Each week, San Bruno Patch will feature an amazing kid, youth group, teen or sports team that wows us with their accomplishments.
This week, we feature a high school senior who has juggled playing three sports, including year-round softball, while maintaining a 4.33 GPA.
Patch Whiz Kid of the Week
Name/Age: Jennifer Lewis, 17
Accomplishment: Jennifer has many accomplishments in sports and academics.
Last year, her softball team at Capuchino High won the Central Coast Section Championship in varsity softball. She also received first team all county and first team all league two years in a row for varsity softball in her sophomore and junior years.
Jennifer is a utility player, meaning she can play multiple positions and also hit. She has earned the nickname “Little Hammer” from her coaches.
It comes as no surprise that she just signed her letter of intent to play softball for San Francisco State University.
“I'm so excited to play softball for the next four years at SF State,” Jennifer she. “I see myself being happy at the school and on the softball field.”
Jennifer has played softball in some form since she was 4, and it has stuck with her. Athletics run in her family—her dad played football and her mom played tennis.
“I could go on and on all day about why I like to play softball,” Jennifer said. “Not only have I been playing it basically for my entire life, but I've grown with it.”
When Jennifer was 5, she started playing recreation ball for the San Bruno Girls Softball League. During the summer, she played for the San Bruno Storm.
As she matured, Jennifer started playing for “A” teams like the San Jose Lady Sharks in the fall and the California Spin at 12 years old.
“Every game is different. Every team is different,” she said.
Despite a minor setback in eighth grade from a broken ankle, she played for the San Jose Lady Sharks for three years until she decided to switch leagues.
“I love playing softball because it's a nonstop challenge,” she said. “There is always something that needs improvement or need adjusting, which makes me work harder in order to improve.”
Jennifer tried out for the South Bay Stars 18 gold team in fall 2010 and made it. She played for the length of her junior year.
Jennifer just finished her third year playing golf for her high school and just started the basketball season. She is also playing softball for Inferno Gold during her fall and summer semesters and for the Capuchino Mustangs in the spring.
For the model athlete, softball is also a stress reliever.
She was at home in the Crestmoor neighborhood during the Sept. 9, 2010, pipeline explosion that left eight people dead and 38 homes destroyed.
“It was such a scary experience and what helped get my mind off of it was playing softball,” she said.
Jennifer has played many other sports, including soccer, volleyball, basketball and golf. She played soccer until the ankle injury. She played volleyball for her middle school and high school teams and also played on a club team, Quake City. But she had to quit because it conflicted with traveling softball.
Jennifer has played varsity basketball since her sophomore year in high school and before that played for Parkside Intermediate School. In her junior year, Jennifer was awarded with second team all league for varsity basketball.
She has played golf at Capuchino and received the first team all league for golf in her sophomore year.
The only thing Jennifer hasn't done during her high school career has been work. Since she has been constantly playing sports year-round, Jennifer said it's been difficult to maintain a job. So she makes up for it by doing community service for St. Robert's Church and for the girls softball league, where she has helped work the snack bar and umpired the younger girls' games.
Somehow, Jennifer maintains a 4.33 GPA. She has been on the honor roll throughout high school and received an excellence award from Capuchino for being a three-sport varsity athlete while maintaining above a 3.5 GPA.
Key to Awesomeness: “Jennifer has the gift of good instinct when she is out on the field, golf course and basketball court,” said Karen Lewis, Jennifer's mother. “Her ‘awesomeness’ is how she presents herself on and off the field as a teammate, friend, daughter, granddaughter, niece, classmate, student and just as a person.”
She puts 110 percent in everything she does, Lewis said.
Plans for the Future: Jennifer plans on majoring in criminal justice or kinesiology at San Francisco State.
If she sticks with criminal justice, she wants to be a crime scene investigator or an attorney. If she goes with kinesiology, she wants to be a physical therapist.
“No matter what, sports is going to be a part of my life. That's just who I am,” Jennifer said. “Maybe I’ll be a softball coach in the future.”
Besides playing sports year-round, Jennifer likes spending time with friends and family, shopping, watching movies and reading.