Call it the metamorphosis of Jada Scott.
For the last three seasons at Heights, Scott has led City League girls soccer in total points. She is the maestro of the league’s most dynamic offense, involved in nearly every goal. And she has done so with the grace reserved for those blessed with immense natural ability.
In August 2013, Scott tore an anterior cruciate ligament in her knee on a non-contact play scrimmaging with her club team. One bizarre misstep and Scott’s senior season and future – she has orally committed to Central Missouri – was suddenly in peril.
The past seven months have been transformative. She knew she would no longer be able to rely as much on her athleticism, so she’s working on the technical side of her game. She says she is working harder than she ever has in her career.
When the Falcons debut this season, in the Titan Classic this week, Scott will still likely retain her goal-scoring prowess. But she will do so as a new, and she thinks improved, player.
“I saw a different side through this process,” Scott said. “It’s been a long seven months. A very long seven months. But I’ve had to start working hard, and I’ve never really had to that a whole lot. It’s been really good for me.”
She couldn’t walk for the first six weeks after the injury, and couldn’t begin jogging until December. Confined to a stationary bicycle, Scott grew to resent it.
“It was a very, very frustrating time,” Scott said.
Teammates noticed the extra work Scott was doing in preparation of her comeback. She was focusing on the details, doing work she had previously overlooked or felt like she didn’t need to do.
“We all knew she was going to come back,” said Heights junior Colleen Howland, who tied Scott with most goals in the league with 23. “I don’t think I would be able to if that happened to me. She’s so strong.”
Coach Ryan Kelley noticed the commitment when one day after a practice Scott asked to borrow some small, orange cones. She wanted to set up an agility drill on her own.
“Almost every day she’s in pain with something, and every day she keeps pushing through it,” Kelley said. “It’s impressive.”
Heights is in a position to compete this season. After graduating two starters off a team that was a game away from state, the Falcons have quality pieces back in Scott and Howland up top to pair with Laurie Theis, Brianna Lee, and Janae Slater.
To take the next step, a state berth, it seems logical that Heights would need Scott back to her old self.
But Scott doesn’t want that. She is striving for something more, a new, improved version of the forward that has been terrorizing City League defenses for four years.
“I think I can get there,” Scott said.
CITY LEAGUE GIRLS SOCCER PLAYERS TO WATCH
GIRLS SOCCER SCHEDULE
25 – Augusta at Circle, Goddard at East, Carroll at Eisenhower, Ark City at Maize, Campus at Newton, Garden City at Northwest, McPherson at Salina South, Trinity at Kapaun; 27 – Ark City at Andover Central, Andover at Campus, Buhler at Newton, Valley Center at Salina South, Rose Hill at Goddard, Derby at Eisenhower, South at Maize South, Salina Central at McPherson, Carroll at Emporia, Augusta at Trinity, Washburn Rural at Kapaun, Valley Center at Mulvane, Winfield at Emporia; 31 -April 5 – Titan Classic at South; 31 – Junction City at Ark City, West at Circle, Sunrise at Independent.
15 – Goddard-Carroll tournament, McPherson tournament; 3 – Circle at Mulvane, Trinity at Valley Center, West at Junction City, Thomas More Prep at Independent; 8 – North at East, Carroll at Heights, West at Kapaun, South at Northwest, Goddard at Hutchinson, Rose Hill at Campus, Andover at Newton, Maize South at Derby, Maize at Andover Central, Valley Center at Buhler, Circle at Independent, Topeka Hayden at Trinity; 10 – Augusta at Mulvane, McPherson at Hutchinson, Buhler at Salina South, Andover Central at Derby, Campus at Goddard, Salina Central at Eisenhower, Newton at Valley Center, Ark City at Rose Hill, Independent at South, Emporia at Northwest; 11 – Ark City at Andover, Winfield at Circle, West at Word of Life, Mulvane at Campus, Maize South at Trinity, Dodge City at South, Rose Hill at East; 14 – Mulvane at Buhler, Maize South at Salina Central, Derby at Ark City, Thomas More Prep at Independent, Carroll at Trinity; 15 – Mulvane at Winfield, Buhler at Circle, Carroll at West, Southeast at East, Heights at Northwest, North at South, Andover Central at Hutchinson, Eisenhower at Campus, Goddard at Newton, Salina South at Andover, Trinity at Rose Hill, Valley Center at McPherson, Independent at Augusta; 17 – North at West, Kapaun at Northwest, East at South, Southeast at Heights, McPherson at Newton, Andover Central at Salina Central, Winfield at Derby, Campus at Ark City, Maize at Andover, Hutchinson at Valley Center, Goddard at Buhler, Eisenhower at Rose Hill, Wichita Home School at Independent, Salina South at Maize South, Highland Park at Southeast, Sunrise Christian at West, Maize at Olathe Northwest; 21 – Andover at Ark City, Eisenhower at Valley Center, Augusta at McPherson, Circle at Winfield, Newton at Andover Central, Southeast at Topeka West, Trinity at Independent; 22 – Salina South at Maize, Newton at Salina Central, Hutchinson at Derby, Andover Central at Goddard, Rose Hill at McPherson, Buhler at Augusta, Mulvane at Circle, Carroll at North, Kapaun at Southeast, West at East, Heights at South, Campus at Maize South, Independent at Sunrise Christian, Trinity at Dodge City; 24 – Maize South at Ark City; Goddard at Eisenhower, Andover at Andover Central, Northwest at East, Southeast at North, South at Carroll, Kapaun at Heights, Independent at Wichita Home School, Derby at Valley Center, Hutchinson at Buhler, Word of Life at West; 25 – Winfield at Mulvane, Rose Hill at Circle, SM East at Maize South, Dodge City at Heights; 28 – Mulvane at Augusta, North at Junction City, Independent at Word of Life; 29 – Salina South at Hutchinson, Campus at Maize, Newton at Derby, Maize South at Goddard, Eisenhower at Andover Central, Ark City at Valley Center, Circle at Buhler, McPherson at Winfield, Northwest at North, Southeast at Carroll, East at Kapaun, West at South, Andover at Salina Central, Thomas More Prep at Independent.
1 – Salina Central at Campus, Maize at Newton, Goddard at Ark City, Valley Center at Andover Central, Andover at Maize South, Augusta at Winfield, Buhler at Rose Hill, South at Southeast, Heights at North, Northwest at West, Kapaun at Carroll, Hutchinson at Eisenhower, Circle at Trinity; 2 – McPherson at Mulvane, South at Derby, East at Trinity, Aquinas at Carroll, Manhattan at Heights, Maize at Northwest; 5 – Campus at Hutchinson, Ark City at Winfield, Andover at Augusta, Valley Center at Trinity; 5-10 – North tournament; 6 – Newton at Salina South, Salina Central at Derby, Maize South at Eisenhower, Andover at Valley Center, Winfield at Rose Hill, South at Hutchinson, Hays at McPherson, Maize at Trinity, Manhattan at Northwest, Goddard at Carroll, Southeast at Great Bend, East at Dodge City; 8 – Hutchinson at Newton, Derby at Campus, Salina Central at Maize, Goddard at Andover, Eisenhower at Ark City, Valley Center at Maize South, Augusta at Rose Hil, Buhler at McPherson, Andover Central at Salina South, Trinity at Winfield, Northwest at Washburn Rural; 12 – Salina South at Campus, McPherson at Circle, West at Southeast, Augusta at Valley Center, Kapaun at Emporia; 13 – Hutchinson at Salina Central, Derby at Maize, Eisenhower at Andover, Andover Central at Maize South, Winfield at Buhler, Rose Hill at Mulvane, Carroll at Northwest, North at Kapaun, East at Heights, Newton at Ark City, Great Bend at McPherson, Word of Life at Independent; 15 – Maize at Hutchinson, Derby at Salina South, Valley Center at Goddard, Heights at West, Northwest at Southeast, East at Carroll, South at Kapaun, Winfield at Ark City, Mulvane at Eisenhower, Rose Hill at Andover Central, Thomas More Prep at North; 16 – Circle at Augusta, Buhler at Maize South.