Every sports team has an impact player, a go-to athlete everyone can depend on. For the Wewahitchka hoops team, that player is Jessica Smith. Midway through this year's volleyball season, Jessica Smith injured her ankle, getting cleared just two weeks ago for basketball season. What an entrance the senior shooting guard made, scoring 31 of the Lady Gators 45 points in a win over Liberty County.
"When you watch a game, or any athletic event that she's in, it's more then obvious that she's giving 150% of everything that she can give," says Head Coach Stuart Vines. "She's going to end up bruised and battered at the end of most games, and she's fun to watch."
But not just fun to watch on the court, as Jessica shines on the softball diamond too- stealing 42 bases last year and batting 480 for the Lady Gators.
"I have no break at all," she laughs.
"I think it's pretty rare to excel at the level that she does," says Coach Vines. "It's a great asset obviously at a small school like this to have her."
A great asset for the Lady Gators hoops team indeed, as Jessica is just shy of 100 points of reaching the 1000 points in her career. But she's also scoring high in the classroom, boasting a 3.3 GPA.
"I make sure I at least get 30 minutes of studying in every night," says Jessica. "No matter what I at least make sure I go home and study. It makes me proud of myself knowing I can do it, and it makes me want to strive to do better at college."
All that striving makes Jessica a pretty good role model for her younger teammates.
"We have a very young team," says Coach Vines. "Obviously having Seniors that want to lead by example and actions are very important to us."
"I want to make them to better," says Jessica. "I want to leave a big impression on these girls, and give them someone to look up to."
Scoring 31 points in one game is a pretty good way to get started. Jessica says she loves the game of basketball the best out of her three sports, but she'll play softball in college, as she's received a full ride to play at the College of Central Florida. She plans to sign in the spring.