COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Arizona Western’s Patrick Macon has been named the 2017 David Rowlands Male Student-Athlete of the Year, announced by the NJCAA Executive Committee on Tuesday. Macon becomes the first Matador to earn the prestigious award.
“I’m very honored to receive this award,” Macon stated. “When you are a student-athlete, student comes first, and I made sure of that. Arizona Western helped me reach the next level because the coaching staff challenged me. They made me really understand that you can’t just coast to get where you want. It takes hard work and dedication to be successful, especially in this sport.”
After guiding Arizona Western to an 11-1 record and a berth in the 2016 NJCAA Football Championship game, Macon, a sophomore linebacker was named the Spalding® NJCAA Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts on the gridiron.
Macon led the nation with 27.5 tackles-for-loss and nine forced fumbles in 2016. As a sophomore, Macon’s ability to get to the quarterback aided the Matadors’ top-ranked defense. Arizona Western limited opponents to just 166.5 yards per game and 9.4 points per contest, the second-best mark in each category.
Following a two-year career that included over 200 tackles, including 40 for a loss, Macon committed to Oklahoma State where he enrolled for the 2017 spring semester.
“I thank the coaching staff at Arizona Western so much, especially head coach Tom Minnick and defensive coordinator Jerry Dominguez. It was a very humbling experience coming to Arizona Western. The coaches let it be known that you have to earn your playing time here. They had a lot to do with me reaching the next level.”
Along with Macon’s defensive player of the year honor, he was named to the NJCAA All-America First Team, the El Toro Bowl Defensive MVP, and the Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Western States Football League. Macon also received the NJCAA Exemplary Academic Achievement Award after his freshman season.
Minnick noted Macon’s influence on the entire Arizona Western program. “This is a great honor for Patrick. Arizona Western College, the Matador football program, and the community of Yuma are very proud of him. Patrick is the epitome of a student-athlete. Patrick was a non-qualifier out of high school and graduated in a year and a half from Arizona Western. Patrick’s tireless work ethic on the field led to his phenomenal leadership abilities that helped the Matadors reach the NJCAA National Championship game. Patrick refused to be denied from achieving his goals.”
Dominguez added his praise regarding Macon's success at Arizona Western. "Patrick is motivated to excel as a student-athlete and understands the importance of higher education. He balanced his studies with his athletic commitment to help us have an undefeated regular season and win the 2016 WSFL Championship."
Macon, a native of Millington, TN becomes the first NJCAA football player to receive the Rowlands award since 2004 when Pearl River's (MS) Larry Kendrick was honored.
“I recommend Arizona Western to anybody,” Macon added. “If you work hard and get good grades, then your Division I dreams will for sure come true.”
Macon intends to study business at Oklahoma State.
About the NJCAA David Rowlands Award
David Rowlands was an active member of the NJCAA from 1972-1988. He was a regional director during that time and from 1975-1988 was the chair of the NJCAA baseball committee. Rowlands, a baseball coach at Truman College (Chicago, Ill.), served on the NJCAA gymnastics, golf, executive and eligibility committees. Rowlands was the perfect model of hard work, discipline, ethics and excellence in community college athletics. This award is given annually to the NJCAA Student-Athlete that best exhibits these traits.