Jaques moving up to ‘next level’ in two sports
She is one of the best all-around high school girl athletes on record in Orange County. Now, Christina Jaques, a former star athlete and record breaker from Bridge City, is “moving up to the next level” not just in one sport but two.
The All-American short stop for the LSC-PA Seahawks grabbed the opportunity to try-out for both volleyball and softball scholarships at Belhaven College in Jackson, Miss. last week.
She hadn’t played volleyball since graduating Bridge City High School in 2007, where she lettered in four sports and broke records in events she had never attempted.
Competitive by nature, Jaques walked off the volleyball court at Belhaven a new Lady Blazer. Her former Bridge City volleyball coach, Becca Mathews, made the trip to Jackson to be there.
“I feel like a proud mom,” Mathews said. “It’s just such a great thing for a great kid.”
Jaques and Mathews discussed the tryouts before the decision. She credits her former coach with giving her the push she needed to go for it. “Coach Mathews has always encouraged me. She called the night before the tryouts and told me she would be at Belhaven. I thought it was awesome that she would do that for me.”
“I have always loved volleyball and really missed it,” she said, “And to get to play both sports at a higher level of competition is what I really wanted.” As a two sport athlete scholarship funds are also better. Not surprising she plans to be a coach majoring in kinesology, also known as human kinetics. Christina is the daughter of Terry and Geneva Jaques.
Jaques said she plans to work with Mathews through the summer “getting back in the volleyball routine.” She reports for duty at Belhaven Aug. 5, for the first team meeting with Lady Blazer head volleyball coach Lydia Smith.
Jaques left her mark at Bridge City in volleyball, basketball, softball and track. Her senior year she broke three school track records in the triple jump, long jump and high jump having not competed in the events before then.
During her prep career she had already been named an All-State catcher for the Lady Cardinal softball team her sophomore year. In volleyball Jaques was named to the All-Dist. 21-3A team her sophomore, junior and senior years. She was named twice to the elite “Southeast Texas Super Gold Team” and “Athlete of the Year” by several groups and publications.
But Jaques was just getting started. She signed with the Seahawks and set nine new records in the 2008 season in hitting, stolen bases and put-outs. She led the conference at bat (.506) and was third in runs scored, fourth in stolen bases and ninth in hits. Nationally, she ranked 23rd in stolen bases and 27th at the plate. She was named first team All-Region XIV and National Fast-Pitch Coaches Association All-American.
Many of the softball records Jacques strove to break last season were her own. In hitting she is 11th in the nation (.519) and fifth in conference (.466).
“I have loved every minute as a Seahawk. For two years I’ve been right here at home,” Jaques said.“Lamar has been very good to me. Coach Vance (Edwards) is great. He was behind me all the way in my decision to try out at Belhaven.”
Her departure next season, however, means she leaves behind former Bridge City Lady Cardinal teammates Jenna Angelle and Lauren Angelle as Seahawks, splitting up the trio.
“I’m hoping I can go to Belhaven and bring something to both the volleyball and softball teams,” Jaques said. “They have a lot of talent and I plan to push myself harder to get a spot on the roster.” The Belhaven Lady Blazers compete in the Gulf Coast Athletic Conference.
In events she had never attempted Jaques’ record breaking track career at Bridge City included the triple jump at 35.81/4 feet and the high jump at 5’6. Her long jump record was 17.9. “I don’t look back,” Jaques said. “It would thrill me for someone come along and break my records at Bridge City.”