The UW Eau Claire's softball team is off to an 12-8 start, powered behind the strength of senior, Jess Freagon. Freagon was a prep athlete standout at Chippewa Falls Mcdonnell in volleyball, basketball and softball before committing to play for two Blugolds programs in our Gordy's athlete of week, Freagon shares the challenges and rewards of covering all her bases.
Jess Freagon/Blugolds Senior: “Hard work does pay off, I went through a lot of struggles my freshman and sophomore years in both sports as far as playing time, different challenges in the game as far as mental toughness.”
Returning All-American for the Blugolds women’s softball team, Jess Freagon is in her final season of college athletics after four years of balancing academics with two sports, basketball and softball.
Coach Leslie Huntingon/Blugolds Softball: “I think her commitment level speaks volumes because of the time that she spent on softball even when she was in basketball season. You know especially in softball when you’re hitting it’s a timing thing and if you don’t get a lot of practice with that you’re certainly gonna be behind when the season starts.”
Although Freagon has had to switch positions in both sports, deal with the seasons overlapping, and adjust to different teammates, she says the biggest challenge is making time for what’s most important in life.
Freagon: “How I spend my time with my family and friends and school work, sometimes I’ve let my school work get you know a little too much more important than friends and I know that I need that balance in order to, you know, become a successful person.”
Coach Huntington: “She’s just a great example to both the basketball team and the softball team as well as any of our student athletes.”
Ashley Meinen/Blugolds Senior: “I’ve been playing sports with Jess Freagon since 5th grade and she’s always just been really athletic, always really into sports, trying to do her best, super hard working, has always held her teammates accountable. And just seeing her in college and she continues that and so it’s really influential to see someone else do that and just know that you can do better too.”
Freagon who is finishing a degree in math with a minor in coaching hopes to pass on that same positive influence to younger generations.
Freagon: “I think I would really enjoy coaching any sport. Just the opportunity to coach, I look forward to a lot, as I would enjoy to share everything I’ve learned through athletics with other young women.”
As the WIAC leader in RBI’s last year with 53, Freagon’s diligence has produced winning results.
Coach Huntington: “It’s kind of interesting because ironically I think Jess would admit that basketball is her favorite sport but fortunately for her and for us she’s been able to really excel on the softball field.”
For Athlete of the Week, Jenn Chapman, SportScene13