It’s been a long road for Jessica Tetzlaff. The Murrieta Valley High School senior, who has spent years developing into a premier softball talent, has finally been rewarded for her hard work with a scholarship to UC Santa Barbara.
“I have given up so much (over the years). It’s meant a lot of sacrifice,” said Jessica, describing the weekends she spent playing in tournaments while classmates partied or kicked back.
To be clear, Jessica is not complaining.
“I have played softball since the third grade. I chose to play in (tournament) ball when I was in the sixth grade because I wanted a more competitive experience. I wanted to compete nationally,” Jessica said, a seasoned utility player who has played nearly every position on the field.
The teenager is quick to offer praise to those who supported her along the way, including her parents and training coach, Prodigy Athletes founder Troy Lau.
“Coach Troy is awesome. And my dad’s wisdom is always helpful. In the last few years, I have been even more open to his suggestions. His lessons are instilled in my brain,” Jessica said.
Among those lessons is the way Jessica perceives her success on the field.
“Success comes every inning. We look at every game as a war and every inning as a battle to win that war. I keep that with me. It’s easy (advice) to refer back to,” Jessica said.
As for her future at UC Santa Barbara, Jessica said that she is feeling good about the direction she’s taking.
“I love the location of the school and the coaches are down-to-earth. Everything all kind of fell into place,” Jessica said.
” Jessica loves that she works harder than anyone around her,” Lau said. “She wants to compete against the best and relishes beating our male athletes. (UC Santa Barbara) recruited her because she will raise the standard of work ethic and preparation. She has been a joy to train and she will leave a gap in leadership within our program, because everyone knows that they have to work harder when she is around.”
An official signing event will take place beginning at 6 p.m. on Nov. 8 at the Prodigy Athletes training facility in Temecula.
Kerri S. Mabee can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow me on Twitter @kerrimabee.