Juggling Act: Lockhart balances three sports, classes, student presidency | TheUnion.com

Juggling Act: Lockhart balances three sports, classes, student presidency

In an age where three-sport high school athletes are nearly extinct, Forest Lake Christian’s Jessica Lockhart stands out from the crowd. She is the only female in her senior class to pack her schedule so tightly that being in good shape is mandatory to deal with the hectic life she leads.

This year, in addition to being a captain on the volleyball, basketball and softball teams, she’s also the student body president at Forest Lake Christian and a member of the drama club. Throw in her 4.0 GPA in the classroom and it’s enough to run anyone ragged.

But ask Lockhart about her jam-packed life and she’ll smile as she explains that she doesn’t want to look back at her high school career someday to feel regret gnawing at her heart.

Lockhart grew up with sports on the brain, playing just about every sport she could at one time or another. But it was baseball that eventually stole her attention as she played in the Auburn Little League until she turned 13.

The year before her freshman year at Forest Lake Christian, Lockhart finally gave up playing with the boys and joined a softball team. However, the speed of the game bothered the perpetually moving athlete.

“My freshman year, I decided I wanted to be a catcher,” Lockhart said. “It was so boring everywhere else on the field. And at catcher I could be involved in every pitch. Even though people chuckle at me when they see how small I am.”

Lockhart stands just 5 feet, 3 inches.

From the first day she stepped on the diamond as a freshman, she has played a major role for the Falcons, playing on the varsity team all four years. Last year, she went into the postseason with a .333 batting average – third best on the team. She hit from the leadoff spot.

Her sophomore year, she was named a captain, an honor she repeated her junior and now her senior year as well.

Being a captain is not out of the ordinary for the bubbly and energetic senior. This past fall she was the spiritual captain of the volleyball team, where she started at the libero position, and one of the three captains for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V runner-up basketball team.

“I take it seriously to be a leader on a team,” Lockhart said. “To be a captain is definitely an honor. I like to help people when they need it and be there to give them support.”

There was a time, however, this year that Lockhart contemplated dropping basketball from her résumé. She played on the junior varsity team her freshman and sophomore years, but was brought up for the playoffs at the end of her sophomore year to be part of the state championship run. Her junior year, Lockhart did not see the playing time she was used to enjoying in her other sports.

She considered giving herself a break by taking the winter season off, but the thought of going home after school and sitting on the couch was more than she could handle.

“It’s tough to see freshman and sophomores playing ahead of you, but I felt such a strong bond with the basketball team this year,” Lockhart said. “I’m glad I played. It was a really fun season.”

As Lockhart sat in the dugout next to the softball field, recalling her past four years as a Falcon, her eyes settled upon the soccer team practicing off in the distance. She chuckled as she said soccer was the only sport she hadn’t played.

But she quickly followed up her comment with, “But if I could have played four sports, I definitely would have played soccer.”

That’s Lockhart in a nutshell – already juggling so much in her life, but always looking out of the corner of her eye for something more to add to the mix.

To contact sports writer Stacy Hicklin, e-mail stacyh@theunion.com or call 477-4244.

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