By Steve Keenan
Jessica Brown is “making memories,” but one of her biggest goals has eluded her so far.
A senior at Fayetteville High School, Brown is closing down a productive high school career in which she has participated in state tournaments in softball (three seasons) and volleyball (this fall). But, as her fourth basketball campaign is off to a fine start, she is still hoping to reach the eight-team state tournament in that sport for the first time. Last year’s Pirates fell to rival Midland Trail one game short of the state tourney.
“It pretty much broke my heart,” she recalled. “I felt we had a great team and could have made it pretty far.”
But, the Patriots made sure that didn’t happen as they advanced to the state event for the first time since 2001, and now Brown has her sights set on reaching Charleston this season in her last go-round.
“I’m very happy with our girls,” she said. “Our freshmen have really stepped up and we have a really strong bench.
“We work our butts off.”
Her favorite sport is basketball, so Brown feels especially strong about ending her final season on the Charleston Civic Center floor.
“We know what we need to do to get it done,” she said. “I think we can get past the regional and get to states.”
In a game against Montcalm last week, Brown became the latest Pirate girl to eclipse the 1,000-point career scoring plateau.
“The whole game I was shaking, and I’m never nervous,” she recalled. “At halftime I was four points away.”
She made a layup in the second half, then she was awarded two free throws, one of which she missed. “The only foul shot I missed all night was the one to get 1,000 points. Are you serious?”
Several trips later, Brown converted her big bucket. “I feel pretty honored,” she said.
On and off the field of play, Brown has stayed extremely busy during this school year. And she wouldn’t have it any other way.
Her favorite subject is math, and she carries a 4.0 GPA in all of her classes. She’s the student body president. She was homecoming queen this past fall.
And, at the conclusion of a volleyball season in which her team made it to states for the first time ever, she played in the North-South All-Star Classic.
All of this occurs while she contemplates a college plan that, for right now, includes pursuing a pharmacy degree at Marshall University.
“I’ve got a lot of everything on my plate, but I still find time to have fun with my friends and family,” she said. “It keeps me focused.
“And I’m making memories for my senior year. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”
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