In the words of numerologist Hans Decoz, “The number 5 is the most dynamic and energetic of all single-digit numbers.”
It is also Jackie Gidney’s jersey number for the soccer field. Likewise, the number 5 is her quite respectable academic ranking amongst her peers for Mammoth High School’s Class of 2014. If you are contemplating a lucky lotto number for this week, Ms. Gidney’s got it figured out. It suits her well.
Jackie is a team player, and an ideal citizen of her school. MHS Girls Soccer Head Coach Hector Villalpondo says of the 12th grader, “She is really helpful on and off the field. She is dedicated to getting practice organized and together. She inspires the girls. She organizes fundraisers. She is true team spirit and is my ‘go-to’ person.” Hector, who coached the boys’ team for four years, and is in his second year with the girls, didn’t hesitate to nominate Ms. Gidney as the highlight of this year’s squad.
Jackie has been playing team soccer since age 5. She committed to a dozen years of AYSO, and is just beginning her fourth and last year at the high school level. She is a defensive player for the Huskies. Defense is where she feels she belongs the most. She thrives on the pressure of making sure the “buck stops here.”
A big role model for Jackie is her elder sister Shannon Gidney (Class of 2005) who also played soccer for the high school. It is a family sport for these two, and Jackie has always looked up to Shannon, who encourages her to perform with excellence. When Jackie sees others doing something that she wants to do, it sets a spark of inspiration for number 5.
I don’t think I can speak highly enough about the academic aspect of this student-athlete. She is a top performer in her classes at the high school. Her favorite subjects are biology and calculus. The real-life applications of both courses motivates her to learn about the material. Jackie’s scholastic goal this year is to maintain her academically-ranked position where she is up towards the top of her class. She has a clear and well-defined focus of plans after graduating this upcoming June. She is set on attending school at San Diego State University to study criminal justice. Jackie has the career goal of working for the Drug Enforcement Agency as a crime scene investigator. Her plans through college include playing intramural soccer.
Jackie’s advice for everyone is, “Keep working hard. There will always be someone or something trying to get you down. If you keep persevering, you will get to where you want to be.”
Villalpondo is positive about the season which just began. He said of Jackie and the girls, “We are going to have a worthy season. We are kind of young, but we will have a good year. Desert Christian will be the toughest competitor. We lost two or three strong seniors, and we need to fill their shoes.” Jackie is a part of this plan. Gidney’s goal for this season is to beat Vasquez, and see that the team makes it into playoffs.
The girls play in the Garces Tournament in Bakersfield this Friday and Saturday. They are 1–1 so far. League play opens up with Mojave on January 9, and Silver Valley the day after, both away games. The girls play at home (in Bishop) against Desert Christian on January 17. Bring five of your friends to watch number 5 and hers.