Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bankston signs LOI to Ursuline to play two sports

As a freshman, Jackie Bankston once went to soccer camp with a full leg cast below her knee. She still managed to fully participate in workouts.

Among other intangibles, she’s going to bring toughness when she plays both soccer and softball next academic year at Ursuline College — at least that’s what Kevin Ziegler said, her high school soccer coach.

Bankston signed a letter of intent to Ursuline College Tuesday night at Wellington High School before an exclusive crowd of family, friends and teachers.

She didn’t expect to be playing college soccer entering her freshman year in high school. She’s always played softball, not soccer.

"When I was little, I was always playing softball and never played soccer," Bankston said. "And then freshman year, I was like, ‘Oh, OK, that is a fall sport here, I’ll try it out.’"

Bankston was a four-year starter and letterwinner at goalkeeper throughout her career at Wellington. She was the Most Improved Player, and earned second team all-county and all-conference awards in 2006. She followed up the 2006 campaign with another impressive season in 2007. She earned Defensive Player of the Year honors in 2007.

"I’m looking forward to playing two sports next year," Bankston said. "I’ve been playing softball my whole life, and soccer has been my main thing during high school."

Playing two sports in college fails to daunt the talented goalkeeper and catcher.

"I play three sports right now in high school," Bankston said. "Most of the time I’m playing two at a time, so I don’t think it will be much different. I think I’ll be able to manage. I just have to stay organized."
Besides being an accomplished goalkeeper – one with a 77 percent save percentage throughout her high school career and 22 career shutouts – her leadership qualities is why she was so highly recruited by Jason Kubbins, the Ursuline College head soccer coach.

"She has a great attitude," Kubbins said. "Throughout the whole recruiting process, she’s conducted herself with class. At Ursuline, we try to recruit good kids along with good athletes, and she definitely fits the mold."

A sentiment echoed by Ziegler and Kubbins is her intensity and aggressiveness at the goalkeeper position.

"She brings a lot to the table as far as the goalkeeper position goes," Kubbins said.
"She’s very aggressive, which is very important. She’s got some great technical ability, too. She’s definitely one of those kids you can work with, which is great."
courtesy of Kareem Elgazzar

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