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From the Pitch to the Slopes
by Aaron Retherford
May 31, 2011 | 1156 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High senior Jessie Eiting is one of the most successful prep athletes in northern Nevada after standing out in both soccer and skiing.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed High senior Jessie Eiting is one of the most successful prep athletes in northern Nevada after standing out in both soccer and skiing.
Not many high school athletes will taste the splendors of victory at the state championships as often as Reed High senior Jessie Eiting has in her four years at the east Sparks school.

And she couldn’t have done it in much different sports, earning herself the recognition of the 2010-11 Sparks Tribune Female Athlete of the Year due to her strong senior year as a member of the Raider soccer and ski teams.

The award goes to the top female high school senior athlete from one of the Rail City’s three high schools, Reed, Sparks and Spanish Springs.

Eiting’s year started off a little rough. She was one of only a few seniors on the Reed girls soccer team that battled its way through a rebuilding season, just two years after winning the North state championship during Eiting’s first season on varsity.

“It was tough for me, but it still felt successful even though our record didn’t prove it,” Eiting said. “This year meant more to me than probably the other years did because when I showed up for practice, the girls felt like family. Our group was really tight. Yeah the team was young, but they had a lot of promise and a lot of skill.

“This year, I learned to relax a lot and to trust my teammates. They made me realize that even though we weren’t as successful, it still can mean a lot to me, the coaches and everyone on the team.”

Reed girls soccer coach Jason Saville saw Eiting grow this season even though it wasn’t an ideal situation for an upperclassman.

“She went from being a leader with her actions to a leader more with her words,” Saville said. “We had a young team this year with only a few seniors. It can be tough for seniors to go through a rebuilding year, but she and the other captains stepped up.”

Eiting earned first team all-league honors as a midfielder this fall, one year after being named first team all-league at goalkeeper. She also played forward and defense for the Blue and Gold during her high school career.

“She is probably one of two players at Reed to have played every position on the field,” Saville said. “She has a mind for the game, so she can play every position.”

Eiting chuckled at the idea of her playing every position.

“I really enjoyed it. It was kind of funny because Saville would randomly pull me out of the game and tell me he needed me to switch positions and I’d be like OK,” Eiting said. “It’s not a big deal to me, and I guess that’s a tribute to Saville’s coaching to help me learn every position, so I knew what I was doing on the field no matter where I was.

“It’s also a tribute to the club coaching I’ve gotten from all the other coaches in my life. I’ve just been really lucky to have had amazing mentors and really determined coaches that have helped me learn enough to be the well-rounded player I am.”

But Saville didn’t take any of the credit for Eiting or any of his past players being able to move on to the college ranks. He said it’s the extra work they put in with their club teams that sets them apart from other high school soccer players.

Eiting will be going to Westminster College, a private NAIA school located in Salt Lake City, to play goalkeeper next year. For as long as she can remember, she has played goalkeeper. Eiting doesn’t prefer it over playing in the field, but she knows she has the mentality and the physical ability to excel at the position and she will play wherever her coaches need her.

Eiting chose the small private school because she has family in the area and liked having a support system nearby. But of course, she’s also a ski bum and the campus is only about 30 minutes from Park City, Alta and Snowbird, three popular ski destinations. Being able to continue playing soccer was a huge factor in her decision, but when she stepped on campus, she was sold.

“It felt like home. I felt like I could live there,” Eiting said. “When I walked through the library and the union, it felt like a place I could live for the next four years. No other school had felt like that before.”

Skiing is the sport that brought her the most success at Reed, and it started with her freshman year when she won the giant slalom state championship.

She followed that up with the slalom and overall state championship as a sophomore and took the overall state championship in her junior campaign.

However, she capped her high school career by sweeping the slalom, giant slalom and overall state championships this past winter, giving her seven skiing state crowns in her four years.

Eiting does not just excel on the soccer pitch and ski slopes. She’s one of the top students in her class. Her 4.75 weighted grade-point average ranks her 17th out of about 570 students in her class.

She is leaning toward studying chemistry in college, but will enter school without a declared major.

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