Jacob Trulock was far more than a high school soccer standout for New Albany High School. The name may ring a bell for many for his acrobatic saves and eye-popping statistics. For the majority, though, he will be remembered for his character, those who know him said.
Trulock died on Tuesday in a hiking accident at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison, Indiana, about 50 miles northeast of Louisville, when, authorities said, he was hiking off a designated trail, fell into the water and was taken over the edge of a waterfall. He was 18 years old. Visitation for Trulock will take place from 3-8 p.m. Sunday at St. John Paul II Catholic Church in Sellersburg, and the funeral is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Monday.
An influence upon many in his three-plus years at New Albany, Trulock was not limited to the title of all-area performer. He was top five in his class and possessed a “brilliant engineering mind,” New Albany assistant soccer coach Shane Stuber said. Perhaps more importantly, though, he said Trulock embodied selflessness, both on and off the field.
Trulock was always first to arrive and last to leave for practice on a day-to-day basis, and Stuber said it didn’t take him long to realize why the senior stuck around. He made sure his teammates had a ride home.
“He’s that kind of kid,” Stuber said. “I think he had a 4.5 GPA, so just ridiculously intelligent, but he put others before himself. Always. In everything that he did. … It was never about him. He always had a smile on his face, and he always took too little credit and too much blame. He was mature beyond his years. It’s like he somehow learned a lesson that not many adults ever learned – that you actually get more out of life when you give of yourself. And he did. He had that figured out.”
Trulock’s list of academic and athletic accolades is lengthy. According to teammate Blake Hanen, he was set to attend Purdue in the coming months to study engineering. Trulock was gifted, and he didn’t shy away from sharing his time with others, Hanen added.
“He was probably the best friend you could have,” Hanen said. “If you wanted advice about anything, you just went to him and he’d always lead you in the right direction, or try to at least. He was an outstanding student. … He was the definition of a student-athlete. He put in as much work in the classroom as he did on the soccer field.”
“He always radiated positivity,” Sanchez said. “There’s nothing negative you can say about him. … (He) always had a smile on his face.”
In addition to the droves of support offered on social media, the New Albany boys soccer team and many other student groups have gathered to remember Trulock’s life in the past two days. Stuber said the outpouring of compassion is fitting given Trulock’s positive influence, both on and off the soccer field.
“It’s so heartwarming to see all of the people that he touched,” Stuber said. “I’ve literally never heard anyone say anything negative about Jacob, and because people are hearing about this, they’re sharing the stories of how he touched them. … It’s a testament to how he lived his life and frankly, it’s a testament to how we should all live our lives.”