JASPER, Texas — One of the biggest setbacks an athlete can face is an injury.
Jasper softball’s Jakayla Shankle was forced to the bench for a majority of her high school athletic career because of injuries.
However, that’s not the case this time around. The senior short stop is in the process of completing her first full varsity season.
“I was excited," said Lady Dawg JaKayla Shankle. "I was like OK let’s make it through a full season now and I was taking all the precautions to keep my body healthy and everything but still just being a team player too.”
Jasper softball has made it to the Regional Quarterfinals and Shankle has been a big part of the Lady Dawgs success.
“Being the lead off hitter and really commanding the infield playing shortstop it’s just been a big difference," said Jasper softball coach Jesse Ney. "It’s so good to finally see her where she’s always wanted to be and where we’ve always wanted her to be.”
Hard work has propelled Shankle's softball career to the next level where she’ll play for Navarro College. Her work ethic set an example for the younger players on the team.
“That’s the thing about JaKayla and all of my seniors. They’re just hard workers," said Coach Ney. "They come out here and they bust their tail every day, day in, day out, after practice, on the weekends, all the time and that attitude has rubbed off to every single one of these players.”
Shankle doesn’t plan on her season ending anytime soon but when it does, she said she's grateful to get a final season with her teammates.
“I mean not that we plan on losing," said Shankle. "We plan on taking it all the way and winning it but it will be sad but I’ll still be happy to be out here and have a full season with these girls.”