Showing off a strong set of skills is one thing.
Showing off a great character and mental mindset with those skills, however, is another accomplishment all on its own.
In anything that Jaycee Carter has participated in, whether it be in sports, singing, or in the realm of faith, the talented senior has always put 100 percent behind anything that she has participated in.
Now, because of that hard work, Carter knows where her destination will be. On Monday evening, the senior officially started writing the next chapter of her life when the soccer and tennis player — who is also a standout student, singer, cheerleader, and follower of Christ all in one — signed to play with Brent Martin’s Ohio Christian University tennis program in a signing ceremony that was held at Glenwood High School in New Boston.
For Carter, the senior couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to grow her faith if she had tried.
“It feels great,” Carter said. “I feel extremely blessed to be able to play tennis for such a great school and for (Brent) Martin. I look forward to strengthening my relationship with Christ at OCU.”
During her four-year tenure at New Boston High School, Carter has not only shown off a strong set of skills, but a great deal of mental toughness to go along with those skills. While Carter obtained a scholarship in the tennis realm, and rightfully so considering that the senior, who has been a regular in New Boston’s top-three singles rotation, will be the go-to student-athlete this year on the squad, her talents extend far beyond the tennis courts — an impressive feat indeed considering that Carter has been named as a First-Team All-SOC honoree in the sport.
In soccer, Carter contributed heavily to a New Boston backline throughout the season, and was one of many hands to come up large as Greg Mauk’s New Boston club ultimately scored a thrilling penalty-kick victory over South Point in a Division III Sectional Semifinal contest back in October. She did all of that while balancing cheerleading practices, which Carter has participated in for four years under the New Boston Local umbrella, at the same time.
When one adds in her outstanding renditions of the Star-Spangled Banner, in addition to the Academic All-SOC honors that she has been awarded with during her high school career, it becomes obvious that New Boston has an extremely talented young lady on their hands.
However, Carter will be the first to tell you that her success is motivated by who, and what, she represents.
“I am proud to represent New Boston every time I walk out on that court,” Carter said. “A lot of people count us out because we’re a small school, but we don’t play like one. My fellow teammates and I play with strength and heart. We always have been taught to never give up by all of our coaches. I try to spread Tiger Pride everywhere I go and I strive to be an example to my surrounding schools of what it means to truly have school spirit. I just love playing at the “underdog” school because we always get to show people what we’re made of here at New Boston.”
At Ohio Christian, Carter will join a roster that already includes former running mate R.J. Hayes, who competes on the boys tennis squad. Hayes, who is a freshman on the unit, was New Boston’s No. 1 singles player before his graduation in 2017. Between the pair and Kayla Phipps — who signed to play softball for the school during the summer — New Boston is beginning to form a pipeline of sorts with the Circleville-based institution.
“It feels great to be able to have an old friend in a new environment (in R.J.),” Carter said. “We work great together, and I’m looking forward to seeing how much each of our games will improve in the future. The recruiting process, as a whole, couldn’t have been any better,” Carter said. “Coach Martin has really helped me through the whole thing and has introduced me to members inside the OCU women’s tennis program. Everyone has been so inviting and welcoming as far as joining the team is concerned, and everyone encouraged me to come to Ohio Christian University.”
Before Carter even thinks about going to Ohio Christian, however, the senior still has unfinished business that she needs to attend to this spring before she begins to don a new uniform with new colors.
“My lasting memory of playing tennis at New Boston will be bringing the SOC title back to New Boston,” Carter said. “I hope to have a winning season this year and place in the first team SOC bracket again. However, as long as I am playing the game and getting better, that’s a huge accomplishment to me.”
However, regardless of the outcome, the ability to play tennis, and to get to play in God’s honor, is one that Carter will always be thankful for.
“It has truly been a great experience playing at New Boston,” Carter said. “I am grateful that I got to play for my father (Jason), Coach Debbie and (Greg) Mauk. Above all, however, I am most thankful that I get the opportunity to play for God everyday. Being able to play tennis, and on such a great team, no less, is an accomplishment in and of itself to me.”
Reach Kevin Colley at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1930 OR on Twitter @KColleyPDT