Al­covy star chooses col­lege

Lady Tigers soc­cer player Mackenzie Row­land signs with Truett McCon­nell

The Covington News - - SPORTS - GABRIEL STOVALL gsto­vall@cov­ Tyler Wil­liams also con­trib­uted to this re­port.

Al­covy’s Row­land feels right at home with Truett McCon­nell

Al­covy soc­cer player Mackenzie Row­land signed with Truett McCon­nell this past Thurs­day, choos­ing the col­lege over Shaw Univer­sity and Young Har­ris.

She has been a stand­out for the Lady Tigers over the last two sea­sons, par­tic­u­larly, and one of Al­covy coach Chris Ubri­aco’s most steady play­ers.

Ubri­aco said that Row­land’s im­por­tance to his young pro­gram could not be un­der­stated.

“Be­fore I came here she was a good player, but now she’s re­ally de­vel­oped into a team leader,” Ubri­aco said. “She’s re­ally em­braced that role over the last cou­ple of years for me. She’s re­ally in a key po­si­tion that’s right in the mid­dle of ev­ery­thing we do. And hav­ing a rock back there has been tremen­dous for us. She’s still de­vel­op­ing as a player, but she’s more de­vel­op­ing as a leader right now.”

Row­land is in the midst of a 2017 cam­paign with Al­covy to where she’s try­ing to help the Lady Tigers make an­other state play­off ap­pear­ance, and hope­fully a deep run. But she took the time to talk with The Cov­ing­ton News about her sign­ing and her ex­pe­ri­ence at Al­covy. The Cov­ing­ton News: De­scribe your ex­pe­ri­ence play­ing at Al­covy these last four years: Row­land: “My ex­pe­ri­ence these past four years play­ing soc­cer at Al­covy have been some of the best times of my high school ca­reer. High school soc­cer is the only thing I look forward to yearly. The bonds I’ve car­ried with my team­mates over the years are the times I cher­ish most.”

TCN: How does it feel sign­ing to con­tinue play­ing a sport you love at the next level?

Row­land: “I am so ex­cited to be play­ing at the col­lege level. It feels awe­some. I’ve played since I was four years old, and the idea of that end­ing this year was just not an op­tion for me. Soc­cer is some­thing that has taught me dis­ci­pline and cer­tainly how to win and lose gra­ciously. I was blessed to re­ceive three aca­demic and soc­cer scholarships from three re­ally good schools. Truett was such a good fit for me from the very first visit. I’m grate­ful they saw po­ten­tial in me and of­fered me a schol­ar­ship for both my ath­letic abil­ity as well as my hard work to keep my grades up.”

TCN: What made Truett McCon­nell the best op­tion for you?

Row­land: “They em­pha­size that ed­u­ca­tional and col­lege life are just as im­por­tant as my soc­cer ca­reer. It’s small, yet mod­ern and just two and a half hours from. And it’s in the moun­tains, and I’ll be sur­rounded by peo­ple who tend to have all the same val­ues that I have – all things that are im­por­tant to me.”

TCN: What are you most look­ing forward to about col­lege?

Row­land: “It would have to be mak­ing all new friends and tak­ing my first steps to be­ing independent. I’m be­yond ex­cited to go ahead and start and hope­fully take a path down nurs­ing or crim­i­nal jus­tice. I’m just ex­cited. And I wouldn’t have got­ten to where I am to­day, if it weren’t for my par­ents and grand­par­ents lov­ing and sup­port me every step of the way.”

Tyler Wil­liams | The Cov­ing­ton News

Mackenzie Row­land sits at the sign­ing ta­ble at Al­covy High af­ter sign­ing a schol­ar­ship of­fer to play at Truett McCon­nell.

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