By Kendall Lang
Jaycie Irish, Senior
Although the spring high school sports season has been put on a hold, senior Jaycie Irish still plans to continue her love of softball after graduation.
Jaycie became infatuated with the game of softball when just a little girl. “I fell in love after watching my dad and papa play in the Sandpoint Men’s League,” she said. As many kids here in the community do, Jaycie started out playing baseball until fifth grade when she was finally reached the age to participate in her love: softball.
On and off the field, she is a leader when it comes to lending a helping hand. As a four-year varsity athlete, Jaycie demonstrated her leadership skills as captain both junior and senior year as her teammates really looked up to her. Off the field, Jaycie takes pride in her grades by maintaining a 3.25 cumulative GPA and holding a 4.0 during her senior year while taking a handful of Honors and Dual Credit courses. She is a very active student in the health occupations class. The class partakes in rotations in the local nursing homes along with the hospital. She will earn her Certified Nursing Assistant certification by the end of the school year.
Next fall, Jaycie will continue her passion for softball as she claims her spot on the Spokane Falls Community College Women’s Softball team. She will also be pursuing her education studying radiation technology. “I am excited to play and study in Spokane,” she exclaimed. “It’s far enough away from home but close enough that it’s easily accessible.”
As most athletes do, Jaycie encountered a minor setback during her junior year. Jaycie hit her first homerun, and through all the excitement and success, it led to a hitting slump after the fact. Although slightly discouraged at first, Jaycie let that minor setback lead her to taking the next step. Over the summer, she dedicated her time to some hitting lessons in Spokane. With her dedication, it led her to developing a much better, more effective swing and increased her confidence levels, as well, to come back even stronger for this spring season.
Her coach, Elizabeth Hawkins-Williams, has coached Jaycie to use her emotions for the better. “I can get really down on myself,” Jaycie said, “and get in my own head.” Jaycie is forever grateful to the lesson she learned from her coach. “Coach Hawkins-Williams taught me to use that fuel to pitch better and to fuel my team with as much energy and support as possible.”
As Jaycie’s pride and joy, she loves everything about the game of softball. She admires the competition, winning (of course), the drive and motivation to work hard and succeed, and, her most favorite part, being a part of a team. “My teammates are my family,” she said. “They make the season what it is. We all have to work hard for each other in order to reach our goals. That is what I love the most.”