May 25 at the Starfire Sports Complex in Tukwila. Photo courtesy of Rick Edelman/Rick Edelman Photography
Islanders win 3A state lacrosse championship

Mercer Island finishes 2019 season with 18 victories.