By Ali Durkin and Jillian Risavi
Jamesville-DeWitt High School senior Jessica Wipper will be enrolling in Pace University’s class of 2019. She verbally committed to Pace which is located in New York City, for their Division II women’s lacrosse program over the summer during the month of June, 2014. She later signed officially on April 15, 2015 in the J-DHS foyer next to the Main Gym, alongside senior Alanna Jones, who signed to Long Island University for golf.
Wipper first got involved with Pace when she was introduced to the school by the former Varsity Girls Lacrosse coach Phil Luckette. After visiting Pace, and a little bit of research, she found that the school had a great nursing program, which is what she was looking for. She was looking to do something that would help people, and her interest in classes like biology have helped her narrow down what type of programs she was looking for in a college. This lead to her final decision to commit to Pace.
Wipper’s inspiration was fueled by her dad, who helped her through the tough process of signing to a school. Besides Pace, Wipper checked out, but didn’t apply, to other Division 3 schools like Nazareth College and SUNY Brockport. Wipper has a hopeful view on the one year-old women’s lacrosse program at Pace. “Even though it is a newer program, I have seen some games and I am excited to experience it and be apart of a new team,” says Wipper. She said she wants to continue to play lacrosse into her college years because of her love for the game. She began her lacrosse journey when she was very young, and has played with her senior friends ever since, going as far back as around age 5, starting with Jamesville-DeWitt Youth Athletic Association.
Assistant Varsity Girls Lacrosse Coach Karen Kraft knows how hard Wipper works each day in practice. Kraft knows this because Wipper is an offensive player, and Kraft’s main focus is on the offense. “She has been putting the time to work on the areas where she is weak in and outside of practice,” says Kraft. Kraft thinks that her work outside of practices have been really helping her improve her game, creating noticeable changes. Also, Kraft thinks that Wipper is the perfect example of a team player. “She listens, is selfless, and always has a great attitude. We used her as a teaching tool, and example for the rest of the team, and she performed just as we expected,” says Kraft.
Varsity Girls Lacrosse senior captains Meghan Byrnes and Kallen Prosak agree that Wipper is a very talented player who is extremely motivated both on and off the field. “She works hard everyday in practice and brings that mentality into the game,” says Byrnes. Not only is Wipper a skilled player, but she brings positivity to the field, as Prosak confirms. “She’s very positive and picks up the players who are feeling down, she’s always smiling,” says Byrnes. Many teammates would agree that Wipper has a huge impact on the team overall. “She solidifies our team, without her I think our team wouldn’t be a whole,” says senior Carly Stone. Kraft agrees with Stone saying, “she has left her own personal mark on this team and has had an overall positive impact on the Jamesville-DeWitt girls lacrosse program.” says Kraft.