JACKSON — Nolan Haislop went from being a role player during his high school soccer career to being the featured player in his senior season. 

 Although the end results didn’t pan out as he had hoped, his presence and physical style of play always made Jackson a threat. 

 And now, he’ll take that to the next level as he officially signed to play college soccer at Muskingum University. 

 “I picked Muskingum because the people and coaches are very nice. They take the time out of their day to get to know you personally and really try to connect with you and become your friend,” Haislop said. “The other reason was because of the campus. It’s getting remodeled and I love most of the buildings. Unlike most people, I actually think I’ll like most of the hills you have to walk at the school.” 

 That decision finalized the ending of his soccer career, one filled with the incredible memories and being a part of one of the best soccer teams to come through Jackson. 

 He graduated with an FAC title and pair of sectional titles under his belt, as well as FAC and first-team all-district honors. 

 “These last four years are gonna be something I won’t forget, especially all the memories I got from friends and family members,” Haislop said. “The friendships I have made in high school will ultimately guide my way to pick friends at college that help me achieve my goals and they will also help me hold myself to a high standard like I always try to do. 

 “My favorite memory would have to be my last-minute goal against Warren to tie the game, go into penalties and win the game during my freshman year.” 

 Things weren’t always picture perfect, but it was in those moments where he truly learned the value of leadership and took home some lessons that he’ll carry with him as he advances to the next level. 

 “The biggest lesson I have learned is to not hang your head after your mistake. Just try to win the ball back if possible and not get behind the ball,” Haislop said. “Another lesson is to encourage and help lift your teammates' energy level to help you win the game. Being negative will get you nowhere but arguments.” 

 Ultimately, Haislop’s decision to further his career on the pitch is one that he hopes leaves a lasting impression on those in the community to one day aspire to do what he’s about to do. 

 “The legacy I left behind would have to be encouraging people to try and play in college,” Haislop said. “Most people from small towns think they can’t make it to play college soccer, or the sport of their choice, so they never give it a shot. But if you try and don’t give up, your dream will come true.”