McDERMOTT — Finding a reliable softball talent inside county lines is always a plus for any program.
In Northwest’s Jaclyn Burchett, the Shawnee State softball program certainly landed a talent which has proven herself in multiple sports.
Burchett — who played softball, golf, soccer and swam while at Northwest — will play for Shawnee State’s softball program, beginning with the Spring 2022 season on forward.
“Playing softball in my home county for (Sam) White is an amazing opportunity to have,” Burchett said. “I’m thankful that I was kept in mind when it came to the recruiting process. Growing up and playing at the collegiate level was always the goal for me, and I am so thankful to have that opportunity so close to home. I’m excited for this season with him and the staff, and am confident that this will be a great season with him as the head coach.”
Throughout her time at Northwest, Burchett was able to positively impact several programs — making the first-ever all-Southern Ohio Conference girls golf team in 2020, all while balancing four years of high school soccer to boot.
Burchett also swam for Northwest throughout her four high school seasons, finishing second in the SOC Championships in both the 200-meter freestyle (3:08.56) and the 500-meter freestyle (8:47.51).
“”I absolutely loved playing multiple sports,” Burchett said. “Every sport that I played worked a different part of my body. I was always applying something that I had learned from one sport to the one that was currently in season. I appreciated my time and opportunities in each sport, but the sport that physically helped me the most was swimming. The amount of muscle and endurance that you can build from swimming is truly unreal. I was happy to represent my school and build friendships both on and off of the field while playing there. I was with a group of girls that always pushed through when things got tough, and appreciated the lessons that I learned from those times.”
Burchett’s dependability as an athlete, however, was most evident in the sport of softball, where the four-year letterwinner was named Honorable Mention all-Southeast District in her freshman and sophomore seasons — before upping that to first-team all-Southeast District billing as a senior.
For her play as a high school athlete, Burchett credited Northwest High School softball coach Lora West for her personable attitude and teaching ability inside the lines of the game itself.
“Coach (Lora) West was a wonderful influence on the entire team,” Burchett said. “Her focus was not only about making us a better softball team, but also making us better people when we left the field every day.”
With her new challenge, Burchett knows that she’ll have to earn the respect and trust of her teammates as any freshman or transfer does coming in, but is looking forward to learning more under one of the game’s best softball minds in Sam White — along with his coaching staff.
“Meeting my new teammates and coaching staff was very exciting and nerve-wracking,” Burchett said. “It’s funny how fast you can go from being a well-respected upperclassman to having to build yourself a name all over again. I am extremely excited to play for such a friendly and focused coaching staff.”
Beyond softball, however, Burchett simply wants to be the best student and athlete that she can be — and put together high standards to strive for as a player.
Academically, I want to obtain a bachelor’s degree from Shawnee State while maintaining a high GPA,” Burchett said. “Athletically, I would like to be a part of a team that raises the standards and respect for the SSU softball program for years to come.”
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