For the love of the game: Nationally ranked freshman demonstrates leadership on team

Everyone has hobbies; something they like to do every once in a while or daily. Every once in a while, someone finds a hobby or activity which fits them perfectly and they fall in love with it from the start. Freshman Jacy Smith found tennis years ago and has been playing ever since.

“Since [Jacy] was about two years old she would drag a racket around the room and play with a balloon,” Jacy’s mother, Jaime Smith, said. “She played in her first competitive tournament was when she was about six.”

Jacy has competed in many tournaments including national tournaments, since she started playing tennis.

“One of my proudest moments was last summer when she played in Florida and she placed in a national championship,” Mrs. Smith said.

Currently ranked in the top 150 in her division nationally, Jacy has played in many different tournaments such as the Georgia Hard Court Nationals, Florida Claycourt Nationals, and Arkansas and Nebraska national team tournaments.

“When I was about twelve-years-old, I started playing nationals and that’s how I got my ranking,” Jacy said.

Tennis has helped Jacy connect with others from all over the state, and country, while having fun and doing something she loves.

“Playing in a team tournament as a member of one of three Texas teams, we faced many different states,” Jacy said. “It was a really fun, a team atmosphere,.”

Through playing tennis, Jacy has developed skills that impact her life on a daily basis.

“I have learned discipline, how to be more confident in myself, and have gotten a lot more athletic through playing tennis,” Jacy said.

Jacy joined the BHS tennis team this year and has transitioned to high school well, because of the support from the coaches and team.

“She is organized and driven,” varsity tennis coach Randy Stewart said. “She makes time to get all school work done, tutorials if needed, and get all of her many hours of practice in each week. It would make one dizzy to follow in her steps for a week.”

Jacy was home schooled prior to this year and has been embraced by the team and works with them in this new environment.

“She is tenacious,” Stewart said. “She is coachable, listens, and adapts well. She also doesn’t mind taking a leadership role and is a leader by example, not words.”

Teammates already see Jacy as a leader and someone they can look up to due to her skills and leadership on the court.

“Despite being a freshman, Jacy has proved herself a leader of the team,” senior varsity tennis player Keith Urso said. “She takes no shortcuts and is always quick to show her older teammates how a true athlete never takes a day off, even when injured.”

Jacy knows how to perform under pressure and give her all in her activities.

“Jacy is not scared of working hard,” Smith said. “You can ask great amounts of effort from her and she will give them to you on a daily basis.”

Jacy’s love of tennis is apparent to anyone who sees her on the court.

“I have really enjoyed her enthusiasm on and off the courts,” Stewart said. “Rarely do you see her without a smile on her face. She exudes a zest for life and tennis.”

With her recent accomplishments and being nationally ranked, Jacy has potential to play tennis in college and beyond.

“We are really proud of Jacy and everything she has accomplished,” Mrs.Smith said. “She has worked really hard and it’s exciting. We are looking forward to seeing where she goes with it.”