Covington High soccer coach Rusty Richardson wasn’t sure what to think when Macauley Jones approached him last July about playing soccer.
Jones had never play organized soccer in her life, but Richardson knew she was an athlete. As a freshman at Brighton in 2018, Jones and Andi Coulston advanced to the state tennis tournament in doubles.
“I knew I didn’t have anything else to do my senior year so I decided to pick something new up,” Jones said.
“I knew she could be coached because of tennis so we gave her a shot,” Richardson said. “We went through three weeks of conditioning and I knew she was going to be a good player.”
Jones earned all-district honors as a defender during her senior season last fall and fared so well that Dyersburg State Community College coach Robert Luttrell offered her a scholarship. She signed it Thursday afternoon during a ceremony at First Baptist Church in Covington.
Luttrell acknowledged it was rare to sign a player with just one year of experience, but he made an exception for Jones.
“She’s just a remarkable human being and a remarkable kid,” Luttrell said. “She always wants to learn. If you talk to any of the coaches at Covington, they’ll say the same thing. She’s always asking ‘How do you do this, how do you do that?’ She’s fallen in love with the sport and she’s going to grow into it.”
Said Jones: “I’m just always looking for another way to get better and put myself in better positions.”
Jones admitted she was surprised that deciding to “pick up something new” turned into a college scholarship.
“I had no clue,” she said with a laugh. “When he (Luttrell) asked me I was just blown away. I was like, ‘Are you serious?'”