WHITTIER, CA – Surrounded by coaches, family and friends, California High School varsity softball player Jessika Jaime signed her scholarship letter to play the sport she devoted her entire childhood to.
Jessika, who has been playing softball since she was 5 years old, signed her letter of intent to join the Siena Saints softball program at Siena College, a private Division I university in Albany County, New York. D-I schools are the highest level of intercollegiate athletics sanctioned by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) in the country.
“It’s exciting knowing where I’m going and what I’m majoring in and I’m still able to play the sport that I love for the next four years,” Jessika, 17, said. “I’ve had a great run at Cal and I couldn’t be more thankful to my teammates and coach. They’re all supportive of my decision and are excited for me as much as I am for myself.”
Jessika was offered a full-ride scholarship to the college in July after college scouts witnessed her skills in Colorado. She went on her first visit to the university in October, falling in love with the campus, professors, softball program and student life.
On Nov. 13, Jessika signed her declaration to become a Siena Saint in Cal High Principal Bill Schloss’ office with her Condor family by her side.
“Jessika has been a model student-athlete, excelling in school and dominating on the field,” Schloss said. “She has worked very hard to earn this honor. She is extremely talented and dedicated, and I am confident that she will make her Condor family proud.”
The celebration also included Jessika’s parents Rosemary Prieto and Reuben Jaime, great-grandmother Beatriz Jaime, and close school friends and relatives.
“I’m holding my tears in,” Prieto said. “Reality is hitting me that her signature means I have less than a year to be with my daughter until she starts a new chapter in her life. I know that she’s going to grow so much from this opportunity.”
At Cal High, Jessika, a shortstop on the varsity team, has used her competitive nature to fuel her successes and achievements on the field and in the classroom.
“I love being on the field. It’s just about the game,” said Jessika, who has a 3.6 GPA and takes honors and Advanced Placement courses. “Balancing school and sports has never been difficult for me. In the word student-athlete, student comes first and I can’t get where I want to go by having low grades.”
Jessika said she plans to pursue a degree in biology and be a veterinarian.
“My daughter is the sports fanatic, she’s my scholar and hard worker,” Prieto said. “One day, I introduced her to a bat and a ball, and she’s never wanted to play anything else since. She’s an all-around softball princess and I’m so proud of her accomplishments.”
JESSIKAJAIME: Cal High senior Jessika Jaime signs her letter of intent to play softball at Siena College, a private Division I university in New York, on Nov. 13, 2014.