GRAY, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Jaycie Jenkins, a volleyball, girls basketball, and softball player at Daniel Boone High School.
The Daniel Boone girls basketball team goes into each game with a mindset.
“We gotta make sure we do three things every single game: one, we gotta take care of the ball, two, we gotta make sure we’re rebounding and three, we gotta bring toughness,” Daniel Boone girls basketball head coach Beau Hauldren said.
The Lady Blazers looked to do those three things in a game last week against Science Hill. But three wasn’t the magic number that night.
“Didn’t really go exactly the way we wanted it to, they came out and started out rebounding which our goal was to keep them off the boards,” Jaycie Jenkins said.
So what do they do? Get right back in the gym the next day and get to work.
“We’re doing some new things this year, it’s taking a little bit of time but we’re starting to do things better now,” Hauldren said.
The Lady Trailblazers lost one of their best players from last season. Bayleigh Carmichel graduated, and moved on to play at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, setting the stage for Jenkins to take the lead.
“Going into the season I knew I’d have to take on the role of having to score more for losing Bailey so just had to take on that role but I was looking forward to it,” Jenkins said.
“She’s definitely picked up that responsibility for us a little bit she’s been a great leader for us on and off the court and she knows for us to be successful she’s gotta be good every night,” Hauldren said.
Jenkins has been good pretty much every night, especially last month in a game against Sullivan East.
“She’s a very humble person like if you ask Jaycie how she played she’ll say ‘I played alright’ and that’s what she said after she had 38 points against Sullivan East she said ‘I played alright’ and we’re like ‘Jaycie you had 38 points you played amazing,’ and I’ve played basketball with Jaycie since 6th grade in middle school,” teammate Kayla Gibson said.
Let’s just say, 6th grade was quite a year for Jaycie.
“I started in 6th grade playing volleyball and I’ve always played basketball and softball, so 6th grade I started playing all three,” Jenkins said.
A three-sport athlete, and has played all three all throughout high school as well.
“I think if I only played one sport, I’d get kinda bored, it keeps it fun playing all of them,” Jenkins said.
“I definitely couldn’t do that myself, it takes a special person to do that and be good at all three,” Gibson said.
Jenkins starts the year playing volleyball in the fall, then to basketball, then to softball in the spring.
“This year, her volleyball team was great, made it all the way to the state tournament, she missed a lot of preseason stuff there but Jaycie is a special athlete she was able to come right in and not skip a beat,” Hauldren said.
“Especially my sophomore year we were going to state for basketball and softball was starting to start up so it was like I needed to start hitting but I was still in basketball season and they were starting to mix,” Jenkins said.
“When she plays volleyball she does miss conditioning for basketball season, she comes in and she’s a little out of shape at first just because you don’t have to move a lot in volleyball as much as you do in basketball but she always finds a way to get it done and goes as hard as she can,” Gibson said.
That’s just how she does it; as she said, she’d get bored if she didn’t do it this way.
“It’s always hard to do to tell yourself to shoot for a few hours or hit when you’re tired and you want to sit and watch TV,” Jenkins said.
Hey, maybe her Mom can help with holding her accountable. After all, she is Jaycie’s coach on the softball team.
“Sometimes it’s harder for her to remember that, I just try to treat her like all the other girls, when I’m pitching to her in practice just like the other girls I just try to work on things that she needs,” Jaycie’s mom, Tonya Jenkins said.
“She tells me she’s not my mom on the softball field, she’s my coach and I gotta respect her, it’s just cool to have that connection with my mom,” Jaycie Jenkins said.
Not only Mom, but her cousin Jeremy Jenkins is the head softball coach and head football coach at Daniel Boone.
“It’s cool because they have impacted me so much and I think having them plays a big role in who I am today and the player I am,” Jaycie Jenkins said.
She’s been doing this for seven years; she knows how to balance it all by now. This is her time to enjoy the experience of being a three-sport athlete.
“I’m trying to soak it all in, you know, senior season soak it all in every minute, we’re getting down towards the end of basketball season so kinda sad but just trying to take it all in and have fun and enjoy it,” Jaycie Jenkins said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.