By Thomas Sellers Jr.
Since the 2014 football season wrapped up, Millington Trojan Patrick Macon has been racking up all the awards and accolades a standout linebacker should.
Arguably one of the best defenders to come through Flag City, Macon was named All-District 14-3A, a Liberty Bowl High School All-Star and to the TSWA All-State Team.
Despite all those titles added to his resume’, Macon was after one more goal to complete his high school career. The son of Patrick and Tanya Macon wanted his signing day.
On Feb. 9 in the Millington Central High School Library, Macon inked a letter of intent to attend Arizona Western College.
“It’s always good to see your kids continued to do something they love,” Millington Head Coach Chris Michael said. “Anytime they get a chance to keep playing, it’s a nice perk for your program. It’s nice to see them go on to play. It’s rare.
“He’s going to the JUCO level and he’ll definitely have his opportunities once he gets his academics squared away to play at a high-level Division I school,” he added. “Sometimes it’s just the path you’re forced to take. He’ll be extremely successful and have a great career. Not only with his years out there in Arizona, but wherever he ends up, he’ll be highly successful.”
Macon is heading to a program that has been highly successful. The Matadors are a powerhouse in the Southwest winners of the 2012 and 2014 El Toro Bowl. Arizona Western has won the Western States Football League championship in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2014.
The Matadors got a steal with Macon. This past season at Millington, Macon led the Trojan in tackles from his middle linebacker spot with more than 80.He even returned an interception for a touchdown in 2014.
Now Macon will have a chance to showcase his talents in a new part of the country.
“I was kind of iffy about going at first,” Macon acknowledged. “But when I thought about it, I do want to get out and explore the world more. I want to get out more. I’m very happy I made the choice to go to a winning program
“It feels like I have a backup plan just in case I don’t make the ACT score,” he added. “I know I’m going to make it, but time wasn’t basically on my side.”
Taking the ACT multiple times, Macon said he is near the official qualifying score for the NCAA Clearing House. But with National Signing Day gone, Macon had to put himself in a position of knowing his next step in his education and football career.
“Flip side of that, I hope the kids look and see no matter how successful you are,” Michaels said, “the accolades you bring home when it comes to awards and all those things, that those academics for the options at the end are everything. You can be just like Patrick, one of the best players in the area for two or three years running, but to keep as many option open as possible.
“He has continued to battle with that test score,” the veteran coach continued. “His GPA has remained solid. He’s just being there right on the cusp of getting the point he needs to get through the clearing house. We’re hoping he still gets through there. He took it Saturday (Feb. 7) to get that extra point he needs.”
Michaels noted whether the point comes or not, Macon has taken a step in the right direction for his future.
“I’m happy for Patrick he has an option of where he can go,” he said. “He has a solid program to go to. It’s a big challenge to step out to play in Arizona. But if he qualifies, we’ll continue to work on finding him somewhere through the recruiting process.”
Macon’s stellar play on the field has made him an attractive prospect for years. He plans to play for a Division I school one day. But until that time comes, Macon has left an impressive legacy at Millington.
“There’s been a lot of good one through the years,” Michael recalled. “Every era is different. In the era of the run games and all the double tight ends and full house backfields, it was three yards and a cloud of dust. I think it if probably the most challenging era right now from a defensive standpoint to be successful. Because the ball is spread from sideline to sideline.
“For Patrick to do what he’s done over the course of his career, and that’s all he has ever had to face,” he continued. “He’s run and run down running backs. He’s had to run and chase the passer and rush the passer. He’s had to drop into coverage. He’s had to run downhill. Then he’s had to plug holes like true middle linebackers some Friday nights. He’s extremely versatile and probably the best defensive player I had the opportunity to coach and be a part of.”
Macon said all the accolades that come from his coaches, teammates, Trojan faithful and community have humbled him.
“I see myself as giving it my all and leaving it all out there on the field,” he concluded. “If people remember that way, I will take it the way they remember me and just stay humble.”