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Great Graduates 2020: Jackson Macias turns down Harvard for bigger opportunity

The Clemens graduate plans on playing soccer for Air Force Academy

SAN ANTONIO – Wrestling, football and soccer are some of the sports that Clemens High School senior Jackson Macias has excelled in.

He has also been a leader in the Air Force JROTC program for four years. Despite those accomplishments, Macias says he’s most proud of overcoming the challenge of time management—by being able to also conquer his dual credit and AP classes. He finished at No. 5 out of 590 students.

“Doing that and maintaining the caliber of play in sports that was tough but learning it was good and I think it’ll help me in the future,” Jackson said.

So when it came to deciding what college he would go to, it wasn’t an easy choice. Jackson turned down playing football at Harvard University to pursue his dream.

“But then I got the acceptance into the Air Force Academy and the excitement from it was enough to tell me that’s where I wanted to go,” Jackson said. “Also the opportunity to play soccer there opened up and I knew that’s what I wanted to pursue.”

The cherry on top of his decision, he will be the third person in his family to attend the Air Force Academy. His father graduated from the Academy and his sister Hailee Macias just finished her four years. Like his sister, Jackson wants to go into pilot training.

“I’m looking up to her and I want to follow in her footsteps,” Jackson said.

Hailee says what she most respects about Jackson is his extreme work ethic, which she says landed him his opportunities.

“He’d be gone every single day for hours on end and I had no idea where he was going,” Hailee said. “And he was going to the fields and he was running and he was sprinting and he was working on his touches.”

She says she was proud to see that work pay off in his high school soccer matches.

“He absolutely crushed it,” Hailee said. “He was faster, bigger, stronger.”

Now, she says she can’t wait to see what he’ll do next.

“I fully expect him to go there and outshine me in every way,” Hailee said. “And I’m just so stoked to watch him do it.”


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