Sports

Bremerton's Jacki Hill signs letter of intent to WSU

Jacki Hill, shown here signing her  letter of intent for Washington State University while her dad Blake looks on, is this year’s Patriot Student-Athlete of the Year. - Wesley Remmer/ file photo
Jacki Hill, shown here signing her letter of intent for Washington State University while her dad Blake looks on, is this year’s Patriot Student-Athlete of the Year.
— image credit: Wesley Remmer/ file photo

Bremerton three-sport star hopes to race to success at WSU

Jacki Hill has always been a fierce competitor.

Whether on the pitch, the hardwood or the track, Hill has always strived to do her best, excelling in all three sports and in the classroom.

But without a little help from her family, it may not have been that way.

Hill, smack dab in the middle as the only girl of five children, said she has her four brothers — ranging in age from 21 years old to 12 — to thank for her competitive spirit.

“That’s what made me a competitive person in sports and academics,” Hill said. “I always wanted to be better than them in everything.”

With that mentality in mind, Hill raised the bar for her two younger brothers, as the recent Bremerton High School grad has been selected as the 2007-08 Bremerton Patriot Student-Athlete of the Year.

Hill, a standout on the Knights’ girls soccer, girls basketball and track and field teams, leaves BHS with an impressive resume of both athletic and academic accomplishments.

“It was fun,” she said of her time at Bremerton. “I was happy. It’s kind of sad (ending it) too though.”

On the girls soccer squad, Hill led the Knights in goal scoring in each of her seasons at Bremerton, notching 16 goals to go with five assists in her senior

campaign. In fact, she ended her career tied for the all-time school record in goals with 45. While Bremerton underachieved this year with a 6-9-1 overall record, Hill led the Knights to an 11-4-0 finish as a junior.

As for hoops, Hill led the Knights with 10.8 points per game as a senior and 14.3 as a junior. A stellar defensive threat, Hill also was routinely among the league leaders in steals. Similar to soccer, however, the squad went 10-10 this season, but finished 12-8 (11-3 in Olympic League play) her junior year, advancing to districts.

In track, Hill stepped up her game even more, sprinting to a third-place finish in the 400-meter dash and a ninth-place showing in the 200 at state. Her junior season, hill was second and fifth in the events respectively, also qualifying in the 100.

A key Knight in helping turn Bremerton’s athletic image around, Hill said it was great to be a part of the process while representing her school.

“I enjoyed it a lot,” she said. “I’ve got friends at South Kitsap, other students saying ‘Oh, they can’t do it.’ Then we came out and did well. It was good to break that stereotype.”

But Hill said she also realizes the school has a long way to go.

“I think a lot comes from the community and believing in themselves,” Hill said, pointing to how much larger crowds at football games used to be as an example. “If we can get it like that again, that would totally help the players.”

Daniel McInnis, who coached Hill in both girls hoops and track, said it was great to see her in different facets.

“It was good,” McInnis said. “She’s so athletic. In track, you could see her speed. But in basketball her speed was an asset as well.”

Now that high school is over, Hill is looking forward to college life, as she’ll continue her track career with Washington State University.

“It’s nice to sleep in,” Hill said. “(I’m looking forward to) the whole college experience. I’m excited to be done with high school, start a new chapter.”

No slouch in the classroom, Hill wrapped up as the No. 3-ranked member of her class, exiting with a 3.94 GPA. It wasn’t easy though, as Hill admits she had to fight off a bout of senioritis.

“I had to kick myself in the butt and make sure I maintained my grades,” she said.

McInnis said her academic achievements were no small task, as this year Bremerton graduated a highly successful senior class.

“That’s just it. She’s such a good student,” he said. “She’s just smart. She’s one of the top in her class and she played three sports.”

In addition to her work on the court and in the classroom, Hill is a member of the Key Club and was knighted, a leadership honor BHS bestows on its worthy students. It was the Link Crew that Hill really enjoyed getting involved in however. The Link Crew helps incoming freshmen make the transition to high school life.

“It was really cool,” she said. “I had lots of kids.”

A member of the Perry Avenue Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Hill has been very involved in church activities. As if all those things weren’t enough, she also works at the YMCA.

As a result, she looks forward to focusing on one sport next year.

“I’m really actually looking forward to focusing on one thing,” Hill said. “During the (high) school year, by the end of the year I was just worn out. It’ll still be a time-consuming thing, but I’ll have more energy.”

One thing is for sure. Hill said the education she received at Bremerton prepared her for college.

“If I wouldn’t have challenged myself, then maybe it’d be different,” she said. “But I took the AP classes and they definitely prepared me.”

While Hill will miss all of her coaches and teammates, she said McInnis and his family are among those she’ll miss most.

“I’m really gonna miss my coaches and the friends I’ve made through competing in sports,” Hill said. “I’ll really miss (McInnis) and his family. And just the fun of being with all the girls.”

And while McInnis said he’ll miss one of his top athletes too, he knows her example will last a long time to come.

“She was one of those kids who was always willing to help other players,” he said. “She never got into disputes with other players.”

With a goal of studying math or science to become a teacher, Hill said she looks forward to raising the bar her younger brothers now get to try to live up to.

“My parents (Blake and Julie) always say, ‘I’m so glad we had a girl,’” she said.

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