On Oct. 1 of last year, Covington senior Alison Timberlake hopped into her vehicle like she had done many times before and headed home after a Lady Charger soccer practice.
She never made it.
Timberlake lost control of her Hummer sports utility vehicle and it rolled five times before it came to rest on the side of the road.
One of the first things that crossed her mind on the way to the hospital and once she got there was soccer. After all, it was the last month of her senior season.
“I was nervous at first that I wasn’t going to be able to come back,” Timberlake said. “I was bothering my doctors the whole time.”
Miraculously, she escaped the accident without any serious injuries, though half of her lip was cut off, two teeth were knocked out and a third was severely damaged.
She only missed one game, thanks partly to fall break. After two weeks she was back in action and helped the Lady Chargers make it all the way to the sectionals, one win from a state tournament berth.
Three months later, on Tuesday afternoon in the Covington High School library, Timberlake was rewarded for her resilience when she signed a soccer scholarship with Dyersburg State Community College.
Timberlake, a three-time all-district defender, served as a team captain her last three seasons at Covington. Dyersburg State head coach Robert Luttrell, who coached Timberlake when she was a freshman at Covington, said Timberlake’s leadership skills and defensive tenacity made the decision to recruit her a no-brainer.
“She’s really defensive minded, a good leader and just a hard worker,” Luttrell said. “She really stands out as far as defensive awareness and technique, one of the players we all want as coaches … Players tend to respond to her. She makes teammates accountable without making them mad. That’s a big part of being a leader.”