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East County Athlete of the Week: Jada Phillips

The sophomore shortstop had a big week for the Braden River softball team.

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Jada Phillips is a sophomore shortstop/catcher on the Braden River High softball team. Phillips went 2-4 with a double, a triple and three RBIs on March 1 in the Pirates' 6-2 road win over Manatee High, then went 1-2 with a home run, two walks and three RBIs on March 4 in the Pirates' 15-2 road win against Cardinal Mooney High. 

When did you start playing softball?

When I was 8 years old. I had been watching my brother (Samuel Phillips) play baseball. I actually wanted to play baseball at first but my dad (Gary Phillips) wanted me to play softball because there were more girls my age doing it. But I love softball now. I also play basketball and participate in weightlifting. 

What is the appeal of softball to you?

I just like the feeling of playing with the girls. The bonds the team forms from playing together are strong. I am also a competitive person, so I love winning. 

What is your best skill?

Hitting is for sure my best skill. That came naturally to me. I have always been an athletic person and for some reason I have always been able to hit for power. 

What have you been working to improve?

I have been playing a lot of shortstop this year in high school ball. I was a catcher previously. The transition has been going well but I have had to learn how to throw sidearm and underarm. As a catcher I always throw over the top. That's been a pretty big change for me. 

What is your favorite memory?

Last summer I played a travel ball tournament in Oklahoma with my Lady Lightning Gold team. Our coach (Kevin Maguire) had told us that he was leaving the team to take an assistant coaching job with the University of South Carolina. Having one last tournament with him coaching us was pretty special. 

What are your goals for the season?

I feel like as a team our goal is to play more together than we did last season. I think that is going well. We have been hanging out more outside of practice and games and that is helping. We've been bonding. 

What is your favorite food?

Sushi. I'll get it from anywhere. 

What is your favorite show?

That's tough. I will say 'Vampire Diaries.'

What are your hobbies?

I honestly don't do much outside of sports. I'll practice softball on my own time and I lift (weights) a lot as well. 

Which superpower would you pick?

Super strength. That would help with weightlifting. It's either that or the ability to fly. 

What is your favorite subject?

My favorite subject is math for sure. I like that there are not multiple answers to everything. There is one solution. It's straight to the point and that is easier for me. 

What is the best advice you have received?

Stay true to yourself. 

Finish this sentence: "Jada Phillips is … "

… Crazy. I'm a little insane. (Laughs.) 



Ryan Kohn

Ryan Kohn is the sports editor for Sarasota and East County and a Missouri School of Journalism graduate. He was born and raised in Olney, Maryland. His biggest inspirations are Wright Thompson and Alex Ovechkin. His strongest belief is that mint chip ice cream is unbeatable.

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