Lampasas senior Jenna Jenkins has been with the girl’s soccer team since she was a freshman. In her first two seasons, the team struggled, producing a two-win campaign in 2011. But the defender has seen the team turn around under second-year coach Tracy Brantley with the Lady Badgers reaching the playoffs in consecutive years and winning this season’s District 34-4A championship.
You are the lone senior on the team. What is that like?
“I’ve definitely had to take on the leadership role on the team. This is my first year being captain, but I am really trying my hardest. I am going to miss this team more than anything next year, but I know they are going to do amazing.”
Is that a role you enjoy?
“Yes, I love just helping everybody out and teaching them what to do if they don’t know what they are doing. I go over there and say, ‘Hey, this is what you are suppose to be doing.’ I really enjoy it.”
This is a very young team, what is it like playing with these girls?
“I’ve never really been on a winning team before, and I didn’t play soccer before my freshman year, that was when I started. I didn’t play it when I was little, so that was a huge step. It has just been amazing. Having so much ball control, and everybody loves everybody on this team. There is no hate, so it is awesome.”
What is like to go from being on a team that won a handful of games to one that wins a district championship and reaches the playoffs?
“It definitely shows that hard work pays off. In my freshman year and sophomore year, some people didn’t really care, but I know every single person on this team cares. We show it, and we push hard.”
How nice is it to have that level of team chemistry?
“Its amazing. I have like 10 best friends around me, and I couldn’t ask for more.”
What was it like transitioning to a new coach?
“It was kind of hard at first, and we were kind of skeptical because we didn’t know this coach, but she is probably the most dedicated, loving coach I have ever experienced.”
What do you want to accomplish this season?
“I expect this team to go to state. That is our goal, and we want to go there. Last year, we got knocked out at sectionals against Waco Midway, and that was really tough, but I know we can go farther this year.”
What has to happen for the Lady Badgers to make state?
“Practice hard, play to feet, go to everything and just give it all we have every single game.”
Did the team just instantly respond to her?
“Not right away. We didn’t know how she was going to be; if she was going to be tough or super strict or what. But we listened to her, and she tells us what to do, and we do it.”
Contact Clay Whittington at email@example.com