West Stokes varsity soccer team’s center back Macy Rutledge was recently named to the 2A All-State Team and now finds herself ranked among the top players in the state.
Rutledge said that the honor means a lot to her and it was something she worked hard to get during her senior year.
“It’s a really big honor,” she said. “Coming in as a freshman, I never thought I would be in something like this. To know that I’ve achieved something this high makes me want to work harder in college and be the best I can be for the next four years.”
At the beginning of May, Rutledge signed to play soccer with Pfeiffer University.
Part of what got Rutledge noticed this past season was her great defensive work and helping her team to 16 shutout wins. The team’s defense, led by Rutledge and keeper Liz Nail, only let 14 goals slip through this past season — a new record for West Stokes.
Rutledge and Nail eventually “clicked” through the season, and coupled with support of the team’s other defenders, they sealed shutout win after shutout win.
“Each shutout felt better and better,” Rutledge said. “We mastered that.”
At the beginning of the past season, Lady Wildcats Coach Chris Manley moved Rutledge back to the center back position after losing star-defensive player Alex Francois a year earlier.
Rutledge said that she didn’t really know what she was doing at first, but soon she found her footing on the field. While on the field, Rutledge was quick to clear the ball from danger and help to take some of the pressure off of Nail.
“Macy, with her height and skills, was perfect for the center back position,” Manley said. “She figured it out and figured it out quick.”
“I’m glad I played defense,” Rutledge said.
Manley said that Rutledge’s natural talent and hard work have allowed her to have a successful career at West Stokes. During her high school career, Rutledge made the all-conference and all-regional list all four years. This past season, she was conference Player of the Year, along with her most recent all-state honor.
“She has a passion for the sport,” Manley said. “She loves soccer and loves to win and she worked hard at it.”
Rutledge said that soccer has been an important part of her life ever since she started playing when she was just four years old.
“I’ve learned just as much about life on the field as I have off the field,” she said. “It helped me mature in a sense. It’s been my life and passion.”
Coach Manley, who has coached Rutledge since she was six years old, said that he was “extremely proud” of her and all she has accomplished during her high school career.
With her high school career behind her, Rutledge’s attention turns toward getting physically and mentally prepared to begin playing soccer for Pfeiffer. She said that she hopes to play an offensive position, but that after playing defense this past season, she is comfortable in just about any position.
“As long as I’m on the field, I’m happy,” she said.
Rutledge said that she is “excited” to be going to college and playing her favorite sport on the next level. She said that she plans to work “twice as hard” as she did in high school.
“I’ve worked hard and it’s finally paid off,” she said. “Playing college soccer has always been my dream. I’m really thankful.”