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The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Scholarships make three lady Jags college softball bound

Scholarships make three lady Jags college softball bound

by Zack Cohen | Sports Editor

A total of three Johnson softball players have signed to play softball in college. First basewoman Jorden Smith and outfielder Geena Garcia will be attending Division 1 schools Iowa State and UTSA respectively, with catcher Jordan Ovilares attending Angelo State, a Division 2 school.

Angelo State is currently #19 in the nation for D-2 schools, and Jordan Ovilares is ready to take on a new role. “I play catcher here at Johnson, but they recruited me to play 2nd base.” The changing of positions can sometimes seem daunting to a player, this is not the case with Ovilares who has been playing since she was three years old. “I think the transition will go good, I can play any position on the field and I’ve always played all the bases.”

Although Jorden Smith has only been playing since she was 11, she’s ready for the jump to the national stage, “Big 12 is big competition, I think the best competition in America.” Playing in the Big 12 conference is an added bonus for Smith, who got a full ride to the university. “It made a big impact on my decision.  I can come home and play in Texas and Oklahoma and my family can come watch me.”

The signing process can become very distracting, and take a player’s attention away from the current task at hand. However, Smith refuses to let it become a distraction. “Now that everything is all done, and set in stone, I can just focus on everything here at Johnson.”

As excited as she is about playing in college next year, Ovilares is focusing on nothing but this season, “The team we have this year is the best we’ve ever had at Johnson, and we’re looking at winning district this year, and going to state on June 4 in Austin.”

Whenever an athlete is fortunate enough to sign with a college to continue their sports career, a lot of credit has to go to their coach.

“Actually, I expect more from them because they’re seniors, and now they’re going to play at the next level,” head softball coach Jennifer Fox said.

And keeping them focused on the rest of the season is still in order.

“We just talk about how high school is a really important time in their life and they’re going to remember it forever. And I try to give them examples of like how when we were in high school, and the experiences that we had. And, it is hard because they’re excited about going to college. Every day, we talk about how it’s important that you play for your school and have something to look back on,” Fox said.

Getting recruited to play beyond high school is also a lot of work during the off-season.

“Colleges don’t  come and recruit from the high school because it’s too hard for them to do so because they can come to one game and they only have certain number of days they can go. So really, the teams the girls play on during summer are the ones that go to college exposure tournaments. As far as their skills…as far as them being seen by colleges, that’s on their own by going to tournaments in the fall and in the summer,” Fox said.

Nonetheless, Fox already has plans to keep up with these players after graduation.

“With Jorden [Smith] it’s going to be really hard because she’s going to Iowa State, but it’ll be cool because she’s going to be in the Big 12 and so she’ll play at Texas and I’ll get to go there,” Fox said. “Geena [Garcia] will be a lot easier because she’ll be at UTSA that’s where I played softball, so I’m really involved in the program still, being an alumni, so that’ll be easier. With Jordan [Olivares] playing at Angelo State, they’ll play Incarnate Word, and St. Ed’s so as much as I can I’d like to go watch them.”

Geena Garcia will be attending UTSA with former pitcher and Johnson alum Jori Fox who signed last year. Garcia was unable to comment at press time.

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Scholarships make three lady Jags college softball bound