I can remember like it was yesterday being in Irvine, California for the PGF Nationals in 2014 and watching the 12U championship game.
That contest featured a team with a funky name, the DirecTV Genies, which would lose in an exciting game, 4-3, to the So Cal A's - Mercado team but I could not take my eyes off a thin, but obviously talented shortstop who made play after play after play.
Her name? Jayda Coleman and, indulge me here for a second... take two minutes to watch some of the young Texan's plays in that game:
Uh... yea, that's what I thought too.
Did you see her stats in the first at-bat? She was 15-for-23 after that first hit!
And you see everything that would make her a future All-American and top-ranked player in the 2020 Extra Elite 100: great hitting, speed on the bases and unbelievable defense (did you see her one-handed grab at the 1:15 mark to start a double play?!?). Woof.
I don't know whether I like that turn at second more, though, or her dad, Cedric, showing off some enthusiastic dance moves right after that inning-closing play!
So what made me think about this event about six years ago?
Those PGF Nationals was when I first saw Jayda on the national stage and realized this was a future star in the making. And this week, I realized that on Sunday, May 24, 2020, at the University of North Texas Coliseum, Jayda and her senior classmates ate The Colony High will be graduating.
How impactful has Jayda been? Over the last two years, we've referenced Jayda 80 times in stories, rankings, videos, etc.
When she was chosen as the #1 player in the 2020 Extra Elite 100 last November, we thought we'd come up with something different on her and thus the article below which is fun to remember on this Throwback Thursday.
So best of luck to Jayda this weekend as she transitions from one level to the next.
It's the end of her prep career for The Colony High Cougars as she moves to the University of Oklahoma after this summer, but, man, what a ride it's been so far!
17 Things You Didn’t Know About 2020 Extra Elite 100 #1 Jayda Coleman
Originally published Nov. 4, 2019 on Extra
On Friday, we announced our Top 10 of the 2020 Extra Elite 100 and heading the list was a repeat selection, Jayda Coleman from The Colony, Texas.
Jayda has been on the national scene ever since she made some jaw-dropping players for the DirectTVGenies, coached by her father, Cedric, at the 2014 PGF 12U Nationals.
Both father and mother, Deana, are coaches and have done a wonderful job of raising Jayda to be a success on and field the softball field.
And, boy, is she good between the lines.
Kevin Shelton, her coach on the Texas Glory 18U team, may have put it best when describing Jayda's softball IQ when he said, "Jayda is playing chess while most are playing checkers."
But that could describe her softball skill set in many ways.
*** To see the complete list of the 2020 Extra Elite 100, click HERE.
Today, the current high school senior has continued to elevate her game, earning All-American honors in high school, winning National Championships with Shelton’s Texas Glory team, committing to Patty Gasso and the Oklahoma Sooners, excelling with the USA Softball U-19 Women’s National Team and just about everything else you can do at a high level in softball for her age.
Last year, when she was named as the top player in the 2020 Extra Elite 100 at that time, we ran a short clip of Jayda as interviewed by Coach Shelton and you get a sense of her personality:
But there’s a lot more to Jayda and we thought it would be fun to ask HER: “What are some things people generally don’t know about you?”
Here’s what she came up with... and we think you’ll agree she’s had a pretty interesting and very accomplished life so far!
1. I played my first select softball game when I was still in day care. People would ask me what grade I was in and I said I go to Kids Count Too (that was my daycare). My mom would have to drive me around in the car at tournaments so I could have my naptime.
2. The first time I went to a softball camp was at Oklahoma State University. I was in the 5thgrade. The coaches asked me when I graduated. I remember saying “I don’t know, hold on… Mom, what year do I graduate?”
3. I was the 2019 Homecoming Queen at The Colony High School.
4. I have also played varsity volleyball since I was a freshman. I have almost 1,000 career kills (991) and 1,000 career digs (987) with at least two games left in the season. I missed the first month of the season when I was playing for the USA Softball U-19 Women’s National Team.
*** Scroll down to see more fun facts and tidbits about Jayda… including who her favorite softball player is, the food she’s addicted to and her favorite part of playing for Team USA!