Being on the varsity team all 3 years of high school, junior Jessica Gutierrez is a valuable player of Wilcox High School’s softball team. Coach Vanessa Chagoya expresses Gutierrez’ excellence by saying, “Jessica is one of our top performers.” Using her knowledge of the game and her energetic attitude, she demonstrates her sportsmanship even during practices.
Coach Chagoya continues, “On offense, she uses her speed around the bases. On defense, she is unstoppable in the outfield, tracking down any fly ball around her and throwing people out.” Gutierrez has the ability to play in any position, greatly benefiting the team. Coach Chagoya adds, “Although her main position on defense is in Center Field, she plays wherever the team needs her.” Along with the coach, Alyssa Butler, one of the team’s captains, agrees: “On both sides of the [field] she does her job, she’s our lead-off hitter, and you can practically put her in any position and she’ll do her job. She’s also our biggest communicator on defense, she’s very versatile and quick.” Regardless of her capability in multiple positions, Gutierrez still personally prefers her position in the center field, announcing “you have a lot of room to cover and it is a big responsibility.”
Gutierrez has been exposed to the sport as a child, as her dad is a softball coach. However, she says that her dad’s position did not influence her to start playing, although he has always been supportive of her. Playing ever since she was eight years old, Gutierrez’ love for softball grew because of the connections and friendships that stem out of the team during intense competitions. This statement is further recognized by her coach and teammates, as they are able to pinpoint her friendliness and urge to win. Athena Gonzales and Kennedi Kuykendall, the other two captains of the varsity softball team, compliments Gutierrez’ upbeat and respectful nature, which ultimately benefits the team during their games. Gutierrez, in return, is glad that the cheerfulness is not one way. She says, “I love my team, they are so supportive and look out for each other.”
Gutierrez does not let her supportive character go into waste, and uses it to discuss the game plans with her team. Coach Chagoya says, “Jessica is very knowledgeable about the game and helps her teammates around her. When on defense, you can hear her talk to the players around her about how many outs there are, where to stand or where to throw the ball.” Butler agrees and says, “Jessica shows a sportsman-like attitude on and off the field, she plays a leadership role and always communicates.”
Having the skills to join the varsity team two years ago as a freshman, Jessica Gutierrez’ skills are undeniable. Captain Athena Gonzales acknowledges: “She is probably the most talented player on the team and stands out the most.” Like her talents, her cheerful personality is inescapable. Gonzales continues, “Jessica is not one to compliment someone, but she will cheer the team on as a whole.” The varsity team has started the season strong going 3-0! Catch Gutierrez’ skills live in action on Wednesday, May 11 at Wilcox’s home field.