Hockaday Volleyball Star, Avery Jackson, preps for Stanford Beach
Finding athletes that stand out among competitors is not always easy. Working hard to be seen by recruiters, plenty of athletes across the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex have helped their team, school, and community shine as they don a jersey with their school name across the chest. While many athletes stand out in the Hockaday volleyball program, one in particular has continued to showcase true sportsmanship, skill, and humility day in and day out. VYPE DFW was able to catch up with senior Avery Jackson regarding her time with the Hockaday Daisies and her plans as she prepares to head to Stanford at the end of her high school career:
With nearly 350 sets played, 1,487 kills, a .355 hitting percentage, 177 aces, 132 total blocks, and 1,547 digs, in her high school career, it's truly no wonder why Jackson is a special athlete to her coaches and teammates. Through her senior season, Jackson recorded 658 kills, 484 digs, and 58 blocks en route to another SPC Championship-- needless to say, her time at Hockaday has been decorated, successful, and memorable. "I've been at Hockaday my whole life," Jackson said. "It has literally been the best time of my life-- playing for the Hockaday program. It's fun getting to compete with a wide range of people." Looking toward what ended up being a great season, Jackson says she was focused on living in the present. "I knew this was my last year playing indoor ever. So, whether we won or lost, I knew that I was going to have fun doing it. I wanted to take it all in, enjoy the last moments on the court, and leave with a win." Hockaday ended up winning a rematch in the SPC championship game over Episcopal-- a team that beat them the season prior. "We had fun all season and that was kind of our motto: living in the moment."
As she considered her options for life after high school volleyball, Jackson decided to make the decision to leave court play behind after high school-- jumping into the world of beach volleyball, Jackson committed to play for Stanford's beach volleyball program. "Making the decision to switch was mainly during my recruiting process. That was a time when I had a lot of injuries and I knew that indoor wasn't really sustainable for four years and then some while beach is more sustainable for after college," Jackson started. "I also enjoy the strategic and mental part of it. Beach is more like a game of chess-- always deciding what the other team is going to do because there's so much court to cover with it only being two people. I think it's more fulfilling."
It's easy to build memories when you have played for such a great program throughout your entire career. When choosing from her favorite memories, Jackson counts winning SPC her sophomore and senior year near the top of the list along with the team's usual trips to Vegas for the Durango Classic; "It's fun to stay in the hotel with the team and have those bonding moments off the court, play card games, and just be with each other."
"Preparation off the court," is what Jackson attributes to being the secret to her success in volleyball. "Being cognizant of what you're fueling your body with, how much rest you're getting, the recovery you're doing, and the strength training you're doing. It's the stuff that you do in the dark that no one else sees that really makes you a better player on the court."
In regard to the team, Jackson says the bonds the athletes have built over time are the secret to the team's overall success. "It makes communication so much easier and helps build trust in everyone else. Knowing that yes, we want to win, but if we lose it's not the end of the world because we're still going to have fun doing it. Knowing that this team is not going to start turning heads when things aren't going right. Being supportive of each other leads to a lot of fun moments."
Jackson plans to continue to work hard as she heads into her offseason before college play begins. "I'm going to do my best to prepare myself for collegiate sports." Jackson's plans for Stanford is to major in architectural design with a minor in Spanish.