MARQUETTE, Mich. - The dream of any athlete is to play on the varsity level. High school or college it does not matter just to play on the varsity level is an accomplishment. The Northern Michigan University women’s soccer team has its own version of Rudy. Aurora Jackson, a native of Troy, Mich., was plucked from the NMU club team to become a productive member of the 2009-10 squad.
Before she enrolled at NMU, Jackson was very familiar with the area as her family had a vacation home in Calumet, Mich. and she had been coming up this way all her life. “My dad told me about the school (NMU) and I decided I wanted to come here,” said Jackson.
She sent head coach Matt Granstrand a tape and he thought that the club team would be the route to go. “He looked at me on my tape and said the club team would be best for me,” said Jackson. But during her second year on campus it was her chance as the team was holding open tryouts. “I tried out and he (Granstrand) said he would like for me to be on the team,” added Jackson.
Granstrand noticed Jackson from the scrimmages the varsity had with the club team. “I watched her tryouts and she just stood out,” said Granstrand. “She is a diamond in the rough. A really good athlete.”
Granstrand is impressed with Jackson’s athletic ability. “She is an incredible athlete. When we play you will notice she is one of the best athletes on the field. She can shut down anyone,” said Granstrand. “Aurora brings a strong physical presence to our defense.”
Her first season on the team was the 2008 campaign as she appeared in 13 games with no points. This year so far she has started 13 games and recorded an assist at Ferris State Sept. 20. “It feels good knowing that I can do it,” said Jackson. “I am just really happy knowing I was a walk-on and now I am a starter.”
Granstrand feels that Jackson’s potential is unlimited. “This year is a great example. She is just taking over.” The number 21 seems to be all over the defensive front of the ‘Cats soccer team.
Because of her class schedule, Jackson only can practice with the team one day a week. The art and design major wants to move to New York City after she graduates from NMU. With her dedication and determination anything is possible for Jackson.
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Sports Information Director