'Determined' to do her best Girls basketball: With a schedule crammed full of advanced courses and other commitments, Jaimee Reynolds could do without basketball. But then she's never been one to give up.

January 25, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

With her athletic future invested in lacrosse and volleyball, Towson's Jaimee Reynolds could easily have skipped her senior season of basketball.

But Reynolds has never taken the easy way out.

Through most of high school, she has juggled a demanding academic load, three varsity sports, club teams in all three sports and several school committees -- and she excels at it all. Reynolds carries a perfect 4.0 grade-point average and has earned All-Metro honors in lacrosse and volleyball.

Friends and coaches marvel at her ability to succeed across the board, but Reynolds doesn't consider herself exceptional.

"I'm just really determined," said Reynolds, who hasn't missed a day of school since sixth grade. "I don't like the feeling of failure, so I do whatever I can to succeed. I've always been told to do my best and also never to give up, because giving up means failure."

Despite a math- and science-laden course load and club lacrosse and volleyball commitments -- not to mention trying to choose from among the nine college programs wooing her to play lacrosse -- she never gave a thought to quitting basketball.

Reynolds has played with Generals teammates Sara Lev, Leslie Hunt and Julie Ramer since they were 8 years old. After trips to the county title game and the state final four last year, the 11th-ranked Generals (11-1) are likely to make another run at both titles.

"We all really, really want it," said Reynolds.

But Lev suspects that Reynolds' motivation is different than that of her teammates.

"I think half the time she's out there for us because we're so into it. She doesn't want to disappoint anyone," said Lev. "She's so good at lacrosse and she's so good at volleyball, she's going to get a scholarship. She doesn't have to play basketball, but she does and I appreciate that."

The Generals rely on the 5-foot-11 lefty, their strongest post player. She averages 11.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and four steals but had 15 points and 19 rebounds in Wednesday's 53-51 victory over No. 15 Woodlawn which put Towson alone atop Baltimore County's Hoopsters Division.

Last spring, her remarkable defensive instincts helped the Generals win county and state lacrosse titles. Then the honorable mention All-America helped the South team win the national schoolgirl title.

"Jaimee really came alive last year," said Wendy Kridel, who coached Towson's lacrosse team last spring. "But I don't think it was until we finished states and went to nationals that she realized, 'Hey, I can do this.' In her eyes, she just was never as good as she really is."

Ian Blanchard, coach at the Time Out For Sports volleyball club, makes the same assessment.

"If anything, Jaimee's too modest. That's the one thing I would change about her athletic character," said Blanchard.

"She never ceases to amaze us," he said. "We call it the 'Jaimee factor.' We'll think a ball is absolutely dead and Jaimee comes out of nowhere, hits the deck and the ball goes up in the air. She has incredible instincts for the ball."

Reynolds, a self-described perfectionist, has never lacked confidence in her game, but she has always aimed higher. She said her biggest regret about high school is that she hasn't been able to do everything she wanted to.

She hated to give up singing in school musicals and in the chorale, but she just didn't have the time. Though pushed by all of her coaches, Reynolds didn't take a weight-training class because it conflicted with a physics course.

"Academics has always been the priority," said Reynolds. That's how she will choose from her college finalists, which include Division I lacrosse programs.

She also hopes to play volleyball in college but will finally have to let basketball go.

"There's just not time for everything," said Reynolds.

Pub Date: 1/25/98

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