ROHS grad Rushing adjusts to new position
Sophomore soccer player is all-conference after move to midfielder
Soccer player Makayla Rushing welcomed the chance to play a new position this year.
A switch to attacking midfielder worked out just fine, for the Red Oak High School graduate earned all-Southwestern Athletic Conference first-team recognition.
A forward last year, the 5-foot-1 sophomore was the only Alabama A & M University player to be cited on the first team. She said she will receive a glass plaque with the conference honor inscribed on it.
"I was happy with how I played. My goal was to be one of the playmakers," she said. "I like playing midfield. It seems you get more touches. You have a bigger role. It allows you to be more of a playmaker."
One of three captains, she started all eight games and finished second on the team in minutes played, including playing the entire game seven times. The team leader in shots, she ranked second with four points, on two game-winning goals.
She played on the left side as one of two attacking midfielders in a new offensive scheme she described as aggressive. "It gives us a lot more chances on goal," said Rushing, whose six goals and two assists led the team in points last year. "We need to start finishing better."
Her role was "to help distribute the ball out wide to the forwards," she said. "We have two really fast players on the outside."
On the team's corner kicks, she positioned herself near the net. "I'm responsible for being on the back post," she said, "so I'll be there to head it in."
Rushing said she has improved the most in her field awareness, knowing how the action is developing and where to pass the ball. Her ability to sense opponents approaching from behind or cutting to win balls became an asset. "So you can make smart and control the play," she said.
During the summer she is practicing her dribbling and shooting daily except Sundays.
Kansas State University setter Shelby Martin was named to the all-Big 12 Conference second team. The senior out of Waxahachie High finished fifth in the conference in assists per set.
Sophomore second baseman CW Schrader started all 38 games he played for Ouachita Baptist University. The Red Oak graduate had a team-high 44 hits in batting .308, second on the squad. He drove in 14 runs and had a .912 fielding percentage in 137 chances, third most on the team.
Send updates about area athletes to Barbara Boxleitner at firstname.lastname@example.org.